I have been a thrift-shop aficionado all my adult life. There is nothing more thrilling than finding a piece of great designer clothing, or a rare first-edition book, or some vintage Fire-King kitchenware, for about a hundredth of the price of what you would pay at an antiques/collectibles store, or a used-book shop, or a “friperie” (as they call vintage-clothing shops in Montreal and France). And without going into detail (I’ll save that for possible future posts, except to mention that my long-wished-for and hard-to-find vintage Stock Ticker game was one day’s prize), I have to tell you that the thrift shops in our local towns, Madoc and Tweed, do not disappoint.
But even though I’m by now used to unearthing good stuff in them, I was particularly surprised and excited one recent Saturday to find the plastic jugs that you see atop this post in the Madoc thrift shop. Now, I know what you are thinking: that those jugs are an ugly colour (an attempt at avocado green, I think) and, since they’re plastic, they’re – well, basically, why would anyone want them?
Ah, but you see there’s this: we had those jugs! Or at least one of them. In the Manse. In Queensborough. In my childhood. Probably for water on the dinner table, I suppose. Or lemonade in summer, maybe? I expect the green jug came from the Green Stamps catalogue, or maybe the Beamish (a kind of low-end department store in Madoc back in the day).
The better part of a lifetime later, I had utterly, utterly forgotten about the ugly green plastic jug. And then that recent Saturday, there it was – actually two of them – in the Madoc thrift shop. And I believe I paid something like a quarter for the two of them. And currently they serve very well for watering the Christmas tree here at the Manse every morning, so they are earning their keep.
And more to the point, they make me smile every time I see them. Which makes them – priceless.