You Have a Friend in Pennsylvania

Between Michigan and Upstate New York lies Fairview, Pennsylvania. A few months ago, on their way back to Michigan from visiting my brother's family in the Albany area, my mom and dad took the Fairview exit. We had visited my old high school boyfriend there on Avonia Road on several occasions, what seems like a lifetime ago. My mom wondered, after 20 years, if she'd still be able to find the house where he had lived.

Indeed she was, and his former home was serendipitously near a rather large yard sale. She bought several items for my Etsy shop, but some of the most interesting stuff was in the trash pile. Some things are just interesting, regardless of value.

Many sellers on Etsy offer what is called a Pay It Forward listing. The idea of a "PIF" listing is just to recover selling costs, offering something just to be nice, or just for the fun of it. The person purchasing a PIF listing should, in turn, do something nice for someone else.

Last week I finally sorted the box of Catholic statues and paper ephemera that my parents found in the trash at the Avonia Road, Fairview, Pennsylvania yard sale. Grouping the statues, I found some interesting, some kitschy, but the armless Mary just plain sad. I couldn't bring myself to throw her, and trusted, with all the crafty people on Etsy, someone would give her a second chance.

What a second chance she received! I really enjoy earning a living by selling online, but I do so love finding homes for things the average person wouldn't think twice about throwing away. This forlorn little statue gave more satisfaction than usual. The buyer, Donna Maria, lost no time fixing her and restoring a babe in arms, leaving postive feedback for the transaction, joining my Facebook page, blogging about it, and sending me photos. I'd say she has already paid it forward. She gave me a smile. And she might yet infuse hope in some hapless soul sunk low, that there's a loving Creator, waiting to fix you up and make you new again, in a form more glorious than before.

And all because, over 20 years ago, I had a friend in Pennsylvania.

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