Whenever I have a free Saturday morning I head out the door early and check out the thrift shops in my area. Sometimes I come home with some good bargains and other times I come home empty handed, but I always meet interesting people along the way. I enjoy the adventure whether I buy anything or not.
I headed out this morning with plans to visit three spots. The first place was a pretty large and well organized shop that was spread out between four buildings; furniture, clothes and accessories, household goods and the last building contained religious merchandise and gifts (this shop was sponsored by a neighborhood church). You took whatever you wanted to buy to the furniture section and paid for it there. I managed to find some good bargains there - a laptop table/desk that I thought my mother would find useful for ten dollars, some office supplies and some kitchenware.
There were two women minding the check out. You could tell they were enjoying their morning as they were busily chatting and joking with each other and the customers. One of the women noticed that I was wearing a brooch in the shape of a butterfly and she exclaimed 'Oh! How pretty! Your butterfly pin is so pretty!' she turned to the other woman and said 'Look! Look at her pin. It's a butterfly!' Then she turned back to me and said 'I make butterflies and give them to everyone I meet' as she pointed to a row of crocheted butterflies laying on the table in front of her. 'I'm going to give you a butterfly. Please take one! Take whichever one you would like!'
I leaned over to have a closer look. The butterflies were made in a simple design with a chained string hanging from the bottom so that they could be used as a bookmark. There were red, green, pink and purple to choose from. I took a purple one. I smiled at her and said. 'God bless you! This is so kind and thoughtful of you.' She smiled back at me. The woman looked to be in her late seventies, she had white and grey hair and was carefully dressed. You could tell by looking at her finely lined face that she was a kind lady who had led a happy life.
'Who taught you how to crochet?' I asked. 'My mother did. When I was a little girl she gave me a hook and some string and taught me how to chain. I chained and chained and chained! I couldn't stop! My mother sent me off to school and I crocheted even while I was studying. I've been chaining ever since.' I smiled and told her how lucky she was to have such good memories of her mother and how wonderful it was that she used what she had learned to give people pleasure. The woman reached into a bag that was next to the table and said 'I want to give you something else.' She held a framed crocheted butterfly. I was so surprised. 'Oh... that's beautiful... it's too much for you to give me. There is so much work in this' She extended her hand and placed it in my hands. 'Yes. Please, please take it. I want you to have it.' she insisted. I looked at her, still surprised by her gift. I reached up and pointed to my brooch 'Would you like my pin?' I asked. 'Oh no! It's much too dear!' she exclaimed. I took it off and handed to to her. 'Please, take the pin. Now, look how nice. We've traded butterflies today.' We smiled at each other. 'God bless you ma'am. Have a lovely day. Have a happy Mother's Day tomorrow!'
I brought the framed butterfly home and hung it on the wall in my bedroom. I have no idea if I will meet the woman from the thrift shop ever again.