The next day, after the heart rate of being Junk Drunk had settled down to a level of just over caffeinated, I drove to my favorite top secret junk shop after it had been open for several hours.  I was just intending to breeze through and check if any treasures were still waiting to be discovered after the initial mob had picked over every inch of the store when the shop first opened.

I walked to the back where my favorite sections of the store are grouped together: tools/hardware, sporting goods, luggage and furniture.  Seriously, who are we kidding.  I love every section of this store.

I walked in between the tools/hardware section and the furniture looking back and forth, scanning with the tactics of a total Junkie, when I spotted what looked like an antique typewriter case.  It was locked and, as I was messing with the lock, I glanced up and saw-  what is that?  WHAT IS THAT?!  I went from a relaxed amble to a red alert sprint.

antique, map chest, flat file, thrift shop, junk shopping

It was an antique wooden map chest.

antique wooden map chest, flat file, antique, junk , junk shopping, thrift shop

I ran to it and laid a hand on it as if to tell every other person “DIBS!”  I let out a little involuntary giggle because it reminded me of a never ending fight over the front seat of any given car with my sister.  We would sprint towards the front seat screaming “SHOTGUN!” as if calling it made it now ours (is that just a southern thing?).  But we were both resourceful- if I managed to gain a lead then hair would be grabbed or a body check would send me flying and what I thought was a solid lead and a clear win of the front seat was now lost.

I looked around with what I know was an intense “I will bite you if you come close to my antique map chest” look on my face, trying to find an employee that could officially make this treasure mine. I gave up and started to rummage through my purse for a pen.  No problem.  I would just take care of this by writing SOLD on it with my name underneath.   I had only given the search for a pen half of my attention but was now putting more effort into it.  Does anyone else’s purse turn into a gaping black hole when you need to find something in particular?!  Why is the inside of my purse lined with black?!  I need a flashlight.  I should install a light in my purse!

I was way past Junk Drunk and had arrived at a whole new level.

I was Junk Crazed.

I looked at the price tag and almost cried.  It as so low that I felt like I was ripping off the store.  They had no clue what they had and no one looked past the drab primer gray paint to see the gorgeous piece hiding underneath.

Map Chest Detail

Map Chest Detail 2

I frantically looked around.  Still no employees anywhere.   I kept scanning…

Wait!  Oh, no!  What’s that?!  I swear, I swear, just out of reach, was an oak two drawer filing cabinet just like the four I found the day before!  Oh no.  I looked around at the growing crowd and with growing panic, back at the wooden filing cabinet.  Where were all the employees!?

I still had one hand on the antique map chest but was now reaching out my very short leg to see if I could hook the toe of my shoe on the lip of the underside of filing cabinet top.  It slipped off and I grunted a feral sound of a rabid Junkie.  I looked up because a colorful out of focus blob caught my eye.  A clear plastic baggie full of old pool balls was sitting on a shelf eight feet away.   I cussed.  I know I did because there was no way my other leg could reach eight feet.

I focused back on the wooden filing cabinet and reached out my toe again.  This time it hooked solidly under the cabinet and I started to drag it towards me.


The high pitched screeching noise of the cabinet being dragged across the linoleum floor was deafening and all conversation stopped.  I swear Bon Jovi, over the PA system in the store, stopped singing about prayers to watch the spectacle that was me.  Those employees better be prayin’ right now…

I had a interesting Twister game going on with one hand stuck to the antique map chest and the opposite foot hooked under the wooden filing cabinet dragging it towards me as if I was rescuing it from a frozen hole in the middle of a freezing lake…with only moments left to live.

Do you think I care that people were flat out staring?  No, at that moment and in my Junk Crazed state, all that I was capable of caring about is  (A.) if Bon Jovi miraculously appeared to help me and got me a shopping cart because I forgot one AND  (B.)…if Bon Jovi also grabbed that @#$% bag of pool balls…and those ice skates!

Ice Skates

There was a whole shelf full of white women’s ice skates and black men’s ice skates!  A flash of an idea I saw from last Christmas where some genius used ice skates in a wreath came into my mind and I was sold.

“Can I help you?” I heard behind me.

I turned around- and down- to the cutest little old man holding a clip board ready to help.  AN EMPLOYEE!  I grabbed him up in a hug- my ice skates and pool balls!  I whipped back around to see if a crowd had snatched up my ice skates and pool balls.  Still there- whew!

I turned back to the little old man and said, “I’ll take the map chest, wooden filing cabinet-”  Right then I saw the cutest tiny little old fashioned students desk.  “-and that desk right there!  I’m going to grab those things over there!  Wait!  Can I use your pen real quick?!”  He cautiously handed it to me and I made quick work of writing my name on the price tags of the map chest, wooden filing cabinet and student’s desk then ran to the ice skates and pool balls.  Ooo!  I vintage lantern!  I held four pairs of ice skates, a bag of pool balls and an old blue lantern in my arms and saw a really neat vintage basket.  I dumped all my loot into the vintage basket, grabbed it and ran back to the little old man.  “I’m going to go grab a shopping cart!”  Without waiting for an answer I sprinted towards the front of the store with the vintage basket full of loot flapping beside my fast moving legs to grab a shopping cart.

Basket of Goodies

I dumped my junk in the cart and peeled out as I sprinted back to the little old man at the back of the store.

I screeched to a halt in front of him.  “Listen,” the little old man said, “I’ll stash these three things in the back for you.”  He gestured towards my map chest, filing cabinet and old student’s desk.  I made a noise that I think only a llama makes and grabbed him up again.  This time I started hopping up in down with gratitude then realized what I was doing and set him down before I broke him and had to buy the cute little old man.  Thankfully, he looked amuse and I yelled out a “Thank you” as I sped away to keep shopping.

Shopping Basket 2

At the end of my shopping trip to just this shop, I had found vintage children’s wooden blocks, a metal card file, two wire baskets, a weathered gray wooden basket,

Shopping Basket

 a beat up old toolbox, and a vintage cooler.

…and you  are not going to believe it, but the Junk Crazed shopping wasn’t over yet.

Seriously, don’t miss what happens next…


  1. Shron
    March 5, 2015 at 9:29 pm

    Bernadette, you are a hoot!!

    • Bernadette
      March 6, 2015 at 2:49 am

      Thanks so much- I have such a fun time and I hope it shows!

  2. Jo
    March 6, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    Your posts give me a little chuckle and a big smile!

    • Bernadette
      March 6, 2015 at 2:35 pm

      Jo- I’m so glad you get a kick out of all of the mis-adventures…or else I’d just be laughing by myself and cause a lot of concern ;). Welcome to the craziness!

    • Bernadette
      March 17, 2015 at 12:40 am

      Jo- Thanks so much! I try to make sure there’s a good laugh to be found in all my posts and it’s good to hear that I’m not the only one laughing at my own weird and quirky self 😉

  3. Fonda Rush
    Fonda RushReply
    March 8, 2015 at 10:24 pm

    I love your story! I can’t wait for the next installment! You find the coolest stuff. Here, near Wilmington NC, our shelves always seem bare, and the goodies are far and few between. Thank you for sharing!

    • Bernadette
      March 17, 2015 at 12:39 am

      Fonda- It’s funny you said that about goodies being far and few between- I think that sometimes about Colorado and feel like everything is in California, if Instagram is any indication! Thanks for leaving a comment and following along!

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