Monday, May 21, 2012

Reflections on the Junk Life

Sometimes, when I tell people how passionate I am about junk sales, they just don't understand. Sure, they'll smile and nod, but I really don't think that too many people truly grasp what this hobby does for my soul. 

There's something so magical and wonderful about these treasures - pieces of past with a history, a life, and a story to tell. The more rust, the better. The more chipped paint, scuffs, scratches, and chips - the more character the object possesses. Some aren't able to comprehend how I'd take an old suitcase ANY DAY over a new set of designer luggage. The peeling stickers of travels' past, the weathered leather handle, worn from years of use, and the rusty old clasps - locking in dear possessions of the weary traveler - these bits of charm cannot be bought in a store. They are one-of-a-kind fingerprints - small reminders of those who have been here before, and who, in a way, will always be there.

There's just something special about roaming through an Estate Sale. Sometimes, if it's quiet, it's almost like a prayer. I love walking from room to room, through a house in which someone once lived and perhaps raised a family...traveling through the spaces where they made their most cherished memories - where they cried, laughed, dreamed, and maybe even where they took their last precious breath. If I'm lucky enough, I will even catch glimpses of old relationships - a love letter tucked neatly between the pages of an old book, or etched initials on the bottom of a dusty porcelain figurine. Sometimes, I even like to make-up stories about certain items. If only they could talk! After a trip through someone's house and life's treasures, it's almost as if you've formed a type of unidentifiable bond. A friendship, even. It is one of the most special, intimate experiences - connecting perfect strangers through an earthly life left behind.

Now, garage sales and flea markets bring an entirely different kind of joy. There's just something about pulling up to a driveway with the anticipation of what lies inside, or scanning a kaleidoscopic array of trinkets and doodads and thing-a-ma-bobs - waiting for your eye to meet that special gem. Sure, you'll often have to navigate your way through crusty Tupperware, dilapidated footwear or "As Seen on TV" exercise equipment - but at the perfect moment - almost as in a brief wink of destiny - you find yourself face to face with something that speaks directly to you. It could be something that you've been meaning to purchase, or it could be a surprise that you never knew you needed. Whatever it is - it's cheap, it's marvelous, and gosh darn it, you're going to give it a brand new life.

Although I find it difficult to put into words exactly how therapeutic and wonderful "junking" is to me, I tried my best to paint a picture for you. While futile and strange to some people, garage-saleing is a hobby that brings me authentic, pure joy. No matter how hard I try, I just can't pass up that "Garage Sale," "Yard Sale," "Rummage Sale," "Barn Sale," "Junk Sale," or "Flea Market" sign. The curiosity of the abundance that lies waiting for me is just too much to handle. I guess you can consider me a modern day pirate, searching for treasures with my own whimsical spirit as my guide.

P.S. All of the photos in this post were taken in my living room. I acquired these treasures at various junk sales throughout the past few years. Aren't they just wonderful?

Take Time for Lemonade,


  1. Your words tell such a poignant beautiful story. You are such an excellent writer that makes the reader feel your joy. So glad you have found your passion in life and take time for Lemonade and to enjoy the things that make you most happy. Some people live their lives never knowing what makes them truly happy in life. You are blessed and wise beyond your years.

  2. Kristin, you are an amazing writer! You gave me goosebumps, bravo friend.

    1. I love you! It's my dream (one of them). I love to write, but I rarely get to do it. You're the best. Thank you so much.