my thoughts on motherhood, kids, books and stuff

Treasure Hunting

Several months ago the kids and I were walking through downtown when we passed a display window of an antique store. There in the window stood a bright red metal gumball machine on a stand. We all “ooohhh”ed, and “awwww”ed and then I allowed myself to be dragged into the store to get a closer look.

When we got closer I could see that it wasn’t in as great of shape as I initially thought. There were scratches. The glass had a slightly filmy look to it. There were some very small rust spots on the black metal stand. I looked at the price tag. It was $60. It was about what I thought it would be. It was an antique after all.

I walked out of the store with nothing and three unhappy and one oblivious child. I wanted it, but it was almost Christmas. I already had the kids gifts and $60 seemed like a lot to pay on a whim. Maybe when Christmas was over I would start looking for a bubblegum machine again.

A couple of weeks ago I ran into Goodwill with a couple of my kids to see if I could find some vintage fabric that I didn’t need.

As we were walking away from the fabric I didn’t need towards the books I didn’t need Anna grabbed my hand and started dragging me to the corner of the store.

“Mom, come see! It is sooooo cool!”

She led me to this:


It was dirty, but I saw potential.

When I saw the $7.99 price tag I really saw potential.

We received many comments and looks of envy as we walked it to the register. At least, I think they were looks of envy. They might have been looks of, “Good luck with that!” There was no guarantee it would work, after all.

An old guy stopped us in the parking lot to tell us, “Awesome!” Really. That is all he said.

I got it home and took it completely apart, hoping I would remember how to put it back together. I washed each part in hot soapy water and then shined the globe up.

After many attempts I finally reassembled it and watched the kids glow with excitement as I led them into the kitchen to see it all spiffed up.


It shined. There was nary a scratch, blemish, or sticker of a dinosaur on it. (okay, maybe just a couple if itty-bitty scratches.)

I realized I don’t need a fancy antique store to tell me something is a find because of their inflated price tag. I will find my own treasure thankyouverymuch. And it will mean a whole heck of a lot more when I do.

  • Lynae

    That IS awesome. What a fun story…and memory for your family!

  • andrea

    Wow. I'm so impressed that you were able to take it all apart and get it back together. That's a great find.

  • Meag

    That is totally awesome!! So does it work? I love that it is on a stand and everything. You got a great find. I'm jealous. 🙂

    • It does work! I was a little surprised when it did, but the kids were very happy!

  • It reminds me of the table-top gumball machine my parents bought me when I stopped sucking my thumb (I was 5 – so old). I treasured that red and yellow gumball-popping beauty. What a cool find!

    • Corrie, this has actually turned into a table-top machine too. Anna decided to drape her body across it and the weight on it broke a piece off of the pedestal. I guess we found the weak spot! It works out a lot better for us this way as we can put it up out of reach of the two year old.

  • Wow…it looks great! What a fabulous find!

  • catherinegrames

    way to go! love to find great things at goodwill! miss you. Cath

  • ssilva

    I LOVE treasure hunting! Especially when the price is right!

  • Anonymous

    I LOVE treasure hunting! Especially when the price is right!