The Dark Side of being a Picker

Being a picker is a fun job but it can also be a little bit scary. Let me tell you a little story about a lady named Estelle and how she gave me a scare.

One afternoon I stopped by a yard sale. After talking with the older gentleman and his adult daughter I learned that his wife had recently passed and he was liquidating everything in the home to move into a furnished apartment. His daughter was there helping him. So they invited me inside to look around. I found several pieces of furniture that were perfect for a little rehabilitation. As I was loading an old sewing machine table into my truck I asked the man if the top opened. He told me that he was pretty sure it had been nailed down when they removed the sewing machine and painted it; so I proceeded to load it. Here is a picture of it loaded in my truck.

The next day I was out in my shop unloading all of my finds. When I got to the cute little sewing machine table I decided to tap on the lid to see if I could get it open. One little tap and it was open. It turned out that it was not nailed shut, but simply stuck from where they painted it years back.

I proceeded to open it up and see what was inside. There were several items; some costume jewelry, a decorative plate, a handmade blanket, some cards and a box. The box was small and still had the address label on it. It was evident that the box had been opened before. So I opened it up. Upon first inspection it looked a little strange and it was very heavy for such a small box. Then I read the tag on the top. “This box includes the cremated remains of Estelle….”.

So like any normal person I immediately slammed the lid to the table and took off running! You know, just in case the cremated remains of Estelle were going to come and get me. I called my husband totally freaked out. Then one of my friends stopped by and we fabricated an entire mystery story about why the ashes were hidden away in this table. After I did all of this I decided to call the family I purchased the table from. I had their number because I had to go back and pick up a few things that would not fit in my truck that day.

After all of the wondering and excitement we found out that sweet Estelle was the mother of the man’s wife that had recently passed. The family had been searching for her ashes not knowing where their wife/mother had put them. They were thrilled to get them back.

But what happened to the infamous table? It took me a while to get to it. I was a little creeped out by the whole thing. But I finally did give her a makeover and put her in one of my shops. And wouldn’t you know it that the owner of our local veterinarian’s office, Hannah Creek bought it for the office. So I told her the story of Estelle and she just loved the table even more. So much more that she decided to take Estelle home with her and make her a bedside table. She told me that she talks to the table and calls her by name as well as Mama. I feel like not only did I help to reunite a family but added a new family member to another household as well.

So I guess if this is the dark side to being a picker, I’ll take it!

Here are a few picture of Estelle all fixed up and in her new home.




  • terrie June 19, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    COOL! Nothing like a good mystery.

  • Liz June 19, 2017 at 10:39 pm

    Whoa! Estelle just “needle-ttle” help!


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