The $20 plastic HEINZ Pickle Pin

In my wildest dreams, I would not have imagined that I’d be living the life I am living today. And not because I am fantastically wealthy, Perfectly thin and fit, or because I have an expensive home…

In fact, I am actually quite destitute. Something I hadn’t realized until my Aunt pointed it out to me last month!

My ‘storybook life’ came to a screeching halt almost 2 years ago, when I walked out of a marriage that wasn’t going to work for me.

So began my journey into ‘re-creating’ home decor. Goodbye beautiful, center hall colonial with a huge backyard, three-car garage and swimming pool. Hello little white ranch house with a one-car garage!

The challenge? With zero money to furnish another home, I was in a bit of a jam and found that I needed to be more creative than I have ever been. Instead of this being a negative, I presented it to the children as an adventure.

We wandered through the nearby Craft and Antique Co-Op every weekend. It became our bonding activity. And we had (and still have) an absolute blast ‘finding’ unique items. The Co-op has one of the best selections of used furniture that I’ve ever come across—a playground for me to find items to strip, paint or re-finish. On top of that, there are hundreds of vendors with interesting selections of odds and ends…my son got a giggle out of the very, very old Playboy magazines he found one weekend in a locked case.

Added to my ‘finds’ on those ‘field trips’ to the Co-op, I took ANYTHING that friends, family and neighbors were tossing out, or not using. To the point where they began calling me before getting rid of things and picking up items knowing I could find use for them. Or even re-finishing items for them. And it became FUN.  So much fun, that last month I leased a Booth at the Co-Op. I also began selling items on eBay, going to estate sales, yard sales and auctions. I am always on the hunt for ‘finds.’ I’ve been surprised at how GOOD I am at it.

Had I stayed in my ‘old life,’ I might never have discovered this exciting new path. Every day REALLY is an adventure.

Just yesterday, I was working on my eBay listings. As I sat listing a silly one-inch long, green plastic ‘HEINZ’ pickle pin belonging to my grandfather, a friend called.  (Incidentally, the pin is an old World War II pin worth about $20!) Anyways, my friend found two vintage Art Deco dressers and insisted I come grab one. The price? Free. I will restore it and use it myself or sell it for $150.

My ‘Trusty Honda’ is now called the ‘Honda Pickup’ even though it is actually a Honda Accord. In went the vintage dresser yesterday! I have hauled all manner of dressers, tables, outdoor furniture and more in that vehicle. Larger items such as yesterday’s dresser typically hang out of the back—sometimes with yellow caution tape trailing behind in my wake. I always manage to arrange them in such a way that they cannot fall out, even though some of my ‘finds’ have teetered on the brink.

I will admit to a time or two when the kids slithered down in their seats—hiding. Because they could not believe I was loading something so UGLY!! They are no longer shocked when I turn the “ugly” into pretty.

We’ll see what the coming months bring…but with any luck—and a LOT of hard work, I might find that I have some sort of small business.

At the very least, there will be stories…

3 thoughts on “I’M IN BUSINESS…(Maybe)

  1. Way to go Amy! I love reading your stories and this one is wonderful. Good luck and please let us know where we can find your booth. I believe I am up for a field trip of my own!

    Best of luck!

  2. Thanks so much for the support Sue. I’m beginning to feel like I am getting back ‘into the swing’ of writing again. And I am having fun with it. I’ll get you some details regarding the Co-Op soon…

  3. Aim, You may be financially destitute at this moment, but every day I ADMIRE your talent, creativity, grace, humor and dignity more and more! You will persevere and MAKE IT; The lessons you have taught Katie and Nick will last their lifetime. Great article.

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