What is a monkeybox?

When I was a little girl, we had a pet monkey named Amanda. My Dad worked in the produce business, so each night he brought home that days culls in a big box - spotty cucumbers, pithy apples, limp celery, moldy oranges and the like. We called it a monkeybox. It was really just trash, but my Mom would take each piece of fruit and trim it, pare it and cut it up to make a beautiful fruit platter for Amanda. Even though it was deemed trash by one, it still had life left in it and was good for the purpose we needed it. That's how I live my life - thrifting, yard saling, looking for another's trash to be my treasure.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Sunday Picking - Family Style

Today we went to visit my Dad.  He still lives in the house where we moved to in 1972 when we moved to Arkansas.  Have you ever seen in movies when the 35 year old person goes home to visit their childhood home and their room still looks like it did when they lived there complete with school awards on the wall, stuffed animals on the bed and all the usual teen aged posters adorning the walls?  Well, my old room is so not like that.  I took all my stuff when I moved out when I was 18 years old.  I like my stuff.  (Yes, you are shocked to read that, I know!)  In fact, to prove my point, here is what my old room looks like now.  

Be sure to enlarge that to get the full effect - a bar, a bartender and waitress, scantily clad beer salesladies, light up palm tree, a collection of Playboy magazines, liquor and beer paraphernalia, a disco ball and strobe light, poker table, craps table, and a fully decorated Christmas Tree in the window.  He calls it the "Holiday Bar" and has things from every holiday on display along with his yard sale and scavenged items.   

Oh, did I mention Drunk Santa?  That's the life sized Department Store Display Santa I bought at a yard sale one day for $5.00.  I din't have room for him and my Dad likes quirky stuff, so he plopped him in his convertible and drove up the highway with him.  He told me that at the intersection up the road, a lady jumped out of her car and ran up to take photos of him.  

So, today he says, "Let's look in the attic."  He only remembered  some of those big old glass Coke bottles from the 19970's being up there and I had no memory of anything ever going up there.  But we pulled down the ladder to have a look.  
The Breadman went up first.  He pulled down a couple of pairs of roller skates.  OH MY GOD.  Those blue and yellow roller skates were on my feet every waking minute that I was outside.  WARNING:  Anyone under the age of 25 will not understand the context of the next sentence.  I would set up my boom box and play a cassette tape and roller skate up and down the driveway over and over and over.  All day, every day.    I actually have no memory of those red, white and blue skates, but I think they will look super nifty on the porch this summer with my patriotic stuff.  
Next he handed me these skates that were my Mom's.  (I'm not sure if I have ever blogged about my life at the Skating Rink.  It was my entire life during my teen years.  My life was at the skating rink, my friends, my crushes, my tears, my joys.  I was a speed skater and I LOVED to skate.  Any song from 1978 to 1988 gives me a skating rink memory).  Anyway, I was just thinking the other day about these pompoms that you could buy to put on your skates.  They came in every color of the rainbow and they cost $1.00.  Every Friday night when I got to the skating rink, I would change out the pompoms on my skates to match my outfit (DeeCee Painters Pants and a matching striped polo).  If, by some terrible circumstance, I didn't have a matching pair of pompoms, I would go buy a pair.  I had a ton of them and I was wondering what on earth I ever did with them.  So, finding this pair made me quite happy.  I am hoping that I can wash them and fluff them back up again.  

The Breadman says he only see two more things and proceeds to hand me down a blue skateboard.  OH MY GOD.  I forgot I had a skate board!! Then he handed me a PINK skateboard!  OH MY GOD.  A PINK skateboard.  I remember riding my skateboard up and down the driveway too, but my skates always won out.

Since The Breadman said he didn't see anything else, he came down and I went up for a look.  Well, I tried to go up.  I went up about three rungs and I sort of froze.  The ladder was creaking and it was a long way up and my knees didn't seem to want to pull me up.  But, I went up a couple more rungs and then I could reach the handrail so I pulled myself all the way to the top.  When I got up there, I looked down and nearly freaked because I was so high up.  I envisioned myself not being able to get down and the fire department having to send a rescue unit out to get me.  I slowly looked on the other side of the opening and shone the flashlight in the darkness and yelled, "My WHOLE childhood is up here"!  And, before I knew it, I have one leg up inthe attic and one foot barely hanging off the rung and I had a garden hoe trying to reach waaaay across the rafters trying to snag things.  The Bean said at one point I was just sort of levitating up there and my Dad had to leave the garage because he couldn't look at me up there.  

