Friday, November 03, 2006

A common thread


I always wonder about the person who owned the item I'm buying when I go out thrifting.

Just last week I found a bag full of old thread, and immediately snatched it up. I wasn't looking for thread (not that I could really use this old stuff - it's fragile), but I picked the plastic baggie up and brought it home anyway. The spools fit perfectly in this Pyrex bowl I found this past summer.

Anyway, as I was saying, I get to thinking about who owned this stuff. I wonder what project the woman who purchased this thread might have been working on. Why did she pick up the fuschia, the tangerine, the teal? Such vibrant colors. I wonder if they matched her personality.

The area I live in has an over-65 population of about 65%. When these folks pass away, their family or friends gather up the person's belongings and drop them off at the local second-hand stores. I think of this everytime I see another large cache of goods come into the shops.

I have found half-completed quilts, partially embroidered pillows and a large bag full of men's neckties that had been washed and cut up for a project. As I put them into my cart, I think of the person who had owned these items, whose hands had hoped to create something, and I long to finish what they have started.

10 comments:

Aga said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Aga said...

what a story . what a thought . simply beautiful.

I also often think who had owned what is mine now....

it is like writing a CV for the things you find....

Heidi said...

That's why I love estate sales so much. Then you really see a person's whole life for sale. I try to keep them in mind when I'm going through their stuff.

lorenzstudio said...

I often think about such things when I enter an estate sale as well. Just today I found a half-finished handmade blouse at a rummage sale and couldn't help but wonder who was working on it.
I love your picture with the Pyrex bowl and thread.

Anonymous said...

yeah, just think about all the goodwill stuff.

http://www.greendoorgifts.com

Meagan said...

I'm glad so many other people think about an object's previous owners (I knew I wasn't alone, but hardly anyone talks about it). I always feel much more connected to something when I know the specific story behind it.

To that end, I'm thinking about hitting a "Living Estate Sale." These always start popping up this time of year because there's less competition from outdoor tag sales.

Have any of you ever been to one of these sales? They usually happen up here when a couple has decided to move down south for retirement and they don't want to take all their stuff with them. I'd love to get the chance to ask about an item's provenance before purchasing it.

The Kitschen Table said...

I also love to sentimentalize over junk. I am of the 'its better if its chipped, dented, broken/glued,played with,dog earred' school of antiquing. Can't understand the mib mentality. What good is an old toy that was never played with? An old book that was never read. I don't love these old things because they are old...but because they once meant something to someone.

bee said...

My favorite part of tag sales is thinking about who owned it before me. :)

VaxGirl said...

I always feel somewhat sad for the unfinished items. I guess I know someday they'll be my unfinished sweater or quilt...

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