A Tree of Thanks

Okay, I’ll admit it: hand-me-downs delight me.  I relish secondhand stores, clearance aisles, shopping at Goodwill, dollar stores, finding something for “a steal”, or even better, being the recipient of a “freebie”. Found treasures snatched from the curbside (just in the nick of time) make me ecstatic and downright giddy! Recently while out walking, my keenly-honed-vulture-eye spotted a gorgeous leather couch on my neighbor’s curbside, ready for garbage pickup. Thinking quickly, I forced Ayden, my 9 year old to sit on the sofa and make-like-a-watchdog. With an edge of euphoric lunacy, I commanded him to “STAY!”–begging him to promise to guard this amazing cowhide covered treasure with HIS LIFE. Adrenaline pumping, I abruptly abandoned my child and beat it home as fast as I could to grab my husband and our trusted ’99 Suburban–both brilliantly built for “hauling”.  SCORE! Ah this…this, my loves, is blissful living.

So yes, I am a scavenger. And with great pride, I,  Melissa Timberlake, proclaim to the universe that I am an expert gleaner–a garbage picker extraordinaire!  You see, what others label as junk, I see as possibility. Why in the world would one discard what can be readily repurposed? To me, tossing something to the curb seems almost–well–trashy.  After all, nearly everything can be magically revitalized or revamped. Perhaps you disagree. That’s okay.  Quite frankly, I believe it is a gift. You either got it or you don’t. I do. And because I do, I’ve gained quite the reputation.  People know that I’m as serious as a heart attack about junk.  I pick it up, love it up, and turn it into something remarkable.

A friend called last week, informing me that  an enormous limb had snapped off her Curly Willow tree in a recent wind storm.  She wondered if I wanted it.  If I did, she advised me to bring a large handsaw to cut it down in order to fit it in my truck.  Clueless as to what I was going to do with this glorious gifting of goodness, I promised I’d be over in a flash!  I then bribed my husband, once again, to drive over and help me load the bounty.

By the time we arrived back home, I was insanely inspired.  I had the grand notion of converting this amputated branch into an elegant focal point for our Thanksgiving gathering. You see, there’ s a support beam (pole) in one of our rooms which has always been an eyesore.  I began stacking the branches against and around the pole, securing each layer with floral wire. I placed a multitude of salvaged bird’s nests onto the “tree”.  (My reputation for loving freebies has spread to the nine year old boys in our neighborhood who go searching for abandoned nests for me. Like miniature UPS men, they ring my doorbell, delivering me glorious “packages”-direct from Mother Nature.) Next, for added sparkle, I strung Christmas lights.  I then attached slightly kitschy birds throughout the tree.  Finally, I asked family members, friends and every one of the nine-year-old neighborhood boys to share what he is thankful for on gratitude cards. The cards were tied with raffia and hug from the tree for a dramatic focal point that celebrates thankfulness.  Voila!!  Junk?  I think not!!

So how the heck does life coaching connect to repurposing junk? Hmm…glad you asked! Well, as a good life coach, I’m simply going to leave you with two inquiries, “What’s the meaning here for you?” and “What’s the junk sitting on the curbside of your life that needs to joyously be picked up, loved up, and turned into something wonderfully remarkable?” Think about those questions and get back to me, will ya? In the meantime, Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Abundant blessings,

Melissa Timberlake

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