“The thrift store, Second Chances, was more like a small, upscale vintage boutique. Carol, the owner, created stunning outdoor displays. A wooden tea cart lined with crocheted doilies held a porcelain teapot and a few delicate china cups. Tiny silver spoons scattered about complemented the flowered, decoupage wood grain on the cart. Off to the side stood an old dressmaker’s form, fitted with a vintage floral print apron.” ~ Shattered Guilt
Is there anything in that photograph that draws you? Something you can’t live without? When I searched for a book cover for my second book in the Bay Town Series, Restored Grace, I found this photo and fell in love with it. That was before I knew that my publisher would be doing all the covers. But, this scene perfectly depicts my imagination of Carol, the owner of Second Chances. It’s one of the shops on Main Street in Bay Town, just a few doors down from Melanie’s wedding shop. They become friends, but I’ll clue you in more about Carol later.
STUFF AND JUNK
One of my favorite things to do, and we do it regularly, is thrift store shopping. Seriously, nearly everything in my house is a second-hand treasure. I used to go in blind, but nowadays, I shop with a plan for more practical stuff, yet one-of-a-kind things. Currently, I love retro!
Although we often visit a giant warehouse hosted by a church, and I like supporting a ministry, it’s the little shops that I love. When we travel, I drag my husband into every little shop I can find, especially the ones in small towns with tree-lined streets and old brick structures. They pull me in. The only thing I don’t like is the smell. But I can overlook the slightly musty, used clothing aroma…most of the time. Anyway, I love meeting the owners or employees, who are often knitting or chatting with a local person. Since my husband is a people person, to put it mildly, he strikes up a conversation or joins the one in progress, leaving me to browse. I usually don’t buy anything, but I sure like to dream.
Consequently, we took a get-away to a quaint town called Solana Beach, and inside a coffee shop was a little alcove thrift store. It was more cottage-chic than wild like Second Chances, but I got so many ideas for my “She Shed” that sits out behind our house. It’s my tea-house get-away, but the grandkids are claiming it for their playhouse.
Wild and Free
A brass butterfly hair clip held back Carol’s long, faded-red hair. Loose streaks of gray escaped and floated about her face. Her teal, paisley-print maxi skirt, and a pashmina shawl completed the boho-chic outfit. Add to that a surplus of bangles and dangling jewelry that tingled like music accompanying a belly dancer. ~Shattered Guilt
Carol was a favorite character in my critique group, even with all her faults. In other words, everyone secretly loves a free spirit, right? Take a look at the picture at the top of this post again. Notice the compatible colors of aqua and orange. However, it’s the wild ensemble of prints on flowing dresses that call to me. Did you notice the jacket with the tiger on the back? It’s staring back at you. I love the whole look, right down to the big leather saddle taking center stage. Similarly, Carol wears colorfully tooled cowboy boots that match her wild and free spirit perfectly.
As much fun as Carol has in life, like all of us, she has regrets. Fortunately, like the name of her store, God is all about second chances. I love that. God knows! I’ve needed a cat’s nine lives in my life, and His graciousness has never failed. The loving sacrifice of Jesus’ atonement brings me to my knees. Why, LORD? Why did you choose me? I used to ask, and I remember a friend’s mother saying, “Well, it’s not for anything you’ve done. But because He loves you.” Whoa, that humbled me but reinspired my desire to live my life all for God’s glory. Unfortunately, I often fail, but then again…Second Chances. Grab hold of His hand. With him, we can be wild and free! Amen.
Where are we going tomorrow? I’m not sure, but I promise it will be fun. Join me.