Monday, April 7, 2014

First Spree After a Thrift Store Fast

Wow! Have you ever had those times when it feels like everything is closing in on you at once? Well, that is how I've felt recently. What a hectic few weeks it has been! I've experienced unusual stress, and I've been nudged out of my comfort zone. But through it all God has given me a quiet peace about everything. I'm learning NOT to be so self sufficient, and to lean on God at all times. Whew! It's much easier that way, so why is it so hard to do this???  :)

This brings me to today's blog subject--after a few weeks of unusual and unrelenting stress, I had a small window of time to enjoy a spur of the moment trip to my local thrift shop. It was a beautiful spring like day. The kind of day that makes one feel optimistic simply by the soothing effects of its beauty. The birds were singing so much that they sounded like a symphony. A soft breeze wafted about, and the sun gave its light generously. As I enjoyed the drive home I had a sudden desire to swing by one of my usual stores. Due to out of the ordinary budget issues, I had been on a necessary "thrift store fast" for several weeks. However, I could no longer contain the urge to dig through the shelves! So, I bolted into the store and….

                                         I found some, wonderful things!

First, one of my most unique finds revealed itself to me as soon as I got in the store. No joke, I spotted this within 15 seconds. This store has its more unique items in a locked case. I always glance at the case, but have rarely found anything of interest. Today was different. Today I saw a large lithograph depicting a horse racing across the finish line. I'm a sucker for anything to do with horses, and I was immediately intrigued. Upon closer examination, I see the tittle. "Eddie Arcaro Triple Crown Winner Whirlaway 1941-Citation 1948! To many, this would be of little interests. But to a person who has loved horses as long as she can remember, I fixated on it immediately. I've included a few pictures below:

Eddie Arcaro's signature

This is on the back of the lithograph. It's a blurb about the print, and about the athlete it depicts. According to this, it was created in 1974! I will have to treat this with care, as it's now an antique!

Finally, the front of the lithograph:

This picture fails to show the scale. It's a fairly large piece and I love the way the artist captures the motion. Eddie Arcaro rode two legends to the Triple Crown title, Whirlaway and Citation. I read about these hoses as a child.  To walk into a thrift shop, and find THIS, was a blessing beyond belief! For an unplanned trip, on which I had no expectations to uncover anything of interest, this find can definitely be classified as one of the most unique I will find. It wasn't a wise time to buy it, as I'm on a strict budget right now. But on the other hand, how likely is it that I will run across another one of THESE?!?!?!?!  Budget or not, I had to look at it, so I asked one of the staff to open the case for me.

*Brief side note--something I've noticed about thrift stores. Whenever you have the case opened, it attracts a lot of attention! Shoppers swarm from every direction. This time, 3 other shoppers materialized at the case. 2 were interested in other items, but one man hovered about, showing too much interest in the lithograph to suit me. I sensed the competition and knew it was either get the lithograph, or lose it forever. Since it is the subject of this post, its obvious that I quickly staked my claim and secured my lithograph!

One bonus of thrift shopping is that the items prompt research. In the case of the lithograph I learned that Sports Illustrated commissioned a set of lithographs, featuring living sports legends. I also learned that 1500 lithographs were done and the plates destroyed after the production. Since these were done in 1974, I daresay there are less than 1500 of these now. Mine was number 894 off the production line.

As if this wasn't enough, I am about to tell you about find number two--That's right! A second treasure was about to appear surface among the discarded.

To understand the significance of this, I must first give a bit of background. As I've mentioned in my info, I am an avid shutterbug. I love photography as well as second-hand shopping. Today, I got to combine BOTH! I have a dear friend who has a birthday this weekend. She recently started quilting. Last week, I created a custom birthday card for her, using one of my photos. The front is a picture of a quilt in progress. The photo is quite ordinary, but it is perfect for my friend. I created this 5 days prior to this unexpected thrift store spree.

Birthday card I created using a photo of a quilt and antique scissors.

Flash forward to today--while galavanting through the store…RIGHT AFTER I secured the amazing lithograph, I come across this:

A print with a quilt theme, and a Bible verse at the bottom! Even though this is not unique like the lithograph, I was moved beyond words when I saw this! How neat is it, that 5 days prior, I made a birthday card with a quilt theme, and then, on my first spree after a hiatus from thrift shopping, I find this?!?! It is the perfect gift for my friend. AND the quilt theme continues!!!

I will conclude with a quick follow up. I gave the card and the picture to my friend. She loved them! I couldn't have planned a more perfect gift for her!  Just goes to show that things can sometimes go better when we stop trying to control all outcomes, and allow things to unfold.  

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