Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Small Treats And Doing Something Normal In Covid



" One of the secrets of a happy life is continuous
small treats, and if some of these can be inexpensive
and quickly procured so much the better. "
IRIS MURDOCH, The Sea, The Sea



I haven't gone shopping 'just for fun' since March. It's been only for essentials and basics, so you can imagine what a real treat it was when, after picking up a book on hold at the library, I turned the car towards the Value Village before coming home. Although mainly interested in the book section, I followed the arrows up and down the other aisles along the way, browsing in case something else caught my eye. And there was! A lime green vase and a ceramic fruit bowl, plus I also found a small French-made frying pan in excellent condition, which for $5.99, plus a 30% discount, made it a bargain not to be left behind.




I came home and I was so excited, I had to phone my sister, who kindly indulged me by letting me chatter on about the books and other treats I found. The best treat, though, was to just be out doing something ordinary on a beautiful sunny day with a hint of crisp apple in the air.  It felt almost normal, even with the masks. 




" By small treats, I mean ordinary, minor indulgences that 
we don't give ourselves every single day. Small treats are a lovely
source of momentary pleasure in our everyday lives, of course,
and I think they also have a deeper role to play in happiness. "
GRETCHEN RUBIN
from GH online article 'Spoil Yourself', Aug 2012  


Well known author Gretchen Rubin once asked the question in an online article, why do small treats matter? She said when we feel depleted and drained, when we start to feel exhausted, resentful, even angry, indulging in a small treat helps refresh and energize us. I think we all find that to be true. My thirty minute snoop through the thrift store was such a treat. It boosted my creative energy just to be around other people, just to hear their chatter, just to share the small—or great—pleasure of snooping through a thrift store on the hunt for a treasure. Even if we had to social distance and wear masks, it gave me a sense of being wildly alive in my world again.  




Everything I bought was a bargain. I didn't notice until I got home that the amiable young lady at the checkout gave me a 30% seniors discount--woohoo--which truly made it bargain city indeed. Of course there is the downside, I mean, she didn't ask if I was a senior, she just gave it to me. It had to have been my eyebrows, which to my chagrin, are turning grey on me. I'd forgotten to give them a colouration before I went out. And, what with wearing my mask, all anyone sees of our faces now are the eyes and those grey straggles in my eye brows standing out. Yes, that must have been it (wink). On second thought, who cares, eh?

As the young woman cashed out my items, the pair of us had a lovely chat about the books, she looked at the Elie Wiesel book Night and remembered reading it in school and that it was a great book, even if it was a hard story about the author's experience being with his father in the Nazi German concentration camps at Auschwitz and Buchenwald. We both agreed we should read some of these hard stories, to be witnesses to them, even if they are hard; after all, we are only hearing the story, not living through it like they had.

That tiny exchange left its mark in my mind, on my day. It was all part of the treat of a spontaneous visit to the thrift store.




On that note,  I'm off to read some books, snip a fresh fistful of sweet peas for my new vase, maybe make an omelet in that new-to-me frying pan. I'm wishing you a beautiful day....and I hope you have at least one treat to mark the day.

* * *

Heart Hugs,
Brenda
xox 


48 comments:

  1. What a happy post. I felt like I got all those small treats myself: the vase, the bowl, the books, even the conversation with the cashier. Love that little green vase!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, thank you! Glad we can share the treats, it doubles the joy!

      Delete
  2. I love your bowl and vase! If any shopping could be called "shopping therapy," that was it :-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. As always, Brenda, a visit to your blog brings beauty to my day! Such a charming post. I agree with you about just getting out and doing something fun. How we are all missing those things---even we home-bodies, who prefer being home to being anywhere else. A couple Saturdays ago, my daughter and I meandered around Hobby Lobby for an hour. We had to wear masks, which are annoying and hot, but it was worth it just to be "shopping" together.

    Blessings to you,
    Patti

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How lovely that you and your daughter could wander around Hobby Lobby. Browsing is a lot of fun in a craft store, so many fun things to look at. I used to enjoy the embroidery cotton section -- loved to see all the colours (I don't embroider much now). You find the masks annoying in your summer heat, and I'm wondering how masks will work come winter when cold air meets warm breath over fogging eyeglasses. It may try the patience of Job. haha

      Delete
  4. Those are lovely treats. Being with other people for just a short while is a treat. Have you read the other Irish Doctor books? I read The Ladies' Lending Library. I tend to read books about books, libraries and bookshops.Helen MacInnes is a name that I used to see on my parents' bookshelf. On eyebrows, I used to tint mine but my hair is white. Black eyebrows look too harsh to me now but a friend says, "Tint!" Enjoy your treats.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I have read several Irish Doctor books, including the Christmas one, which I loved. I bumped into these in the middle of the series, so I'm glad each book can stand alone, although it's nice to read in order eventually. On the eyebrow issue, black is too harsh for me too, but a soft brown tint will do the job.

