Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Identifying the Thrifting Gene

I have not been a thrifter all of my life, but I have always been curious about things.  I am curious about long winding roads and where they might lead.  I am curious about old houses that I sometimes pass along the road that are grown up with weeds and brush.  I am curious about stuff that looks unique and interesting.  I am curious about things that have a history and a past.  I like the idea of reusing something if I can.

When I think about reusing things, it reminds me of my Dad.  He was a thrifter of sorts.  Maybe I got this thrifting gene from him.  My dad was a true Jack of all trades.  In our house we called him Mr. Fixit.  He was our MacGyver – before MacGyver even existed.  Give my dad some wood, he would make something out of it.  Take him something that was broken, he would fix it.  He was a collector of stuff.  If an appliance stopped working and he couldn't fix it – he would keep the cord to use for something else.  If a chair leg was broken, he would find a way to mend it so it was usable again.  Ultimately, maybe the correct term for my dad would be to call him thrifty – not a thrifter.

He didn't go to places like Goodwill or Salvation Army.  We didn't have any of those in our area.  He didn't buy things for the purpose of selling them.  He bought them because they were useful to him.  He was a person who appreciated getting a good deal.  He loved going to stores like Big Lots or Ollie’s for that very reason.  From hardware to groceries, he would check every aisle.  If it was the right price, he would buy several.  I remember growing up praying that the “scratch and dent” canned foods that we sometimes ate weren't going to make us sick. They didn't.

My dad would go off somewhere and come back with unique treasures that he often had some unknown purpose for. They weren't cute delicate things that he would come back with.  They might even be big and bulky. Right now, my parents have a “church pew” outside their house that never had any particular plan or purpose.  It has been there over 20 years.  The way I remember it, it was just something that my dad brought home one day  There are numerous stories that I could share like that.

So, ultimately I believe he is the source of my thrifting gene.  Unfortunately due to his age, he can’t get out and do those kind of things anymore.  But he still loves searching the ads from the Sunday newspaper – just to see where the deals are……

So tell me, where did you get your thrifting gene?

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