Joy of junking inspires paean to cost-free castaways

The lemon-lime footstool attracted the eye of a man at the gas station.

So my favorite season is here! Junking!

It’s not so much garage sales. It’s not flea markets. It is citywide cleanup days.

I love finding on the curb that perfect item that someone believes is junk. Don’t get me wrong. I have a lot of stuff I pay for, but it’s the thrill of finding something that still has life and needs rescued — and is free!

It’s an art. Timing, tools and a good eye are necessary.

What I don’t need is the stigma that comes with going through someone else’s trash. But I figure that if they didn’t want me to look through it or take it, they wouldn’t put it on the curb.

I have one rule: I always leave a junk pile looking better than it did before I touched it. Those who leave items strewn in a mess are irritants to the seasoned junker.

My largest pet peeve is someone else stopping and looking at the same junk I am. Please, stay in your car until I have my treasurers. Then you can check it out. I’ll be leaving in five to eight minutes.

One of the best curb junkers I know came into my junk store one day. It was very interesting that she gravitated to a piece I had rescued from my apartment’s dumpster.

What is my perpetual question? So if my load is so large that I can’t fit another item on, can I leave a piece already loaded on my truck that is less desirable in exchange? It goes through my mind, but I’ve never done it. That seems a bit over the edge.

The looks I got last night were priceless. I finally told the guy at Casey’s from Marshall County, “Sure, you can buy the lemon-lime footstool.” He ignored me and looked the other way.

Thanks for reading these reflections about my obsession. Gotta go. I have a lot of cleaning, staging and selling to get to.

Alma Blougher Swanson is the owner of Swan Antics at 1226 Second St. in downtown Perry.


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