driving home saturday evening, i had imagined the look on rick's face.
and i was right.
what's a husband to say when his wife leaves in the morning and returns home 9 hours later with an SUV full of old wooden boxes.
the other son.
they all just stared.
"mom, whatcha gonna do with all those boxes?" asked connor.
he asked. but before i could answer, he pedaled away on his bike leaving husband and oldest son to empty the truck and continue the questions.
"you paid money for these?"
"honey, where exactly were you today?"
boxes, branches, and botanical prints ... that's what i came home with.
girlfriends, the mall just isn't the same thing.
my shopping sister, karen, and i had spent the entire day down at scott's antiques and flea market. it's a once a month event. and let me tell y'all ---- it IS an EVENT.
if you've never spent a saturday meandering through a flea market and picking through piles of interesting items --- i'd encourage you to do so. it's an experiment in finding things you never knew you needed. heck, it's just a plain old experiment! like i said, we were gone almost 9 hours ... and only covered one of the two gigantic buildings.
not everyone would have the stamina (i.e. patience) to roam like karen and i roamed. we moved fluidly from stacks of reclaimed wood to vintage-looking clothing and jewelry. stopping only to for a few minutes to wolf-down greek salad and baklava. oh, the baklava ... it's worth going just for the baklava.
can you think of a better saturday? --- i think not.
and the people. the p e o p l e.
it's a fabulous place to take in people.
jam packed, but jovial. no one -- and i repeat, no one -- comes to this kind of place to hurry in and out. seriously, you've got to buy a ticket to even drive into the parking lot. this is not a place for the running, rushing, quick-errand-woman. no mam. leave her behind in the aisles of target, this is a place for slow southern shopping.
it is about wandering and wondering. browsing and bargaining. it's about stopping and considering and contemplating the purchase.
a little of this and a little of that.
like, "what could i doooo with a collection of colorful faucet handles?"
one of my favorite purchases was a large bunch of boxwood branches - the perfect brown. yes, branches. (special from north carolina)! what for, you ask?
well ... for my coffee table, of course.
we met nice person after nice person. chris was one of those nice guys. he helped us with the aforementioned 25 wooden boxes, working to get us a deal. when i told him they were going to be used for an adoption event which is raising money to help bring home kids, chris didn't ride off on his bike (like my youngest son) but listened and said, "aww, really?... i have a soft place in my heart for kids who need families." he worked between us and the owner on the price. i know chris would have just given us those boxes for free, but the owner - on the phone - wasn't quite as moved about our orphans coming home event. still ... there they were. waiting for us. we needed 25 -- the exact amount on the cart in the midst of piles and piles of other crazy stuff.
those boxes are old. really old. they came from madison, new york and were once used to hold nuts and bolts. (we asked). reclaimed wood.
aren't they beautiful?
i know, however, that even if you like the look of them, most of us aren't in the market for 25. but i'm working on an adoption/foster care event for next month and they are going to be filled with fall treasures and turned into centerpieces. yes, they are! pictures will follow!
i love the idea of "reclaimed" as it relates to adoption ... as it relates to all of us.
[reclaim]: retrieve or recover(something previously lost, given or paid); obtain the return of.reclaimed. recovered. repurposed.
maybe that's part of what attracts me to an event like scott's. another place to find beauty in something broken. something dismantled or discarded.
and maybe, just maybe, that's why this flea-market was overflowing with people ---
it's not just about going to buy something.
it's about going to be a part of something.
it's finding treasure in the midst of what might look, to some, like trash. there's an energy and emotion and experience involved in that. i realize not every person there would consider this from a spiritual angle. (though we DID happen to find a booth selling these t-shirts).
clearly, people ... it's spiritual! lol!
seriously though, whether we started life as orphans or not, we all know the feeling of being at some point "previously lost" ... or not good enough ... abandoned. discarded. rejected.
and Jesus ... well ... regardless of what your t-shirt says, He is the ultimate Reclaimer of all things previously lost. can't you just picture Jesus walking the dusty aisles of our world and seeing the opportunity, possibility and beauty in His created. whatever pile of junk we find ourselves in, He knows our true value ... we are precious in the sight of the One who recovers ... the One who reclaims.
"it was fitting to celebrate and be glad,
for this your brother was dead, and is alive;
he was lost, and is found." ~ luke 15:32