Focus on: The Hunt for Treasure

Remember as a child the fun you had on a treasure hunt?  Whether it was planned by an adult or fashioned on the spot  by your imagination, each were equally enthralling. One year,as a birthday surprise for my son, Steven, I made a treasure chest out of a cardboard carton and put his presents inside. I made a treasure map and tied bandannas on their heads and they were off on a birthday adventure.

With map in hand the pirates set out on their treasure hunt.

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Steven looks over his plunder.

The pirates strike gold – a new bike!

Well, treasure hunts can be just as much fun for us now as they were then. Just because we have grown up does not mean we have to give up everything we enjoyed as children.  But now my treasure hunts have become a bit more sophisticated.  When I feel in the mood for a treasure hunt, I must first decide what  kind of treasure I’d like to pursue. A treasure for the house might take me to Kirkland’s, Tuesday Morning, Home Goods.or Marshall’s.  A  poetry book will send me to my favorite used book store, or the remainder bins at Barnes and Noble. If I need another African Violet, it’s off to the Fairview nursery. For clothes, any store having a sale is in the running.  That’s the best kind of treasure — one that I find for little cost.

When we travel to Pennsylvania we often go to a great flea market they have in the Pocono Mountains.  I’ll tell you one thing — those fleas know treasures, and at a very reasonable price! We enjoy finding items not only for ourselves, but for friends and family at home.  We often go to the Poconos in October when there is that first hint of autumn chill in the air, and maybe even a snowflake or two. It brings to mind the fact that Christmas is just around the corner. Flea markets are great places for gift hunting, too.

There are two treasure hunt places I like to visit nearby the flea market. One is a Christmas  Shop — rooms filled with trees decorated with unusual ornaments. When I was in high school. my friend and I had this rubber chicken that we would fill with confetti (through a hole in its bottom) and then, at the football game, we’d shake it wildly when our team scored a  touchdown, confetti flying everywhere. I actually found a  glass “rubber” chicken ornament there and sent it to her for Christmas. It was hard to wait until Christmas to hear from her when she opened it.  That’s the best aspect of the treasure hunt — taking the time to find something perfect for someone  in my life. I also found a Yellow Submarine ornament for my Beatles-loving husband, Elvis for my son, and a unique angel for my angel tree.  The other place is the Pocono Indian Museum, which sells pottery designed by a variety of Native American tribal artists.  The pieces are beautifully hand crafted and make great gifts for any pottery lovers on my Christmas list.

some recent treasures

And let us not forget the rummage sales, the yard and garage sales, the moving sales. With time and patience to sift through the chaff, there are treasures to be found.  And that;s an important aspect of the treasure hunt – time and patience and enjoyment of the hunt itself.  I don’t like to feel rushed or under pressure on my treasure hunts.  I’m careful to plan them on days when I have time just to browse.  Maybe I’ll find something, maybe not .  It really doesn’t matter.  It’s relaxing and stress free and when you find something special, that’s icing on the cake.

I enjoy my treasures for a while, then sometimes pass them on to others who can enjoy them.  My mother and I often trade items back and forth. Sometimes they wind up in my yard sales and become someone else’s treasures. There is that old saying, “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.”  How about “One gal’s treasure is another gal’s pleasure”?  Sharing treasures is just as much fun as finding them.

Even if it is just a rubber chicken.

So, okay, who’s up for a treasure hunt?

( Stay tuned for my next post on another kind of treasure found all around us.)

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