?`s and ANNEswers

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Stuff Swap

Today I attended the second annual stuff swap at the home of a friend. Based on its success, I am sure there will be third and a fourth, etc.

The concept is simple. Each attendee brings three things that she (So far it’s all women, but that could change next year.) doesn’t need or want anymore but doesn’t just want to send to Goodwill. There’s nothing wrong with Goodwill, but sometimes a certain item comes with an emotional attachment and knowing that some other acquaintance might want it helps ease the pain of parting.

Adding a little history to the event, each guest tells how she originally came by the object. Was it a gift? A souvenir of a trip? Something found in emptying a parent’s basement? A frivolous purchase?

After everyone finishes, attendees have a certain amount of time to review the items on display and claim them by putting their initials on a sticker affixed to them. What isn’t reclaimed goes to a garage sale, when someone is having one soon, or to Goodwill.

Last year I took home a planter for African violets that belonged to Gail; I must say my one African violet is extremely happy these days. And I took a vase that belonged to Sue. It graces our entry. This year, I found a pair of gloves and a hat that are perfect for Earl. They came from Pat’s husband.

Sondra claimed a teapot to add to her already impressive collection. She also grabbed some beautiful yarn that previously belonged to Alice. Sue settled on a charming bird house, and Cheryl took a handmade stool that will double as a little table or planter stand.

Of course, there were things that didn’t find new homes. The bread maker, the Eggies®, the hot pink flamingoes. So they will seek new lives elsewhere, and I hope they bring pleasure to whoever ends up with them.

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