We, like most communities, have a plethora of second-hand thrift shops.

I think it’s great that we donate our no-longer-needed items to these shops, let them be re-sold at prices accessible and affordable to others, and in turn share the profits with the community.

I just have one little problem with that process.

Just as nature abhors a vacuum, so does a vacant spot on a shelf or an orphaned clothes hanger.

When I donate something, I quite naturally create an empty space, a vacuum. I now feel an obligation to fill that space with something. Anything. Mother Nature’s urge is strong.

We all know that the thrift shops have become quite cunning and marketing-savvy. Artful display is now part and parcel of the deal. So since one is already there, dropping things off, one must take a quick look around. Right?

Oh, just look at that beautifully displayed, only slightly cracked and chipped turkey platter. No matter that one doesn’t cook large turkeys any more; one is smitten by the potential. In the shopping cart it goes.

Those fat little $6 pink pearls elegantly wrapped around a mannequin’s neck? So reminiscent of one’s grandmother’s necklaces. One can almost smell the talcum powder. Can’t leave those behind.

That gently used jigsaw puzzle for a mere 75 cents? One knows that there will be missing pieces, but one must have it for those deliciously cold days when the family gathers cozily around the fireplace. Once every decade or so.

And so it goes. Carry in. Carry out. Give and take.

It’s ultimately all very feng shui.

And that’s ultimately very good.

Sallie Collins enjoys living on the banks of the May River and writes about it in her blog, www.LifeOnTheMay.com, from which this article is taken.