As I started tossing things down, he told me to come down.  It was too far up, the ladder wan't safe, it was getting hot, I was getting dirty, etc  I told him, "Are you kidding me?  I do this in strangers junk all the time.  This is like the best Sunday pick EVER!"
I vaguely remembered playing in these old metal snowshoes.  I brought them home to put on the porch this Winter.  I would have bought them at a Yard Sale if I would have seen them.  My Dad found the old orange crate in his childhood home when we toured it right before they demolished it to make a parking lot.

These boards were attached to metal frames that neither my Dad or I remembered.  They looked like old chalkboard frames, but I don't think we ever had anything like that.  The boys unscrewed them from the metal frames and I brought the boards home.  I put them on top of the old window frames I have hanging in the living room.  You can see one of the giant old Coke bottles that my Dad remembered too.  We found a bunch of them, but I only brought one home to hold an impromptu bouquet.  (Also pictured, a cool old picnic basket that I do not remember.  We obviously never used it since it was sitting in the attic.  But, its a picnic basket and I love my Picnic baskets!)

I couldn't believe it when I pulled out this old Lemon-Aid stand sign.  Why on earth did we save it?  And, 15¢?  What a deal!  :)  Check out my mad coloring skillz on that 15¢.
I really enjoy the fact that my depiction of a glass of lemonade eerily resembles my Dad's big glass mug of beer.  I remember having a lemonade stand one summer.  We lived out by the lake and we had a lot of traffic.  I set up my stand one day and waited for customers.  Later that afternoon, it was nearly time for my Dad to come home.  I saw our little red VW bug come over the crest of the hill and I ran to the edge of the driveway jumping up and down, waving my arms all excited for my Dad to see the Lemonade stand my Mom and I had set up.  The VW slowed down and pulled into the driveway.  But, it wasn't my Dad.  It was a guy about 18 years old or so.  He bought a glass of lemonade from me, handed me a dollar and told me to "Keep the change"!  I've always remembered that.  I guess he thought I was really an exuberant youndglemonade saleslady.

My greatest find was this:
My Hoppity Horse!   

I had this in Kansas and it came to Arkansas with us.  I remember bouncing through the house on it and in the yard on it.  I've always remembered my Hoppity Horse.  I assumed he was in the landfill LONG ago.  But, the second I spied that glint of red handle in the attic, I KNEW it was my Hoppity Horse.   I yelled MY HOPPITY HORSE and about vaulted over the edge of the attic opening. You know that feeling when you find something when you are out thrifting and you remember having one like it or your Grandmother had one like it?  Well, I had that exact feeling except I knew it wasn't "like" one I had.  It WAS mine.  He was surprisingly plump with air after nearly forty years in the attic.  Really, it was like finding a long lost friend.  I have no idea what to do with a Hoppity Horse at my age, but you KNOW he is at my house with me.  

I had a fun day, did some picking and junking, brought home family memories, spent zero money and had a good day.


  1. Shara that is like the best pick ever! Your own childhood memories! Awesome!

  2. This was so much fun to read! Roller skating was the best! Just today the song "Mickey" came on and I said to my sister...Oh my gosh! What does this remind you of? And of course she said "The Roller Rink"!
    Happy you found your own stuff!
    Erica :-)

  3. Great post - picking at home is often the best!! Because there's just so many memories...

  4. Must have been like a dream! Love your lemonade sign!

  5. What fun! We moved so much when I was a kid that there is no place where I could go and find a repository of so many memories like this. I think you ought to air up Hoppity and make a video riding him in your driveway.

  6. I LOVE this! What fun treasures. How lucky you are that your Dad kept all that stuff!

    PS--I am TOTALLY buying skates for Maren this summer.

  7. Do you know that you are so lucky to be able to go up into an attic and rediscover your childhood. We moved every three years and childhood memories like that were never kept. (perhaps why I collect like I do now)
    fun post!

  8. Yellow was the only color pom-poms I ever had for my skates... O.M.G. ~ The memories... Dancing Queen...

  9. Wow, if you had listened to the breadman when he said he didn't see anything else...pffft. YOU found the best stuff and it didn't cost you a penny, best kind of deal.

  10. Shara, Those hard plastic skateboards are coming back. My boys both have a "Penny" board, and those things are $100.00 each! LOL Your "room" sure has changed, I remember how it use to look!

    1. by the way, this is Susan B. I took a class years ago and we had to set up "blog" as part of the class instruction, I knew it would come in handy 6 years later! LOL

  11. How FUN!!! I bet you are still smiling today, remembering all the good times you had with your skates and skateboards! I had the same pink skateboard...twins I tell ya! :)

  12. Well this has to be the BLUE RIBBON WINNER of all
    your treasure finds Shara......
    I loved reading every word about you going into the attic and discovering your childhood safely stashed away.
    I was a roller skating nut too, and sure wish I still
    had my old skates. Skateboards were also a big thing for us.


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