Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Scent of Old Men

As the weather outside warms, the sweaters at thrift stores go on sale. In order to get felt for craft purposes I buy the 100% wool sweaters and run them through the washing machine and dryer.

Recently one of the hospice thrifts had 5 plastic totes full of sweaters priced at a dollar a sweater. Digging through the bins 6 sweaters had adequate wool content to come home with me.

Three of the darker colored sweaters were men's sweaters and went in the washer with my blue jeans and dark socks. As the machine filled with hot water, the scent of their previous owners wafted out.

The vibe and the product at hospice thrifts is a little different than Goodwill and Salvation Army. Goodwill and Sally Ann's have the cast offs of yard sales, spring cleaning and moving. They have kid stuff, aged impulse buys and plastic galore. Hospice thrifts hold the leftovers of an older demographic, often the belongings of former hospice clients. You are often buying things that once belonged to people that are no longer with us, dead people.

With that thought running through my head, thinking I may be one of the last people to smell these guys was an oddly reverent moment. I waited for the washer to fill entirely before closing the lid and walking away.


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