Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wonderful, Unexpected Gifts

I like to frequent my local (literally just around the corner) thrift store that benefits the Seniors in my town. Well, they not only have some good finds, they have wonderful volunteers that I've gotten friendly with. I guess this is bound to happen when you stop by weekly to drop things off for them to sell, or buy things that they have for sale. We strike up conversation, and I learn their stories.

One woman there recently asked me if I sewed, I responded, "yes." She asked me if I would sew a few buttons on her coat for her because one popped off and she couldn't find it so she had to sew four new ones on instead. She has sewn all her life but when she went to thread the needle in preparation for button attachment, she found that the arthritis in her hands have made it too difficult even to thread the needle. I was happy to help her out. This is her favorite warm coat to walk her dog and she was planning to drive to Maine to be with her daughter for the rest of the winter and really wanted that coat to be part of the trip.

Her attitude about not being able to sew any longer is so great! She said, "well, I can't sew anymore" and instead of feeling sorry for herself, she added, "guess there's other things I'm meant to do now." (she's 75) how wonderful is that?

A couple days later I dropped her coat off to her at the thrift store. She was so pleased and pulled me aside. I noticed this box in her hand and as she opened it she was explaining to me that she wanted me to have the contents within. She knows that I take things and use them in new ways and that I sell on ebay. There were 3 pieces and she explained the history of two and then handed me the third piece, which was this beautiful brooch:
I had to show different angles to try to capture the beauty of this piece -- and pictures don't do it justice. I was stunned! It is so gorgeous and I couldn't believe she was giving it to me. She told me who she received it from over 20 years ago and that she loved the piece. I asked her why she would be giving it to me then, and she said it was because she didn't wear it and she thought I could do something with it because she has seen the things I buy and thought I would like it.

UH, HELLLLO! YEAH!! Holy Crap I love it! I told her I was going to put it in a small frame so I could look at it all the time! I've shown it to a few friends that I knew would appreciate this and I think they are secretly coveting it. I looked on the back to see if there was an origin and it is stamped 'Austria', I am wondering if that would mean they are Austrian Crystals. I haven't researched it, yet. 

So, about a week later, another volunteer there that shares my love of dogs says to me, (and she knew nothing about the gifts I already received)  "I have a scratchboard I did when I was younger (she's 81 now) that I'd like to give to you if you want it." She explained that she thought it was a Schnauzer, I said I'd love it no matter the dog's breed. I love vintage dog art. So she brought it in for me and it does indeed look like it could be a Giant Schnauzer. I told her how wonderful it is and that I'd love to be it's new owner.


She said to me, "I don't want to sound morbid but sometimes I meet someone that I think will appreciate something I love and I give it to them, it makes me feel better knowing where it's gone." "Besides," she said, "now Santa can go in his rightful place on the wall."  SHE TOOK IT OFF THE WALL FOR ME, PEOPLE! 

I asked her to sign the back. She was a little apologetic about the old frame and watermark on the matting...I think it adds to the charm. She signed and dated it 1950, she was 19 at the time.

I am touched by such generosity and kindness I receive from these volunteers. Aren't these gifts so wonderful?

1 comment:

  1. What wonderful gifts! That brooch is fabbo, dog too. Your sewing on buttons story reminded me of the time I was working in a business reference library, and a woman came in on her way to a job interview to look up the company that might hire her. The button had just come off her suit jacket. So while she read about the company, I whipped out my little sewing kit and sewed her button back on. (Hey, librarians do stuff like that.) My reward? She got the job!


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