From an early age, my mother instilled in me a strong appreciation for wooden furnishings, original Tupperware containers, and just about anything that reminded us of our favorite decade, the 1970s. Through many a sweltering Minnesota summer, we scavenged the county to satisfy our craving of times gone by. Auctions, tag sales, thrift stores; nothing was beyond our reach.
These days out on the East Coast, the one place that continues to deliver the thrill of discovery is Goodwill. Whether it’s at my local Mill Creek store (where a clerk once told me I had a “great eye”), or the stopover at the Portsmouth location on my way to Boston, I always find some special item that reminds me of my foraging days of childhood. Naturally, I call my mother after each visit to describe my new-found treasures in vivid detail:
Me – “Mom, I found a bookshelf straight out of ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show’!”
Mom – “You lucky duck!”
Me – “Do you have any idea how many Pyrex baking dishes I now own?”
Mom – “You bake?”
Me – “I just found the coolest retro footstool.”
Mom – “Is it green vinyl?”
Me – “How did you know that?!”
Me – “Did you happen to find any macramé plant hangers at Goodwill?”
Mom – “Actually, yes! It’s on its way to you in the mail right now!”
Me – “How do you do that?”
Just like in the old days, my mother never tires of sharing my enthusiasm over incredible finds, and my frequent visits to Goodwill ensure that we are in constant communication. Though we don’t see each other more than once in a great while, Goodwill helps us stay connected across a few thousand miles, and for that, I’m forever grateful.