Simple Gifts

Beauty in the Junkyard: Day Thirty

(Sometimes it’s tough to feel at home in your own city.  Which is why I’ve given myself a challenge:  each day, for forty days, I’m going to find *one* thing I love about this place.  And then I’m going to tell you about it.  If you want to follow my journey, start here.  Today is Day Thirty.)

I have a special place in my heart for lost and discarded things:

Broken.

Bashed-in.

Forgotten and tarnished.

I don’t really think I need to explain why.

And every once in awhile, when I need to be reminded that the mess can be beautiful, in the end and also in the middle, I drive down to the river and wander around Black Dog Salvage.  Because I’ve never seen so much junk so haphazardly collected into beautiful piles, then mixed in with the precious and the prized.

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If the name Black Dog Salvage sounds familiar to you, this is not an accident.  The place is featured on the HGTV show “Salvage Dawgs,” and it’s *amazing.*  I could spend every dime I own here.  Still, whenever I show up at the big warehouse next to the bridge, I never feel like I’m on a set or in a shopping mall.

I feel like I’m in a junkyard.

Which is how it should be.

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Outside alone, you can see all kinds of lovely things jumbled together…

Car parts rest beside slabs of granite:

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A broken chunk of Corinthian capital nestles against an old bed frame:

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You’ll also see broken-down bicycles, boats, vintage lawn chairs, ship’s anchors, wagon wheels, millstones, keystones, rockets and bathtubs.

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Inside, local art and interior design items mix with even more junk.  I especially love the huge stained glass windows wrenched out of context and left to glitter in the dust-filled light.  And I could say more about that subject — I could — but perhaps that’s a different confessional, for a different day.

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So for now, I’ll just say this:

This place is beautiful.

And it might be a great place to buy gifts or find special treasures for the home, but it’s also more than that — it’s a haven for the thrown-out, kicked-out and washed-out.

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And for that, I am grateful.

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