The Chiropractor and The Goodwill Outlet

I went to a chiropractor for the first time ever today.  I was a bit skeptical, having heard the “quackropractor” comment enough times in my life, really, but on the advice of my very trusted MD I decided to give him a shot.  A few weeks ago I did *something* to my back and it hasn’t been healing.  Luckily it’s just an irritation in the SI joint and not a slipped disk or or anything like that.  It’s nothing that some exercises and posture can’t eventually fix.  So I am icing and doing exercises and keeping my fingers crossed.

After the chiro appointment we did some garage sale-ing (no luck) and went to a medical supply store to get me a lumbar cushion (which I will be returning as it is too thick).  Anywho, right behind the store is the Goodwill Outlet.  I’d seen this sign a million times driving home from work, but for whatever reason, always had assumed that it was closed down.  Well, it was anything but.  That place was hopping!

Basically how it works is there are about a dozen humongous tables where culled items, mostly clothing, from Goodwill stores are dumped out.  You have to dig through them and see what you can find.  Then, about every 10 minutes, the staff rotates out the clothing from a group of four tables.  They scoop up all the clothing on the enormous surface and dump it all into one of those ginormous boxes like the ones that produce is shipped in.  These containers are about 6 feet by 6 feet by 6 feet – you can kind of see them in the pic below.  They have to use a pallet jack to move them around, they must be so heavy with all the clothes in them!  Then, once everything is cleared off, they bring over another of these huge boxes and dump it out on the table.  All the people stand waiting politely until they have done this on all four tables, then the staff gives the signal and the digging commences.  (We committed a faux pas and started in on the first table and got some instructions at that point.)  A few shoppers had carts stacked about eight feet high, and then they would park at the edge of the store and comb through all of it.  The clothing was sold by the pound rather than by the item, so there are mega deals to be had – if you have the patience.  There were a lot of things about the place that we couldn’t figure out about how it all worked, but we managed to purchase a few items – about four fall shirts for me, one for Bryce, and a nice pair of rubber boots for him.  We grabbed a pair of Patagonia pants for eBay and an 80s shirt to sell online as well – those were a gamble but at such rock bottom prices it really wasn’t.  If we have to donate them back to Goodwill, well, the circle can begin again.  😉  Interestingly, the clerk I was chatting with said that anything that doesn’t sell gets farmed back out to Goodwill stores!  She said it’s just all about keeping the inventory fresh for people and that there are so many stores that it works well.

I took one quick pic to help you, the reader, understand the scale of the operation, but didn’t want to make a spectacle out of the shoppers, who in some cases appeared to be immigrant families or other individuals down on their luck who truly may be relying on the Goodwill Outlet – so I want to acknowledge that what was a quirky and fun adventure for us could have been a lifeline for someone else.

We’d go back!

Goodwill Outlet at University and 280 in Minneapolis, MN

The Goodwill Outlet at University and 280 – clothing to the right, conveyor belts with hard goods to the left.

Antiquing in Stillwater

Today’s adventure was antiquing in Stillwater.  We bought a new olive oil sprayer, pan scraper, drinks for each of us at the co-op, a kiddie cone at Nelson’s (threw about a third of it away! – they are known for their gigantic portions) and had a lovely visit with a friend.  We hit Valu Thrift on the way home, no big news there!  A beautiful day in a sweet town.