Secondhand Stories: I Found All the Answers at Goodwill

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There’s a big new Goodwill store that’s about halfway between the city apartment and the Dream House. No matter which direction I’m going, whether to or fro, I make a point of stopping at this particular Goodwill. It’s a big store, nice and clean in its newness, and I usually find at least one interesting thing. On yesterday’s visit that interesting thing was this answer canister.

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This particular Goodwill doesn’t have a very good furniture selection so I usually breeze past the ugly sofas and country-style gliders and head straight for the shelves stocked with kitchen wares and small home accessories. I’ve been able to outfit the kitchen in the Dream House with essentials, like a single serving coffeemaker and a big stainless steel colander. I’ve also been picking up a lot of canisters and planters here. I think I see a burgeoning obsession setting in. I’ve already purchased three different Haeger planters in the past month. And then there’s all of the amateur pottery and canisters that has been catching my eye.

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When I saw this little canister yesterday I almost passed it up. Do I really need another cork topped canister? I asked myself. But with the ANSWERS emblazoned across the front of it was calling out for me to bring it to the Dream House. It reminds me of  Jonathan Adler’s whimsical work. And then I opened the canister and that was all I needed to see. This $2 canister had to come home with me.

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The answer canister is full of fortune cookie fortunes and a coupon for a free hug. Yep, that’s all I needed to see to seal the deal. Of all the fortunes in the canister, there’s one in particular that feels especially fitting for my own life. It’s also the only one that’s laminated. It reads, “Wise men learn from other men’s mistakes; fools learn by their own.” Thank you, answer canister. That’s just what I needed to hear read.

I don’t know if I’ll leave the fortune cookie bounty in the canister or use it for something else. I’m leaning toward the latter. Maybe we’ll use it as a money jar or for storing tea. For now, the answer canister is sitting on the desk in the writing room, ready to provide words of wisdom whenever necessary.

— J. Blandings

Images: Mr. and Mr. Blandings

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