My Favorite Junk Store and Why I Like It
I’m itchin’ to go to the junk stores again. Boy do I miss the “ARC Store” (Assoc of Retarded Citizens) in Fullerton, CA, near where I used to live. They’d bring new things in by the box-full EVERY DAY from the greater Los Angeles area and it was right around the corner from me. PLUS, they had colored price tags and each day two colors would be half price! I’d go every week, browse and cherry-pick.
When we bought property here in the Central California mountains in 2000, I stopped collecting tropical fish. I lost interest in buying anything at all in the way of decoration for my beach-y themed small city house 20 miles from the ocean. I now desired a mountainy, ranch-y style house in the woods.
In 2005, my husband and I finally moved to the seven acres of land in the Sierra Foothills of California we had found, located just below Yosemite National Park. This began a new adventure for us and as a couple of city kids, we sure got an education about country life.
We never dreamed we’d be building our own house,…or at least designing it, tiling floors for it and painting it. As a lifelong gardener, I was excited about gardening in this new location. The surroundings are wild and scenic, with a tall massive mountain rising high above the sloped property which is filled with scrub oaks, manzanita and Ponderosa pines.
After five years of preparation, we finally were ready to move into a freshly painted and nearly empty house. We had left so much behind, not needing or wanting our old furniture and city things. What I kept? I kept my Grandma’s furniture, a desk, a dresser and a gate-legged table. We had all her many oil paintings, some for every room. I kept Dad’s old office desk and the ash furniture he built for his first new house, a bookcase and the three drawer dresser he built for us babies. We kept our old comfy couch and loveseat, a nice neutral tan, and an old rattan chair I found in an alley on trash day. I covered the cushions with a serape blanket and there it is in the above photo. Everything we kept has a story,…a family story.
Since I had shifted my focus to mountain living, I slowly developed a mental list of items and materials, I’d look for at the annual flea market in our county and at junk shops and yard sales. Here’s the list:
‘Plaid shirt’ plaid
Yosemite slate (Black, brown and gold)
Wool Indian blankets
These were the materials and things I’d search out so I didn’t get everything! I can be a bit of a crow, gathering shiny objects in its nest.
I’d find things, each with a feeling of exhilaration, sometimes with a look over my shoulder to check f someone else was reaching for what I had snatched up! I carefully put all these things away in boxes and bags and into storage until we were ready to move.
My Best Day
One day that December, I sat on the bare patio and unwrapped all my mountain themed treasures. I had forgotten so many of the items that I had found over the five years and opened and lifted out each one, humming.
It was like Christmas for me,…a favorite day.
Now, when I return to Fullerton to visit family, I head over to spend an hour or so in my favorite shop from back then. It’s not the same, because back then I had a direction, a goal to acquire what would go into our home and lives. Now when I go, I rearely find anything I need…it’s just nice to putter and browse. Thank goodness now I have a feeling that I have enough….for inside! Oh, you forgot about the seven acres, huh?
So what’s your favorite junk store, thrift store or Flea Market and more importantly, what’s on your mental list of ‘have to haves’? ~~ Sue