Childhood Home - Corning California
My father brought down a photo of our old homestead where we used to live in Northern California. When they found this 40 acre property in the late 1960's it was an abandoned overgrown olive orchard. There weren't any buildings on it. Everything you see here in this photo my father, grandfather and mother created. I carry this idea in my head when I think of my future home. The one we are waiting on because our house is still for sale on Bainbridge Island. Sigh. But it will sell and when it does we will be looking for our future homestead.
My father and grandfather put in a well, added a mobile home for my grandfather, built a log cabin home for us as well as a barn, garage, another log cabin that became a rental and they bought 2 little cabins that became an office and a library. They even made a pond. I just adore the idea that my father could see what this sad little property could become.
The north valley of California can be very flat, dry and hot. When I look at this photo I can see that it isn't that attractive but when I see this image with my heart I can remember those days down by the pond where I went fishing, or the day that I save a frogs life and kissed him before releasing him back into the wild, the olive trees that I climbed with my olive bucket and picked and picked until I nearly fell out because the olives were too heavy. I see the pomegranate tree that I ran to after school every day in September/October to pick one for my afternoon snack.
Some days I was very unhappy here. I was rather lonely and I think that is why I escaped into reading. I wanted to be somewhere else. Yet when I reflect back as an adult I savor the simplicity of living in the county. I loved working with my father. We did so many things together on that 40 acres. We put a roof on one of the cabins together one spring. He homeschooled me during my 8th grade year and gave me the love of education again. He taught me how to install a drip irrigation and inadvertently he taught me how to swear.
The biggest lesson that I have taken from my parents is that I can make something out of nothing. My parents did that with our childhood home and they did it frugally.
Thrifting is no different. As thrifters we don't judge by the appearance of most items (I still judge the 80's geese craze though). A wool sweater with holes in it doesn't deter us from buying it to craft with. A dusty and dirty basement doesn't scare us from getting on our hands and knees to search through boxes. Thrifters are creative, imaginative and smart. As I said in my Goodwill guest post last week, we see what something worn can become. I imagine that the day my parents went to look at that property they didn't turn away because the land was pathetic looking. Instead they probably pictured where our home would sit and where the pasture would be that would house our sheep and cows. They saw the hope in any direction that they looked in.
When you walk into a thrift store what do you see? What do you imagine when you pick up an item that someone else discarded? Do you think this imaginative process is what makes us resourceful thrifters? What ugly item have you turned beautiful?