Personal Story

Thrifting: A Mom and Daughter Sport


The great thing about being home as a college student is access to yummy food and a clean kitchen. My farewell breakfast after the weekend consisted of: Plate 1- Buckwheat pancakes made by mum, accompanied by strawberries, blueberries, homemade pear sauce from our pear trees, and maple syrup harvest by my grandpa. Plate 2- bacon via local farmers my mom knows, garden omelet by me, and avocado on whole wheat bagel. yum yum yum.

I’m on spring break from university, despite that fact that it’s not even midterm yet. I drove home to my parents house Friday night to spend the weekend with my parents. The more years that pass as college, the more surreal that home life gets. You notice tiny details. You compare your parents and your home to other homes and other parents you’ve seen. You start to notice where you picked up particular mannerisms. You perceive your parents in a more full way and begin to wonder about how you are perceived. You look at what you’re eating at dinner and try to remember the last time you had meat that was fully cooked and not freezer burnt. This may be the first time in awhile.

Saturday my mother and I went out thrifting and grocery shopping. Before we even made it to town we read this sign as we drove right passed it, “Rummage Sale inside”. Rummage sales are rare in Wisconsin winters. We turned around and pulled into the lot. It was inside a local townhall and the proceeds were going to a local women who rescues dogs from homes who no longer can keep them.

The best experiences I’ve had with rummage sales have been located in schools, churches, or townhalls. community-type events. Then you’re digging through more than one families outdated, underused or overused piles of stuff and you’re supporting a local, awesome cause.

We actually found a lot of good stuff here. We got a new collar for our stallion of a dog, Leo. His favorite hobbies are leaving the yard to go check out nearby wildlife for spans of 20 minutes or more and usually returning with carrying a variety of things: ticks, dead mice, snakes tales, sand burs. At 12 pounds, he keeps my mother busy.

Other stuff we got: two glasses that everyone at the sale, including my mother, deemed “old fashioned” glasses. As in the old fashioned drink, not the age of the glassware. Old fashions are a very midwestern thing. (Is it old fashions or old fashioneds? I have no idea.)

an artist-made brown paper journal for $1! (will post photos in next post)

round green stone earrings

a gold necklace with a crystal pendant

Rummage sales are more important than a thrift store. They are temporary. You have to go out of your way to catch them, or simply get lucky. You can visit Goodwill any time you want to during their open hours. Rummage sales… one or two days only. There’s something unique about that time necessity. Only a small crop full of people will peruse the things, and even smaller will buy. As it is more random, you are more likely to find a gem.

The next place we went was a Bethesda thrift store. and guess what?!?!?! About 20 minutes into browsing I finally noticed one of the many, many flyers they have posted They were having a surprise 50% off day. It was either fate or a day of supreme luck.

There I found an audiobook on CD. Will Schwalbe’s The End of Your Life Book Club for $3, which actually means $1.50. This was highly coincidental as well as I had just heard about Will Schwalbe and was pondering the idea of attending his book reading in Milwaukee on Monday.

Listening to audiobooks make me feel well-informed, sophisticated, wise, and wholesome. (Try it. Try it… Try it… they’re at your local library!)

I also scoured the fabric and aisles of miscellaneous games and hair crap. I’ve been thinking of box dying my hair back to my natural shade and found a box of brand new hair dye for $2. I don’t box dye my hair for anything important, so I don’t mind buying it here.

I also like hitting up thrift stores to find old, vintage hair clips, scrunchies, barrettes, etc because they used to made much sturdier. Not only are the old ones in better, funkier colors, but I find they hold hair in place much better and break less easy.I bought two small plastic bags of hair clips for $1 each, plus half off.

In the fabric bins I searched for knits and light linens. All of the items I’ve been pinning on Pinterest lately have been clothes in simple colors and simple designs made with good quality fabric. I found some old black knit fabric, a black and white striped knit, and a lighter weight peach linen.  Be sure to check the yardage when buying fabric.

We drive to the next place. In the car my mom and I are the most mother and daughter we can be. I read my book, or try to, while she chatters on about work even though I’m clearly reading. Later, I feel guilty for only half listening. We both forget where we park and forget to pack snacks. She drives me crazy by asking how much water I’ve drank. etc. etc.

Of course we went to Goodwill, where we remarked as we always do, how much the prices have gone up since I was younger. Then we proceeded to fill TWO carts with clothes to try on. Honestly, you have to try on A LOT of stuff before you find some gems. Including white, spandex bell bottoms with bold pink butterfly embellishment on the front.


who doesn’t need a pair of white pants with a butterfly below their belly button? fashion.

I also perused all the sizes from small to large in shirts, and 0 to 10 in pants, because all brands size their things differently. We were both able to leave the store with four or five new pieces to add to our wardrobes.

I will soon be posting some photos and more description of my finds from this secondhand Saturday.






One thought on “Thrifting: A Mom and Daughter Sport

  1. Pingback: Thrift Finds 2: Appleton, WI – Secondhand Self

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