Tag Archives: thrift shopping

House Love


I have lived in my home for six and a half years, and I love it more everyday.  Oh, I love to spend time with my family in Wisconsin, to travel abroad, to make weekend visits to the Lake and to spend time with other friends scattered nearby.  But I really love being home.

I found my house when I didn’t even know I was looking for it.  My nephew, who was then eleven and is now about to begin his freshman year at UNC-Chapel Hill, and I were taking a walk about their neighborhood.  I suggested we walk around to the street behind his home.  We took the long way, and this is what we saw:

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It was a God moment.  I stopped.  My nephew, rule follower that he is, stood in the driveway.  I, on the other hand, looked in every window that I could reach.  Then I looked again.  We, it took the two of us because I am terrible with numbers, memorized the phone number on the For Sale sign.  We went back to my brother’s house, where I phoned and made an appointment to see the house the very next day.  I went back eight more times until I finally made an offer.

In 2011, things were complicated in the Real Estate market.  Banks weren’t giving mortgage loans readily, and people weren’t buying homes like they had been during the “bubble.”  My house had been empty for a year.  The owner had done some updating, decorating as painting is called, and he was getting eager, or more like anxious.  It is a small house with only two bedrooms and one bath, so it was waiting for the one person who would fall in love with it.  I was approved for a mortgage; my offer was accepted after some back-and-forth, and hoo-boy!  The pieces of my puzzle were falling into place, and God was at my side.

I moved in the day after Easter, and for the first week, I sat in the dark during the evenings.  I didn’t have blinds, shades, or curtains, and I was living alone for the very first time in my entire 62 years of life.  Let that sink in, will you?

Of course, things gradually changed.  I threw myself into making my little house my home.   Every year, since, I have done something to improve my home…a flagstone path in front, a new deck on the back, a garbage disposal installed, new blinds, guttering updates, new storm doors, and a fresh new color on all the exterior doors.  I’ve cozied up the inside, too.  All those wonderful trips with Mom and my sisters and friends to thrift shops and auctions have helped me find items with which to decorate.


My house love has deepened more and more.

Sometimes I call my place ‘The Hokey Pokey Clinic,’ where I turned myself around, or ‘The Hive,’ where I learned ‘to BE.’

Mostly, I call it HOME.








Think Cute Shoes Don’t Matter?


Just ask Dorothy or Cinderella.  I have always loved shoes.  I still have the pair of little red sandals that I wore when I was 18 months old.  I fondly remember a pair of red suede tie-up oxfords that I wore with white knee socks, a navy pleated skirt, and a bright red cable-knit cardigan when I was in the fifth grade.  I loved that outfit.  When I taught, I sang the “New Shoes Song” to my students.  They would prance into the classroom with their spanking new shoes, point their toes in front of me, and say, “Look, Mrs. Horton!”

I was thinking of all of this as I switched out my winter shoes for my summer shoes the other day.  I have a lot of shoes.  I did not count them.  One of the pairs I came across was my penny loafers, the cordovan Bass Weejuns of my youth.  Now, there is a pair of shoes.  I have two pair of Weejuns.  The other pair of penny loafers is the Palomino color.  They are the newest ones, and when I saw them, I HAD to have them.

In 1965, I changed schools.  I had lived in Indiana all my life, and moved to North Carolina when my mom married a Marine.  Moving from the Midwest to the South was pretty much a huge culture shock.  I didn’t understand half of what was said.  Single syllable words were stretched out to two or more syllables, like “see it” for sit.  The lights were “cut on.”  Books were “toted,” and the greeting was, “Hey,” not hi or hello.

The biggest problem for me was shoes, though.  My parents’ income was not one to support brand name clothing or shoes.  In Indiana, the name didn’t matter; it was just the style that counted.  At my new school, it was the total opposite.  And I didn’t have the Villager dresses or the Bass loafers that the other girls did.  I felt like I stuck out like a sore thumb.  It was hard enough to be the “new girl,” let alone be the incorrectly dressed one.

So, in 1982, seventeen years after the fact, I bought my Bass Weejuns.  I know it was 1982, because I stuck new pennies in the loafers.  Last summer, while thrift shopping with my sisters, I found the blonde-colored pair.  I love those shoes, and wear them often, not just on Throw-back Thursday.

They remind me that I can afford now, what I couldn’t then.  Some things have stuck with me a lifetime, and yes, I am a little shallow.  Even though it is my perception, cute shoes mean the difference between feeling good and feeling great and fitting in.  Hey, maybe it’s not just me.  Let’s ask Cinderella and Dorothy and Carrie Bradshaw.