I didn't know it was a disease. My first clue should have been when my friend called and asked me to go "junkin" with her. I coughed, and said, "Excuse me?"
"Yeah," she said. "We spend a day hitting all the garage sales we can. Then, we hit the flea markets, thrift stores, estate sales and yard sales."
My idea of being miserly in a hard-pressed economy was different from hers. I was doing good to clip the coupons from my local Sunday paper each week. I hesitated, but she said she had a long history of junkin and it would be fun. I envisioned her house being a model for "below bargain basement" sale items with a map on how to navigate through the maze. Curiosity got the better of me, and she was ecstatic when I agreed to go with her. And, so, my junkin journey began.
My journey started before dawn, and, near dusk, we had visited almost all the places on her list. I marveled at how some of the items she bought were well-preserved. They were almost like she bought them right off a store shelf. By the end of the day, though, I was exhausted. However, she was still on a junkin-junkie high, but we couldn't fit anything more in my trunk.
"I enjoyed it," I said, being a polite friend but longed for the comfort of a bed. Then, I laughingly added, "The only thing we didn't do today was go dumpster-diving."
"Oh," she said with a smile. "We can do that tomorrow."
Fortunately, she did not hear me groan. I gripped the steering wheel tighter, fearing I started something I couldn't stop . . . and lamented how my precious coupon-clipping days were quickly numbered.
Bob Valleau has over 30 years of writing experience for the Christian market. He was once named Christian Writer of the Year (San Antonio, Texas) by the American Christian Writers Association. He is the author of four books.
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