Goodwill treasure hunting

I had a structural integration appointment this afternoon over in SE Portland. (It’s also known as “rolfing.” The structural integration, I mean, not SE Portland.) When I happen to end up on that side of town close to rush hour, I like to avoid traffic by killing time at the ultimate shopping destination: the big Goodwill store at SE 6th and Grand.

Let me preface this by saying that Goodwill of the Columbia-Willamette triumphs over all other states’ Goodwill stores. (David and I go to Goodwill everywhere we go, so I have some data to judge by.) Our Goodwill stores are clean; they are well-organized; basically, they feel less like thrift stores and more like retail stores. In fact, they now sell new items — Target seconds — as well.

The last out-of-state Goodwill stores I went to, in Arizona and California, felt more like junk stores. Kind of dusty. Dimly lit. Merchandise barely sorted into categories. I felt like I had to literally dig through heaps of things to find anything decent.

But I digress. When I went to Goodwill today, I got a little too caught up in the concept of “killing time.” After my usual overview of the store (first to board games for David, then to stationery to look for scrapbooking stuff), I decided to check out the children’s books.  This location does a fantastic job of sorting out Newbery Award books from the rest of the kids’ books, so I like to see if I can add anything to my collection. I recently discovered, however, that they have not sorted the younger-kids’ chapter books in the same way. Ack! This means that one might find a lovely book like Cynthia Ryland’s Missing May right there with Nasty Little Beasts, Doorway to Doom, and Disneyland Hostage.

No books were moved in the making of this photo. This is just as I found them. My eyes! MY EYES!!!

This effectively doubles the number of shelves one has to go through to find obscure Newbery books. While sitting on the floor going through the final chapter-book shelves (Why are the ones on the bottom always the sports-themed books? Do they think boys are more likely to not care about getting dirty?), I came across this classic that I had not read in years and years and years:

I wondered if I even remembered the storyline after all that time, so I opened it up.

Big mistake. Because of who I am as a person, I suddenly found myself on page 40, still sitting on the floor, blocking traffic. Rush hour was long over.

I did what I had to do. I got in the checkout line, cart filled with a Creative Memories scrapbook, an outdoor cushion to identical to the one I sent Q for his dorm chair, a sealed copy of Wits and Wagers for only $2.99 . . . and that copy of Daddy Long Legs.  I mean, it was 99 cents, and I don’t think I already own it.

I know I don’t own Disneyland Hostage. I’m going to have to go back for that one.

Lighting a fire under our behinds

Fire in Dumpster

David and I are not what you’d call high-energy people. We are more like laid-back-borderline-slug people. Since we are both pretty complacent, neither one of us can really get the other one motivated. This can be detrimental to our ever actually getting anything accomplished.

Take our bedroom (please). When all the eBay and garage sale stuff was being sorted and sold, our bedroom became a combination staging area and junk heap. Boxes of excess stuff, laundry baskets full of clean clothes that needed to be put in the dressers we couldn’t quite get to, piles of papers that had been hastily piled on the floor since it was bedtime … and who sorts papers on the bed, anyway? (Lori raises her hand.)

So after the garage sale 12 days ago, we were dying to restore our bedroom to its former just-kind-of-messy glory. But did we? No. David had a game day or two, I went out with friends an evening or two, we worked on other rooms (six carloads have been brought to Goodwill so far, and we are still going strong). Every night, we managed to find something better to do.

Finally, this morning, I asked David what we needed to do to actually rescue the bedroom. I mentioned that if $100,000 were at stake, I could clean the place up in no time, but that otherwise I couldn’t seem to tackle it. He decided that we should pretend that we are going to have house guests arriving any day now who are going to be sleeping in our room, and we have to have it ready to go by this weekend.

So after leg therapy tonight, I dove in. Luckily the Blazers made the fourth quarter of their game against the Clippers virtually unwatchable so I wasn’t tempted by the television. I filled another Goodwill box with clothes. I recycled an entire wastebasketful of magazines without reading them. I reorganized my bookcase so I could fit my magazine basket on one shelf instead of on the floor beside my bed. I folded and put away two loads of laundry. I was on fire.

Am I done? No way. But I made a start, and I am proud of what I accomplished. That’s a pretty successful evening, if you ask me!

Photo by Ben Watts – thank you!

Daily Check-In:

  • I’m grateful! for the chance to hang out with Deb and Beth tonight!
  • I’m lighter! by a big pile of clothes in the Goodwill box and another big pile in the garbage. You know it’s sad when you have been wearing clothes that you then determine are too scruffy to give to Goodwill.