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, February 14, 2016

Paw-Paw's Quilt

Last summer I stopped in at Goodwill to have my usual look around.  I rarely look at the linens or the quilts there, because it's always college dorm cast-offs.  But, one quilt caught my eye as I passed by. It was made of different materials than the usual quilts I see. 

 It was made out of lots of different old pearl snap Western shirts.  Some of the patches even had the pearl snaps and the cuffs.  All sorts of different shirt material.  Plus it was nicely quilted and monogrammed.  

It had a big embroidered patch that said PAW PAW and a man's name as well as his birth date and the date Pawpaw had died.  He had just died in 2011 and that was 2015.  Plus, someone had to have the idea and the time to actually make the quilt, distribute it to someone and then they had already donated it?  It just didn't seem right.  

I see a lot of things at sales and at thrifts that make me sad wondering why no one wanted them - how did a huge framed family portrait end up at Goodwill?  A family bible at a yard sale.  Baby's First Record book in the free pile.  On and on.  I know you can't keep it all.  But somethings just should be kept by someone.

Friday my Mom was over and I showed her the quilt.  We decided to do a little googling.  We found Pawpaw's obituary in Oklahoma.  It even said in the Obituary he was a good Paw-Paw to .... and it listed five grandchildren.  The first one lived in the next town over from me, so I decided to see if I could find him on Facebook.  I did, (you knew that was coming) of course.  I sent him a Facebook Message explaining that I felt like it wasn't meant to be at Goodwill and I would love to get it back to his family.  I left my phone number and wondered if I would ever hear from him.  Well, in about thirty five seconds I had a "Yes, Please!" message and then my phone rang!  He had recently moved to not far from me and somehow in the bustle of the move, the quilt got put in a pile of towels and blankets destined for Goodwill.  They didn't realize it was gone until it was too late.  

Within a couple hours, he was in my driveway picking up the quilt.  My Mom said, "You HAVE to take a picture of him with it!  Do it for THE BLOG!"  I almost didn't ask, but I knew I would be sorry.  Too bad he shut his eyes, but I like to think he was overcome with joy. :)  

I was amazed that I had it that long and it was that easy to find the owner and return it to him.  I feel good that it is back where it belongs.  I love junk and the story of junk.  This is a good junk story.  


  1. Oh my goodness...what a heartwarming story. It's so easy for things to end up where they aren't meant to be. The family was so blessed that you found it. Cheers to you!!

  2. A mystery, detective work and a happy ending! Plus all sorts of good karma! Good job Shara! I like how he wore a suit to meet you and pick it up too.


  3. Quick!!! Run as fast as you can and buy one of your lottery tickets! Strike!!! your karma is HOT!
    What a wonderful story and shows the substance of your character~your Mama was right! thanks for sharing ;-)
    Well done!!

  4. so happy to read Facebook can be used for something good. Nice job Shara and your Mom!!!!

  5. You did a good thing, Shara. A very good thing.

  6. Wonderful story! I'm so glad you were able to get that quilt back to where it belonged!!

  7. What a great story!

  8. Well, that made me cry. The good cry. You are amazing.

  9. OMG, I wish I could hug you, Shara. What a wonderful storyand an even more wonderful thing to do. I can only imagine how excited he was to get the quilt back. You deserve a standing ovation!

  10. Meant to be. My aunt made a similar quilt with all my grandfathers plaid shirts he alway wore...it would be a sad thing to loose. I am sure you made that fellows day!

  11. Such a wonderful story, thank you for sharing.

  12. momsav10:59 AM

    Wonderful story!
    I recently bought a P.O.W. bracelet at an antiques mall. I couldn't believe someone would just let it go. I googled his name and found out all kinds of information; he did not make it back home, sadly.
    Thanks for sharing!

  13. Anonymous9:16 AM

    Love this Shara! So great that you made the effort to find someone to be able to get it back.

  14. How wonderful of you and your Mom! Great job ladies! This is more than a good junk story!!!

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  16. That is an amazing junk story! You are a good person. This man will always remember you. And that is extra good for your karma!

  17. This story really touched me. You were a hero to that family!

    xo Dianne

  18. I'm sure he was sad when he realized it was gone, it's wonderful that you were able to get it back to where it belongs.


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