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The Summer of THE TURKEY FRYER and Other Thrifted Gems

The Summer of THE TURKEY FRYER and Other Thrifted Gems
August 27, 2009 Mary Jo

Summertime around here has its fair share of hallmarks.  This morning I pulled on a sweater and the warmest socks in my drawer with dismay, wondering again why summer never showed up this year, but for those two separate weeks.  No, I tell The Girl, you can’t wear that skirt, shirt, or virtually any of the clothes in your drawer today – it’s too cold.  Of course my dismay is nothing like that of the bushels of green tomatoes languishing on the vines in my garden, scrambling to put together a Plan B for ripening, one that omits the need for sunlight and heat.  So this summer will clearly not be known for its abundance of beach time.  It will also not be known as The Summer of Scorching, Unyielding Heat.  That title rests with the summer of Isadora’s gestation and birth.  Last year might be otherwise known as The Summer of the Mosquito.  Not so this year, thankfully.  There’s been plenty of rain, at least lately, so Summer of Drought is out. And The Cold, Wet, Miserable Summer seems a bit too forlorn to commit to the memory.

There is one aspect of this summer that stands alone as superlative:  the thrifting has been extraordinary.  Rummage sales, estate sales, Craigslist, and even the thrift stores have made it the summer of Thrifted Treasures.

This is just a fraction of the goodness I scored at a particularly good garage sale liquidating a decades-long crafting stash.  You might have heard me shrieking as I opened up this box and discovered the Easter egg colors inside, all carefully bound by chocolate colored scraps, presenting a delicious palette of colors that got the neurons in my brain firing at lightning speed.

At the heart of this particular story lies an important thrifting phenomenon, the Holy Grail of treasures, if you will.  Call it the Grab Bag, or The Lot, or simply an overflowing box.  The biggest high of thrifting, for me at least, is to come upon a collection of something, to skim the tops of the boxes and find just enough goodness to justify the purchase of the whole lot.  Buying in bulk is almost always my preferred method of buying and thrifting is no different.  Negotiating a price for the whole lot often works to the best interest of the buyer and the seller.  But the best part, the ultimate sweet spot of treasure hunting is to get those boxes home and tear them open to see what other gems are buried within.  Oooh.  On the day I opened the box that contained the sweet bundles of pastel fabric shown above, I had just returned home from the doctor after presenting with an ear infection. (Because I’m 3yrs old?  Crappy, cold, wet summer.  Boo.)  The mercifully-prescribed narcotic painkillers were juuuuuuuust hitting their stride in my bloodstream when I exited the car, on the path to my bed, when….there they were, the boxes that I hadn’t yet gotten to excavate, being up to my ears in kids these days.  That day, the kids were at Gramma’s.

I’m not even sure that I’ll use much of this fabric – they’re mostly vestiges of the days when Polyester ruled the day.  (it is triumphantly under-represented in this house) The real treasure lies in the color combinations within and the inspiration they bring to my studio.  That light on dark blue has got my head spinning.  How lovely.

Oh yes.  I’ve also scored a turkey fryer, a pressure canner, a fire escape ladder for our bedrooms, and countless other things, all for real cheap.  It really has been a good summer.

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