      Delete
  5. I felt your delight as I read of your foray back into "normal" life! How much we took for granted before the virus affected our world! I am hoping to remember that lesson in easier times . . .

    Such an interesting idea . . . that of "small treats" as refreshing and energizing. A thought to ponder.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lovely to see you, Cheryl. I have indeed found small treats refreshing and energizing. And it doesn't have to cost a lot -- even the anticipation of a little break after a busy morning with a cup of tea and a little bite of something buoys the heart.

      Delete
  6. I love the fruit bowl! I've been to a few yard sales this month. I feel a little better browsing outside with masks. And yard sales have the best deals.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love the fruit bowl too. I saw it and immediately popped it into the basket. I'm glad you've had a chance to visit a few yard sales. Outdoors is good. Thanks, Jenny, for stopping by.

      Delete
  7. I’ll have to borrow the book by Wiesel some time!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Normal life is very elusive these days, especially when out of the house. Since Tim has gone to work every day since the start of this, his life hasn't changed much. I felt very alone those first months while teaching from home and small treats were important to me. The Iris Murdoch quote is one that I've had in my quote book for many years - I'll add Gretchen Rubin's to it now. I have some errands to run this morning and you've inspired me to stop by a thrift store to see what I might find. A delightful small treat.
    I laugh at myself for before leaving the house I always put on lipstick. These days, with masks, who cares?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I, too, still put on my lipstick; I know it's there -- boosts morale. Haha Thanks, Lorrie, for stopping by. I hope you find a little treasure at the thrift store.

      Delete
  9. How wonderful that you were able to be out and treat yourself to some “retail therapy!” I must examine your book titles! Stay safe!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nellie, A little retail therapy goes a long way :).

      I might have read An Afternoon Walk by Dorothy Eden as a teen. The 1970s front cover feels familiar. It's listed as a modern Gothic which I loved immersing myself in those days. I read The Name of the Rose a long time ago, but I don't recall the story anymore; I know people who have recommended it over the years, so I thought I'd try it again. Looking forward to reading the others as well.

      Delete
  10. That's a very nice selection of books you found! New books are always an exciting treat:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. we'll add them to the waiting to be read pile -- haha!

      Delete
  11. The excitement of going out! It is so true, we are doing something that has become out of the ordinary in our lives. and as you said....'doing something ordinary on a beautiful day' is so very refreshing, lifts the spirits indeed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm still walking in that feeling of that day even several days later. Refreshing indeed.

      Delete
  12. I so loved this... It reminded me of something my blogging friend Karen used to say: In difficult times, give a gift. I was thinking of doing some much needed shopping today. I talked myself out of it because I have become such a hermit. Maybe I'll try again tomorrow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a good saying by your friend Karen. Gifts make room for themselves -- they are a gift indeed and bring so much more to the table than just the item itself. Affection and thoughtfulness and kindness on the one hand; joy and comfort and the sense of feeling loved and remembered on the other hand.

      I hope your shopping trip, once you go, will prove to be enjoyable and a delight.

      Delete
  13. I can feel the happiness in your life, just by reading this post. It is wonderful to get out and do 'normal' again.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Brenda, I have just finished the "The Irish Country Girl" by Patrick Taylor. I will be on the hunt for more of his books. I have been avoiding thrift shops as they tend to be crowded. I have found several great books in community small libraries! Love the green vase. Sylvia D.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had no interest in going shopping to a mall or the thrift store for months for that reason of staying away from crowds at this time. But when I stopped the other day, it was the 'right' timing. No crowds, just a few folks in there enjoying their browsing. I do like Patrick Taylor's Irish Country books, he lives out on the West Coast these days, from what I've read.

      Delete
  15. Oh, Brenda. I had fun in the thrift store with you. I will check out your book selection, you always steer me in the right direction with books. I can not believe you have sweet peas in August, I am so jealous. But I certainly enjoyed seeing them in their lovely vase.

    Have a wonderful day and weekend ahead. Stay well and savor your sweet treats!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now, wouldn't that be fun to go thrift shopping together! I have a bouquet on my desk of sweet peas, and I shall think of you, Sandra, each time I give them a sniff. :)

      Delete
  16. I'm one of those people whose heart quickens when I see a stack of books in the small picture in my blogroll of a blog friend's new post so I gladly headed here! And these are mostly new authors to me although I remember loving Dorothy Eden's book. And Helen Macinnes's exciting books! I've jotted down some others on my Brenda from Canada book list.

