(Kathleen Saylors/Grand Forks Gazette)

(Kathleen Saylors/Grand Forks Gazette)

Column: Being the new guy in the thrift shop

The latest from Boundary Creek Times columnist Pat Kelly.

By Pat Kelly

The DriveBC highway cam in Rock Creek gave me an opportunity to live stream the Canada Day parade this year. Alas, it didn’t live up to my expectations. It seems these highway cams only snap a picture every 15 minutes or so. What I did manage to catch of the parade was a couple of flaggers – one at the intersection of Highways 3 and 33 and the other had traffic backed up at the bottom of the Rock Creek hill.

The picture was kind of fuzzy – I think there was one chip truck and three or four other vehicles stopped on the hill. Reminds me of the story about that Thursday back in 2009 when they had to cancel the traffic jam in Rock Creek because Judy had her truck in the shop.

With Canada 150 celebrations happening in both Rock Creek and Midway this year I am looking forward to reading the Boundary papers this week – always love seeing the pictures of you folks. Keep smiling for the camera please.


Being the new guy anywhere is a bit of a challenge but I am finding my volunteer shift at the local St. Vincent de Paul thrift store donation door is like visiting some strange and wonderful place – like that Willy Wonka factory maybe.

St. Vincent can get pretty busy too, as shopping carts are rolled out whenever a car or pickup pulls up to the door. The donor is offered a tax receipt and sent on their way. Then the shopping carts of stuff need to be sorted and delivered to various stations in the workshop.

There are workstations all over the place – with people sorting and folding, labeling and tagging all of this stuff. Electrical or mechanical donations go back to the wizards with the ammeters and tools to make sure all is in working order.

The whole place perks along quit wonderfully as long as everyone shows up for their volunteer shift. We’re all just cogs in the gear works there and things have to keep moving.

Last week I got to work and found the receiving area was stacked full with wedding dresses. They weren’t new – but they were still in their original boxes and in good shape. There was also eight or ten totes filled with more fancy dresses.

Over on the other side of the aisle was a stack of dozen cases of incontinence pads. They say the Lord moves in mysterious ways, and St. Vincent being a religious charity, I guess donations of incontinence pads and wedding dresses will all make sense to someone, sometime.

There is an amazing amount of stuff that comes through the receiving door. It’s mind numbing to see what people donate. Opening every box is like Christmas (like I said – I’m the new guy); you don’t know what’s in it. So we get Christmas in July.

But when I come home at the end of the day – home where Ginny and I live surrounded by boxes that need to be sorted from last year. And I’m wondering maybe I can contract the St. Vincent workshop to do the sorting, folding, organizing and such so we can have a yard sale.

Fortunately – or unfortunately – Gin and I don’t make enough money, owe any taxes, and that tax receipt program only works when a fellow gives to the government first.


Take care of someone who loves you …

Boundary Creek Times