Bargains and a barn

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Last weekend was beautiful. Really beautiful. Not like winter at all here in Maryland, with abundant sunshine and temperatures in the 50s and a glorious hunt of spring to come. (In six more weeks, apparently.)

When we ran out Sunday to complete a Craigslist transaction (always nerve-wracking, but we meet folks in very public locations — and this man turned out not to be a serial killer, thankfully), Spencer and I swung into a local barn renovated to hold . . . well, to hold junk. I don’t know how else to explain it. It’s a combination of a thrift store, salvage shop and last-resort home for stuff no one else wants.

My husband can’t get enough of it.

Spencer leaves no box unturned, no screw unscrewed. A yard sale devotee and serious handyman, Spence loves the thrill of the hunt — and in the dead of winter with no Saturday morning sales in sight, we tend to pop into places like the Bargain Barn more often.

I used to dread going into places like that . . . out of pure snobbery, I guess. I just didn’t “get” the allure of pawing through others’ discarded ephemera, seeking this or that at a discount. I never found anything. I never really looked.

But Spencer has introduced me to the wide world of treasure-hunting. We all know the saying, right? One man’s trash . . . ? I didn’t believe it until recently, but I’m starting to see the light. I haven’t found anything life-altering, but I have found a skein of hard-to-find Christmas yarn (woo!), some books, nice artwork. We came across some Ethan Allen nightstands Spencer lovingly refinished years back for our bedroom, plus an assortment of tools he wanted at a steep discount.

The Bargain Barn isn’t quite the haven of disaster I once fashioned it, and I really do enjoy the feeling of giving used items a new home — and second chance. Though I’m not the craftiest of folks, I’ve been spending lots of time hovering around home blogs and see the value in repurposing, freshening up something old again.

Giving new life to things as we build our new life.

And who knows what we’ll find next time?


Sidenote: My normal Twosday/Wordless Wednesday posts should resume in coming weeks. I wasn’t feeling well some of the weekend and without my camera, so inspiration has been a little lacking. But I’m hoping to pull myself together here shortly!


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14 Comments

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14 responses to “Bargains and a barn

  1. I love places like that, just to see what I can find, most is not great but sometimes you find some real gems!

    • Meg

      Absolutely true! I’m trying to hone my skills to be better about finding the real gems . . . but I suppose I need more practice.

  2. I struggle in places like that but my sister always leaves with a treasure. I just don’t have a good eye.

    • Meg

      I have a hard time with that too, Kathy. I do much better if I go in with a plan — for example, some kind of artwork for the hallway — and can better envision things in that way. But to just browse around? Overwhelming. I feel the same way in home stores and IKEA, too!

  3. I always wonder where all that *stuff* comes from and how it ended up there. A good bargain is a bonus!

    • Meg

      Me too, Tara! Everything has a story. Just like finding old notes or postcards in library and secondhand books . . . so interesting.

  4. I’m not a particularly crafty person, sadly. But I do enjoy checking out places like this! It’s even more fascinating to read about people who find stuff at these places and turn them into awesome pieces for their homes :)

    • Meg

      Oooh, yes — I love that, Alexa! I’ve gotten inspired by reading posts from blogs like Young House Love, especially because they show you both what they’ve done and how they’ve done it (in very helpful terms!).

  5. I love thrift shopping. I’ve gotten so many great deals. Plus, it’s always fun to think about who had this item before.

    • Meg

      The hidden history of items is very cool, Natalie — totally agree! Sometimes I find little clues (like the name and hearts scratched into a drawer in the nightstands we thrifted, which we left during the refinishing process). Very fun to repurpose!

  6. I wish we had more options for ‘bargain’ shopping around here. It can be a fun way to spend the day.

  7. Yay Spence! (don’t you just love saying, “my husband”?)
    I loooooove bargain hunting like this too.

  8. If he has a talent for rescuing old things and making them new and beautiful, you are a lucky girl!