    I love the Murdoch quote and how fitting to your post today. Your lime green vase is one of my favorite greens! I would be excited about the French frying pan too. I do miss conversations with strangers in stores. We had downtown doctor appointments yesterday and it was wonderful to chat with our doctor who tells the best stories and even lingering at the checkout desk talking with several office staff. I followed that with actually going inside the grocery store with RH and shopping for myself for the 2nd time during this stay at home era. It was fabulous even if my basket was full of things that my husband would not have splurged on by himself! Maybe next week I'll make a quick dash in and out of a local thrift store.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You made me smile, Dewena. In truth, it felt just like a chat we might have had in person. I'm pretty sure I read Dorothy Eden in my youth (I used to love scaring myself with those English Gothic novels), so I look forward to reading her along with the others, see if I still enjoy her writing. // It's my hubby who has done most of the grocery shops these past months, and so I can completely relate to your own shopping outing and picking up those items that your RH would not have splurged on. Rick tends to stick to the list, no sidetracking, so unless treats are specifically on the list, none 'accidentally' find their way into the cart. I asked for Revels one day, and he brought the really good ones, which I have thoroughly enjoyed. Ebb and flow, ebb and flow. It's all good.....Wishing you a great day!

      Delete
  17. My dear Brenda. What a lovely post. Lots of flowers, too. I have been quite remiss in keeping up with blog posts of late, as you can well imagine. Yours are always such breaths of fresh air. I love them. Sadly, I missed the giveaway. But I'm still happy for the winners. Brenda, THANK YOU SO MUCH for the lovely card. What a wonderful surprise that was, my dear friend. Take care and enjoy those "new to you" treasures. I've made it into a couple of thrift stores myself. Always come out with a smile and new-to-me things. Hugs to you, Brenda. REAL hugs, not COVID self-hugs. ha haha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Susan, Thank you so much for stopping by....and for your lovely comments. I'm glad to hear the card arrived safely. Yes, real hugs, not Covid self-hugs. Susan Branch mentioned on a recent Zoom event that it was the hugs from friends that she missed the most in these isolating-distancing times.

      I wish you much grace for these days.
      Brenda xox

      Delete
  18. Beautiful post! I was so excited to see your stack of books. Which one are you reading first?

    I bought myself a new bottled tea from the Japanese market this morning. That's my treat. :) Have a blessed Thursday!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your bottled tea from the Japanese market, now that sounds a really nice treat for yourself.

      It's really hard to decide which book to read first, I keep dipping into one and then another, they all call my name. But truth is I'm really drawn to Elie Wiesel's Night. It was the winner of the 1986 Novel Peace Prize. I feel like my heart is in a place to hear what he had to say. // I'm currently reading Louise Penny's latest Inspector Gamache novel, A Better Man, because her newest one, set in Paris, France, is about to be released next week. I'm getting ready for it.

      Delete
  19. I love and miss thrift-shopping. I've been to one local one since March but that's it...and didn't find any books;-? wow! you found some neat treasures! Your book An Afternoon Walk caught my attention right away! Thrift stores are the best because we never know what we will find!! enjoy! I like the quotes too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Janet, I gravitated to that very 1970s look of the cover for An Afternoon Walk. It reminded me of my teen years and the avid reading I did of all sorts of mysteries, old Gothic novels, and romances. I'll let you know how it turns out. Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  20. Brenda this was a perfect post for me today...I needed to read that it was necessary to treat ourselves once and awhile. One of my treats was visiting you. Take care and have a great weekend. Hugs!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad you stopped by Debbie for a treat. Oh yes, I think treats help keep us sane in our insane world.

      Delete
  21. I know exactly what you mean! About being able to go shopping again just for the fun of it. When I get to feeling confined and cranky, I decide it must be time to visit the thrift shop -- even finding one small treasure fills my heart with happiness. Thank you so much for sharing your joy, Brenda.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lovely to see you here, Marigold! To find even one small treasure is like gold for the heart and happiness. I hope you are having a pleasant weekend.

      Delete
  22. I'm a firm believer in small treats! How wonderful to have a new stack of books to read. I read Night a few years ago, very good. Your other selections look good too. Books and flowers, treats indeed! It IS nice to get out isn't it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Deborah, it really is nice to get out. Happy to see you around and about here too! Thanks for stopping by.

      Delete
  23. Such fun, and so lovely! I also enjoy a quick trip to the thrift store just down the road. Your book selection looks excellent.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What fun to have a thrift store just down the road - that means you can pop in there anytime. Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  24. What a lovely post! It sounds like a wonderful little treat ~ I miss the little things the most right now. Love your finds, too.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I love the quotes about small treats! I agree! It is a real treat to do something 'normal.' Love your delight in the books you found!

    ReplyDelete

To My Beautiful Readers,

Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same. ~ Franz Peter Schubert

Thank you so much for leaving your 'footprint' here in my comment box. I do appreciate you taking a moment to share your thoughts today.

Brenda xox

PS. I do not always comment here, but I do look forward to coming and visiting you....