Salvation Army store.

That's Everything!

I remember watching an older couple as they walked through the local Salvation Arny thrift store. I had just dropped off a bag of clothes and a few other items we no longer wanted.

When I get the opportunity I stop by just to look through the old records, yes, I called them records. Not CD's, or MP3's, simply records, those round plastic things from ancient times that had music recorded on them. 33 1/3 and 45's to be exact. Yes, I even search through the 78's, too.

Anyway, this couple moved slowly around me in search of items they had on a list they held tightly in hand.

They didn't say much, but occasionally motioned to the other and held an item up next to the list.

"No, that's not good," one would say and move on.

My curiosity always gets the best of me, that is until I satisfy it by asking.

"Can I help you find something?" I asked.

They stopped, looked at me and said, "We're looking for old things that look new."

It must have been a private joke, they laughed, I didn't.

"Look, every new year in the past we tried to begin the year with new things. It was a goal to surround ourselves with things fresh and new so that we had new direction, new hopes and dreams for the year ahead," the man said.

"How did that work out?" I asked.

"It took a long time for us to learn and a great deal of debt, but we discovered it really got us nowhere," she said.

"So, how does this fit in? I mean shopping at a thrift store? Are things bad financially?"

"No, not at all. We discovered that things don't have to be expensive to be of great value. Even though it's old, it's new to someone who never saw it before." he said.

"So, we search each year end for things of value to no one but mean the world to us." she added.

"May I see your list?" I asked.

It was an old tattered piece of paper with three words written on it.

"This is it?" I asked. I flipped it over to see if there was something I was missing.

"Yep! But don't ask if that is it. That's not just it, that's everything." she said.

"What have you found so far?" I asked.

He stretched out his hand and in it were two things. A small frame made out of Popsicle sticks and what appeared to be one knitted baby bootie. Not a pair.

"We still need one more thing," he said.

"Got it!" we heard off in the distance.

"What did you find?" he shouted across the store.

She walked slowly toward us holding something in the air.

"Look, it's a flower vase. Well, it was one of those Ball canning jars that someone painted. It looks awful, but..."then in unison...."It's new to us!"

They then headed to the checkout without saying another word.

There you have it. Your New Year message for 2010.

"What?" Oh, yes. You might want to know what the three words were on their list.

It won't make much sense to you. I mean, you really need to see beyond it all. You must understand that this was all just a game for them. They could have picked out anything, anything at all.

The real point here is that they had spent most of their lives believing that there was power in "things." They spent most of their lives believing that at the stroke of midnight as one year ended and a new one began, that life was going to change magically.

They, like most of us, believed that we had to have a plan and we needed to sacrifice all of our waking hours and sometimes even our moral values to get ahead. Because that's what it's all about on New Year's Eve. Dump the old and start stealing time from the new.

The truth is, as they had discovered, there really isn't anything different from one day to the next, one year to the next, accept for your attitude toward it and what you choose to do with it. Everything, including change, is there waiting to be discovered.

So everything is old until you see it for the first time.

There is only one thing constant, never changing and sure.

That's what those three words were on that paper.

"God Loves You!"

As the woman said to me, "That's not just it, that's everything."

Happy New Year!

"I wish you enough!"
~ Bob Perks ~

Good news - Bob Perks' first book, "I Wish You Enough," Embracing Life's Most Valuable Moments... is now available for ordering. Here's the "Link" to get your copy of Bob's book: I Wish You Enough from
[ by: Bob Perks Copyright © 2009 ( -- {used with permission} ]

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