The Gremlins lunch box still has its amazing thermos inside. The door on the Fisher Price barn still makes that mooing sound. The Cabbage Patch Kids still smell like baby powder. And the old sewing machine that lifts out of a table — my grandmother had one just like it. It was powered by a lever near your knee. She taught me how to sew on it when I was 10.
Every time I walk into a Goodwill, or log onto their Facebook Marketplace, it’s a trip down memory lane. Not a short path, but a long and winding road to a familiar place where many life experiences would occur.
Do you ever wonder why you get so nostalgic about certain things? What takes you back? Sometimes it can be very random.
I hadn’t thought about the old toy oven I had when I was 7 in years and years. It had been my mom’s before mine. Yes, it worked just like a real oven, and I cooked real food on it in my room without supervision. It was the 70s. Don’t judge.
But when I saw an oven just like it at Goodwill, with its frayed power cord and missing knob, it took all the restraint I had not to buy it. I could fix it! But what would I do with it? Even if it did work (which it didn’t), I don’t often bake cakes the size of a silver dollar or fry up a single chicken nugget. But it’s something about the power of memories that puts immense value on an item that someone else had given away. I had restraint, and let it go.
When strolling through the aisles, I can find a lot of things I need. It’s the items, though, that bring back memories that I really want to take home. Why is that? Isn’t it strange that we can stand in the middle of a thrift store and all the sudden become introspective, analyzing life decisions and points in our lives that were special … or maybe not so special?
One thing I do know, it’s that fond memories are important to hold on to, and sometimes, you should go ahead and buy the oven.