out of the bin: volume five

Sometimes things are just staring at me.


Oh, hello there little darling butterfly tray. I think I will put you in Alice's room on the painted table that belonged to my grandma, next to the ikea spice-rack bookshelf and the '70s phone on which we pretend to order sandwiches.


Other times? Things are hidden. Or, more accurately, buried.


And even though it is the easy-to-spot stuff that gives me adrenaline to press on, the little sparkling bits of treasure in the heap of junk keep me coming back.


This chair.  This chair made my jaw drop.  Still does.  Seeing it for the first time felt like opening a birthday present.  But someone else grabbed it first.  We made eye contact, my heart sank, and I walked around the store trying to put it out of my mind.  I was stomach-sick-disappointed and thinking in four letter words.  "WHY didn't I just grab the chair?  WHY?  WHY AM I SO SLOW?  DON'T THINK SO MUCH NEXT TIME, ERIN, JUST GRAB!"  And on and on.

About an hour later I was going through the books and the man who got the chair? He gave it to me.  He GAVE it to me!  "I was just going to sell it anyway," he said, and handed it over.  I know. 

So now this chair reminds me of that one time that guy at the Goodwill Outlet was nice to me and gave me something he got first, fair and square, like a little gift.  I hope it always does.

(Okay fine, it also reminds me to not think-- just grab.  Ha.)

PS. That photo of Alice in the chair was taken on Hal's birthday -- her last day as a two year old. And she chose that book and sat down like that all on her own. No posing or anything. This is just what she was doing, being two years and 364 days old and cute as a button.  I think I need to make a print.


  1. ...and pointing her toes with perfection. as befit anyone who shall sit in that treasure.

    i just discovered yesterday that there is a goodwill outlet 20 min from here. DYING TO GO.


  2. i'm trying to google map it to see how far you are from me so i can come with you sometime to the outlet. it's 8 hours...totally worth it.

  3. Butterfly tray is kee-yuuute! Chair is kee-yuuute!

  4. This post made me tear up.
    Maybe because Alice is so perfect in her one-day from threeness.
    Maybe because you find so many beautiful treasures in those crazy bins.
    Maybe because your grandma's table looks so perfect there with your lovely things.
    Maybe because that man was so purposefully kind...

  5. those bins are out of control! i cannot imagine sorting through that mess with kids in tow, but you clearly show it's worth it:)

  6. One of these days I am going to play along! I have a couple tablecloths I found at goodwill before our cabin trip. Also, been meaning to email you but now that I just have ivy in the day we need to meet half way or something soon?


  7. maybe it's my hormones, but the guy giving you the chair -- thinking about the thought process he must have had -- well, it makes me a little teary and reaffirms my faith in humankind. At least a little bit, just for the afternoon.

    I still remember the post I wrote about Eli's last day of Two. I feel teary about it even now, the day I took my 5 yr old to his pre-k doctor visit and then on a one-on-one date for pizza and ice cream.

    (Oh, good lord I must be hormonal today.)

    I love this post and that you are a treasure finder and collector. I can just picture you as a little girl. xo

  8. this is so super duper cute. the whole post. the chair is perfect and that man? oh i'm just smiling so big.

    and happy birthday to your littles!!! i think i told you, but i'm not really sure - these past few weeks [months? years?] have been a blur. sigh.


  9. I almost fell over when I saw the GIANT "I Can Fly" book. That's one of my all-time faves. I may even write a post about it.

    I am going to try the bins one of these days. I go to Goodwill, but have never been to the outlet.

  10. You have such a good eye for such great stuff that most people would not look twice at! LOVE.

  11. Ahh, how I have to tame the green eyed monster when I read these posts. Are you going to do a link up? I wanted to show you my cosco chair. :)

  12. woman!!! i need to come to your goodwill. i don't have any big fat bins to dig through at mine.
    although i did think of you with my latest find:
    a perfect and impeccable handmade quilt. no stains, no tears. the most fantastic vintage fabrics. only nine dollars.
    i even got a high five from my man when i got home with a look of awe. "well done, baby," he said.
    "i know," i smiled. "i know."

  13. i love your blog! and i adore the treasures you find. the photo with your girl and that book is precious. :)

  14. You got the Monster series books??? I am desperate for these! Still searching... they are wonderful books! what a blessing!