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Second hand Ginny

Published February 05. 2011 09:00AM

There's an old song called "Second Hand Rose" by Hanley and Clark. It was made popular in this century by Barbra Streisand. The lyrics bemoan the fact that the singer doesn't ever get anything new. Even her boyfriend - Jake the plumber - has been married before.

Once, at a show in the Mauch Chunk Opera House, I dressed up as a homeless woman, walked through the audience sweeping the floor, and climbed up on stage to sing 'Second Hand Rose." Even my good friends in the audience didn't know who it was until I started to sing.

I feel a real attachment to that song. Much of my life, I have been surrounded by old furniture, old jewelry, and old clothing. Also, I am the Queen of leftover food. I feel deep pride when I can make a satisfying soup out of a carcass or a casserole dish out of food from containers in the refrigerator.

To be frank, I love buying used stuff. Most old things were made better than the newer items. Plus, consignment clothing is so much more comfortable than the off-the-rack pieces - especially jeans. After I bring it home, wash it, iron it, and hang it in my closet, who cares if someone else has worn it?

Some of our furniture has been around since the Civil War. Sure, the rocking chair might creak a little, but if you were 100 plus years old, you would creak, too. Heck, I'm only 70 and I creak a lot.

One of my favorite pieces of furniture is an old mahogany rocker that came out of a home on "Millionaire's Row" in Old Mauch Chunk (now Jim Thorpe), PA. My Dad brought it home for my mother when she was pregnant with my sister. That rocker has seen many generations of mothers rocking their babies.

Since we moved to On Top of the World, I have noticed that a lot of our neighbors have old furniture and old cars. There's where I part company with them. Old cars just don't manage to stay in the Smith family. We usually buy a new one every 3 or 4 years. We travel long distances often and both of us enjoy riding in a safe, secure vehicle. My husband prefers buying a new car to a used one. Inheriting problems from a previous owner can happen.

There's a consignment shop here in Ocala that has really good quality furniture and clothing. I have visited there a number of times, usually finding something that makes the trip worthwhile. Last time, I discovered two pairs of jeans (in my size, luckily) that have taken me through the winter so far. As the season progresses, I'll visit there again to find shorts for the warmer season.

We also took a bistro table and chair set to the consignment shop and had it sold within a few weeks. We inherited the set when we bought the Ocala house and it just didn't fit our needs.

Some of my readers might be appalled at the notion of wearing used clothing or making meals from leftovers. I am the daughter of folks who lived through the Great Depression. My mother saved everything. She got excited when she found a bargain. In that respect, I am my mother's child.

Mom used to save aluminum foil. She washed it and folded it carefully in the drawer. I don't do that, but I do wash out plastic storage bags (especially the big ones) and re-use those. But, since we bought a Food Saver, we don't need as many of those expensive plastic bags.

So, welcome to my world. I am a "Second Hand Ginny" and proud of it.


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