Any knack I might have, for sniffing out a bargain at a tag sale/ thrift store/ consignment shop, has tumbled down the family tree from my Nana Colburn. Aside from being the #1 goulash chef of all time, Nana was the QUEEN of tracking down previously loved treasures that would fail to capture the attention of most passers by. I can say, some....well, MANY years later that I love the memories of accompanying Nana on her weekend jaunts. At the time...ummm...maybe not so much. Although my imagination was fairly vivid, as a child, I didn't appreciate the "beauty" of some one's old castoffs. I was also terribly self-conscious when Nana, her fingers bedazzled with precious gemstones, would turn each item over & over before she began haggling over the price. Ohhhh, the haggling: rest assured, if it was tagged at $1.00, my Nana snagged it for 1/2 that. It wasn't until I was an adult that I appreciated the finesse with which she would convince the sellers to lower their price, as if it was their idea to begin with. If there was a shortage of tag sales to be found, there was always the "Nearly New" thrift shop. I don't recall ever finding anything of great interest there, but I vividly remember the semi-musty scent and the way all of the ladies greeted my Nana as if she was the mayor of the town. I was so proud to be the sidekick of such a thrift store bigwig!
During our trip to Old Lyme, last week, I brought my daughter through the "Nearly New" rite of passage. Clever girl: she brought an egg timer with her, set it for 25 minutes and told me firmly "That's it...that's all the time you get...then we're going to Hallmark's for ice cream". As soon as we walked into the shop, I teared up. That "old" aroma broke and warmed my heart as I remembered just how much I miss Nana. My tenderhearted girl noticed my tears immediately and (bless her sweet soul) added 5 minutes to the egg timer. The shop was different: more organized with carefully arranged displays, but 35+ years vanished instantaneously and I was my baby girl's age...holding my Nana's hand as we searched for treasures.
Oh yeah, speaking of treasures: I found a whimsical trio of teacups/ saucers with two dessert plates ($5.00 for the lot) and a beautiful, French porcelain lamp...in need of the perfect lampshade ($2.50). I'm thinking I did my Nana proud.