Shopping at Goodwill

Yesterday I went to Goodwill and picked up a couple small flower vases to round out my collection. Found just the thing, and paid a total of $6.52 for the both of them. 

I like shopping at Goodwill, a pleasure I share with my late mother, who loved to shop at places where used goods had a chance for a second life. A child of the Great Depression, Mom always felt guilty about spending money on herself. But she could walk out of Goodwill or a Salvation Army store with the light, airy step of a woman who had just spent 75 cents for a piece of costume jewelry that absolutely nailed the new dress she’d agonized over all week, before finally buying it at the dress shop downtown.

Favorite summer shirt
Wearing my favorite summer shirt, with David before the football game at Sidney High on the weekend of my 50th high school reunion.

I also like Goodwill because it feels like community. Wandering up and down the aisles, I’m surrounded by shoppers from my town — my neighbors, whether known to me or not. The jacket I try on may have once belonged to one of my neighbors. They belonged to somebody’s neighbor. My favorite summer shirt, found in a Goodwill’s men’s department years ago, could have been a favorite summer shirt years before I ever saw it. My new vase may once have held flowers from someone else’s beloved garden.

We’re all connected. Shopping in a store packed with memories helps me feel it, and it feels good.

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