I’m still not sure how I ended up with the gene.
The one that makes you look longingly at trash.
There’s just a little piece of my heart that goes out to something that’s broken and sad or a little neglected. I want to encourage it. I want to lift it up. I want to clean it up and dust it off.
I want to tell it that there is life beyond the dumpster.
I know there are new stores out there full of bright and shiny things. Why have old…people say? Why waste your time with all that dust and chippiness and dings? When you could just have new?
And I like new, too.
I get it.
But the old? The pieces that everyone else overlooks? They have the challenge. They have the realness. They have the history and the character and the authenticity and the lifetime of a life well lived that something new will never understand.
Here are their stories.
You’ll want to read every one.
And just between us?
Don’t take out the trash….
…until you’ve read this post.
This is the ladder from yesterday that inspired this post.
I just brought it in from the trash pile, dusted it off, leaned it up against the wall and added a blanket.
You can read the rest of its story here.
See those architectural pieces on the wall?
The first picture is from my current office and the second picture is from the entryway at the farmhouse.
They were renovating an old house and these were sitting out by the curb in a trash pile. I just brushed them off and sealed them and they’ve been with me ever since.
Never underestimate the power of a piece of trash.
The shelf on the back wall of this bathroom?
It was part of an old built-in that was about to be thrown away. You can still see the little chips at the edge of the corners. We cut it down slightly and created a shelf for the back of the bathroom at the farmhouse.
We added the corbels to make it look more purposeful.
This calendar was made from a forty-pane broken window that I found by the side of the road.
The panes were broken.
The edges were broken.
But all I could think when I saw it was how amazing of a calendar it would be.
You can read its story here.
These are the doors from an thrift store hutch.
My mother-in-law built-in the hutch for storage and they took off the doors.
I hung them on the wall with fall wreaths.
You can read their story here.
I’m not really sure what these were before I met them.
Maybe cabinet door fronts?
I found them and never let them go.
I’ve added them to the built-ins at the farmhouse and hung them on the wall in the kitchen and tied snowflakes on them and hung them in the bathroom with dried eucalyptus tied on with twine.
Nothing says wall art than abandoned cabinet doors.
These two doors still fit together.
I thumbtacked book pages on them and hung them in the upstairs landing and added wreaths to them and hung them downstairs in the living room and placed them in the downstairs bathroom and hung ornaments from them.
But my favorite piece of almost trash?
The one that was lining the drawers of a yard sale dresser?
The one that was overlooked and forgotten about and almost discarded?
These maps of the streets where I live.
You know what is the most interesting thing I discovered when I was researching this post?
The trash that came to visit?
It never left.
Look at all the rooms and all the uses and all the different ways the pieces of trash were used in the house.
They never went away. They just got repurposed and reused and moved from room to room.
So the moral of this trash story?
When you meet a good piece of trash—you’ll have a friend for life.
It’s really hard…
…to keep a good piece of trash down.