Finders, keepers….

On Saturday we met up in M -Town bright and early for the Highway 38 sales. Then, we headed north to Bigfork to find all the things we couldn’t live without. If you have never personally experienced this annual traveling junk orgy, I’m here to tell you that it is the one weekend a year that I come home and feel like throwing out everything I own. This is because, while I love looking through the junk of other people on a sunny September day,  doing so always makes me a just a wee bit anxious, too. Maybe it is because the older I get, the lighter I want my own load to be.

This is not to say that I haven’t got some issues. Full disclosure:  I’m guilty of hoarding those nifty, red plastic coffee “cans” with the black lids that snap on so nicely because I never know when I’m going to need one of those bad boys. In fact,  I have one sitting on my kitchen counter right now.  Okay, I use them when I paint, but really?  Do I need ten of them squirreled away at the cabin? Probs not.  Even so, I can’t bear to part with the newest one, because you just never know, do you?  I might need to build a small raft  or stain a bridge or something.

And so, I sort of understand the hundreds (hundreds!) of paperback books, and the tattered Christmas decorations, and the scary ceramic clown collections and jars full of buttons. We’ve all got our own battles to fight in the junk war. The piles of little shoes are the only thing that drive me completely nuts, because there shouldn’t be a child anywhere on the planet going barefoot if we have so many that we can sell a pair for a quarter at a rummage sale here in Itasca County. Uff da.  That said, each year as I walk around in the yards of strangers I’m also struck by just how much STUFF we humans hold onto, firmly believing that we will need it again. Someday.

Our group of dear old friends met up in Bigfork for lunch where we compared notes on our morning finds. They gave me a hard time for still being empty handed at noon.  After lunch, I found a lovely old quilt that made its way home with me.  It is soft and just the right size to toss over myself in the porch on lazy October afternoons.  It is done in browns and tans and rose patchwork that is faded in all the right places. Last night after I got home, I tossed it in the washing machine. By the time I folded it, it had magically become mine.

I’m traveling lighter through life, it’s true.  My general rule? If I don’t love it or need it and it isn’t a red coffee can, it’s history around here.  And so…what did I get yesterday?

I got rare and precious time with my sister and son.

Lunch and laughter with friends I’ve known my whole life. And a quilt.

Such wonderful treasures to keep this traveler warm.

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