I walked in the door coffee in hand and something felt wrong. It was almost like someone had been talking about me, I thought maybe I need to put the coffee down.I had a little time to kill and and stopped at a charity shop to browse. I had never had a reception like that before, so thinking I had broken some unwritten rule I asked, is everything ok? The answer surprised and delighted me. sheepishly one of the volunteers produced a multi coloured wooden horse from behind her back and said well I was just going to take my horse for a gallop. I instantly answered be my guest I can think of nothing better on a cold Waikato day, so to my delight she did, she hopped on that stick horse and galloped that bad boy all around the shop to accompanying neighs from the horse and laughter from those of us there to witness it, she then headed off for lunch, it was a moment in time when someone danced like no-one was looking (or in this case just perhaps relived a bit of her childhood).
One of the markers in an economy that is struggling is to look at the cost (or price ) of second hand items. Many charities in New Zealand run opportunity shops to help fund their work, the charity dollar is hard to find however what we see is an increase in the value of second hand items. It does seem outrageous at times the prices that are asked for some items. I have had to shop at thrift stores over the years for various reasons, they used to be places to go if you did not have enough money, many of them have become extremely commercial enterprises with prices not far from new, one I visited the other day even had a loyalty scheme, where if you spent 100.00 you got a 10.00 voucher to spend!
I pop into local shops often, usually to see if there is school shoes available, not for my children but I give them to my local high school where I work so kids can have shoes. Even these can be really expensive beyond my pocket at times. I get it that they are trying to raise funds but there is a whole legion of people out there who shop in charity shops because they need to, however they would rather heat needles and place them in their eyes than admit it and or ask for special treatment. For me I don’t mins admitting that I bought something at a charity shop just a matter of fact for me. I however have despaired at times when I have been really broke, and had to contemplate buying underwear second hand. I could have asked for assistance but for me it was embarrassing, the face of charity can be very cold and judgmental at times.
But enough of that, it was a celebration of life today as this delightful woman rode her horse around the shop, it took me back to memories of my children’s childhood and my own it could have only been made better by the addition of a cap gun and perhaps an Indian or two and some home made bow and arrows, it was a scene redolent of another time and place, a timely reminder that sometimes it is the simple things in life like a ball of string, a cardboard box, a pair of scissors that can provide hours of fun and fire up imagination. As a writer imagination is important to me, it also helps me when things seem bleak, it allows me to escape sometimes for just long enough to forget the drudgery that life can be sometimes.
So grab that horse ride it hard and celebrate life,