Growing up where did your family buy its clothes?
This question came to mind, last summer, thanks to the suggestion of a friend in response to a very real need I have to find some way to affordably change my wardrobe for health reasons.
In the tropical heat and humidity of Houston, I sweat a lot when I exert myself via a lot of walking or cycling, even at work if the air conditioner isn't cool enough or not working.
As I wrote at the time googling and reading led me to realize that 100% cotton and light colors are cooling ways to fight the heat and sweating.
The idea of haunting thrift stores in search of clothes on the cheap took root and I wrote about my history of doing so going back to the glory days of my childhood and youth.
I also wrote about the number of Goodwill's, Salvation Army's and other, similar, places that a google helped me find in the Houston area.
At last, I believed, with a week vacation ahead, I had the time to get out and about and explore local thrift stores.
I ended up going to a half dozen West Houston Goodwill stores, a Salvation Army and a Value Village, over several days.
I ended up buying 3 pairs (the familiar Cotton/Polyester mix), as well as a dozen pairs of socks, at Wal-Mart instead.
I was just not able to find the right color, the right size, much less all cotton, at the thrift stores I visited.
Goodwill and Salvation Army stores are so much larger, even better organized than the ones I remember growing up, no to mention donation bins appear to have been replaced by donation centers, some attached to stores.
Stores are more organized and have a lot more merchandise to dig through.
Oh, and the pricing has evolved as well.
Another thing I may find useful, as time goes by, are senior discount days and color-of-the-week sales.
While I didn't buy pants I am not giving up, especially because I have not even begun to consider shirt offerings and still have a lot more stores to look into.
Just as when growing up thrift stores have so much more to choose from than clothes.
The bookshelves were stuffed to the gills with books and the possibilities are there for finding interesting cat-themed books, or other, old, books of interest on the cheap
I might find cheap used bookshelves so that I can take my books out of their bags at last and display them again.
Desks, dishes, furniture, picture frames, nick knacks and odds and ends abounded
A person could get lost and spend forever in just one corner of any given store, especially clothes and books, looking at each and every item of clothing to check size and make of material or looking through books of interest.
So, you won't be surprised that I did not come home empty handed.
My creativity and sense of humor saw the possibilities where apparently others only saw a dirty, rude, grumpy, creature of unknown origin.
Once home I made sure to give my little Bluebird friend a much-needed bath.
It was not was not pleased.
A google search led to my discovering there was a whole series of such creatures, of different make-up, with their own catchy sayings.
My rescue was for naught, however...
My cat, Friday, leaped on the kitchen counter as I was doing something with it, grabbed the poor thing by the hair and tried to leap off the counter.
I grabbed for her and she dropped it on the floor....and my Bluebird friend broke into several pieces....a terribly sad way to go....I didn't take photos.
I could replace it, but maybe it was a sign it was not meant to be.
RIP, little one.
On a much happier note...
I have no idea how long the thing sat in the store in plain view and totally ignored by shoppers.
I'm gonna make it
God don't sponsor
Maybe, at this time in my life, it was meant for me to find it, I don't know...
I just knew I had to have it.
Anyway, I've discovered that I can use the bus to get around to thrift shops across the Houston area and hope to get out and about and see what I can find and whether any given shop might be worth returning to.