Every year we hear gratifying stories about Superfluity. They illustrate the many ways the this event both helps us to recycle valuable “stuff” and helps others.
My Mother’s Pink Crystal
by Virginia Felton
There was a cupboard in the dining room of the house I grew up in that contained the “good” dishes used for company. Limoges china, cut glass relish dishes and two sizes of pink crystal. These dishes would be brought out at Thanksgiving and Christmas, and for an occasional company dinner.
For my sister and I, the pink crystal held a special mystique, perhaps because it was so delicate and fancy, and it never actually got used (at least not that I remember). I believed that we did not use it because it was just too valuable. In hindsight, perhaps it was simply because wine drinking was not something my parents enjoyed. Wine was just not part of company or weeknight dinners.
Fast forward fifty years. In a box, in the back of a cupboard, each carefully wrapped in newspaper, this collection of Depression Glass stemware sits unused and, well, neglected. I have had it for more than a decade, and have used it once or twice. My tastes tend toward French Bistro glasses, Ikea, and big clear glass red wine goblets. I offered the pink crystal to my sister… not her style either. Other siblings? Nieces? Children? Too far away and not interested.
Yet when I think of giving them away, I am ten years old again, peering into that dining room cupboard, fantasizing about my own husband and children and elegantly set tables. I think about how much they meant to my mother. How can I just give them away?
But wait. Did they mean so much to my mother? She never used them either. She did not talk about having them handed down to her, or how important they were. I am not likely to use them, and they’re asking $12 a piece for them on E-Bay. That settles it. I’m taking them to Superfluity. If my mother were still alive, I’d let her know about the worthy nonprofits aided by Superfluity. With luck, someone who really loves pink Depression Glass will buy them and enjoy them. And that little girl who stared with wonder into the dining room cupboard is still alive and well within me. I don’t need that box full of crystal in my own cupboard to keep that image alive.
Last Minute Bikes
by Bryan Hollowell
It was about half an hour after Superfluity had closed and I was helping clean up. Among the items that had not sold were three older bikes with many miles on them. They were women’s bikes – a large adult bike, one sized for a teenager and a very pink, very sparkly girl’s bike. I wheeled them up the ramp and parked them near the door waiting for the Salvation Army truck to arrive and take them away.
I walked outside to check if the truck was there yet. Instead, an old mini-van had just parked, with a grandfather, adult daughter and a ten year-old girl getting out. They asked about the sale. I told them it was over and they had missed it. They were disappointed but humbly said they would return next year.
As they were turning to go I looked at them more closely. They looked like they didn’t have much money and appeared to be the kind of people Superfluity tries to help.
I called the grandfather back and whispered to him, “Could the little girl use a bicycle?” He smiled and said “Yes… she has never had a bike.” We all went inside to where the bikes were parked. You should have seen that little girl’s face light up when she saw that pink bike. She had never been on a bike and was so excited that she would now be able to learn to ride like the other kids. The grandfather said she also had an older sister that didn’t have a bike. Could they take two? Of course I said yes, and helped them load the two bikes into their van.
As we were loading them I said I was sorry I didn’t have a bike helmet to give them. “You won’t believe this,” he said, “but we were at a garage sale yesterday and bought a bike helmet.”
Our whole interaction lasted only a couple minutes. I don’t know who was more touched…that family or me. It serves to remind me we never know when we will blindly stumble into one of those “thin places” where God can appear if we just open our eyes.