My Favorite Junk Store and Why I Like It
I’m itchin’ to go to the junk stores again. Boy do I miss the “ARC Store” (Assoc of Retarded Citizens) in Fullerton, CA, near where I used to live. They’d bring new things in by the box-full EVERY DAY from the greater Los Angeles area and it was right around the corner from me. PLUS, they had colored price tags and each day two colors would be half price! I’d go every week and cherry-pick.
From ‘Beach’ style to Mountain style
When we bought property here in the Central California mountains in 2000, I stopped collecting tropical fish. I lost interest in buying anything at all in the way of decoration for my beach-y themed small city house 20 miles from the ocean. I now desired a ‘mountainy’, ranch-y style house in the woods.
In 2005, my husband and I finally moved to the seven acres of land in the Sierra Foothills of California we had found, located just below Yosemite National Park. This began a new adventure for us and as a couple of city kids, we sure got an education about country life.
We never dreamed we’d be building our own house,…or at least designing it, tiling floors for it and painting it. As a lifelong gardener, I was excited about gardening in this new location. The surroundings are wild and scenic, with a tall massive mountain rising high above the sloped property which is filled with scrub oaks, manzanita and Ponderosa pines.
After five years of preparation, we finally were ready to move into a freshly painted and nearly EMPTY house. We had left so much behind, not needing or wanting our old furniture and city things. What I kept? I kept my Grandma’s furniture, a desk, a dresser and a gate-legged table. We had all her many oil paintings, some for every room. I kept Dad’s old office desk and the ash furniture he built for his first new house, a bookcase and three drawer dresser used for us babies. We kept our old comfy couch and loveseat, a nice neutral tan and an old rattan chair I found in an alley on trash day. Everything we kept has a story,…a family story.
What I search for at thrift shops and Flea Markets
Since I had shifted my focus to mountain living, I slowly developed a mental list of items and materials, I’d look for at the annual flea market in our county and at junk shops and yard sales. Some are items, some are color schemes or key words. Here’s my list:
‘Plaid shirt’ plaid
Yosemite slate (Black, brown and gold)
Wool Indian blankets
These were the themes and things I’d search out so I didn’t get everything and didn’t become confused! I can be a bit of a crow, gathering shiny objects in its nest.
I’d find things, each with a feeling of exhilaration, sometimes with a look over my shoulder to check f someone else was reaching for what I had snatched up! I carefully put all these things away in boxes and bags and into storage until we were ready to move.
All moved in, and a very fun day!
One day that December, I sat on the bare patio and unwrapped all my mountain themed treasures. I had totally forgotten so many items that I had found over the five years! It was like Christmas for me,…best day ever.
Now, when I return my hometown to visit family, I head over to spend an hour or so in my favorite shop from back then. Thank goodness I now have a feeling that I have enough….for inside! Oh, you forgot about the seven acres, huh? Little did I know, that I’start with Flea Market gardening and my collecting could wildly continue, along with you,…all my kindred spirits!
So what’s your favorite Junk Store, Thrift Store or Flea Market and more importantly, what’s on your mental list of ‘have to haves’? ~~ Sue