Friday, April 1, 2011

Daily Report: Providence, Florida

Mom and Paul took me shopping today at the Ellenton outlet mall up past Sarasota. They wanted to buy Epril and me some plates for our apartment (for when Epril arrives, when we get our own place; Mom already has a storage locker filled with utensils, appliances, and more).

We were walking through the Corning outlet store when this fellow comes up to me, and says, "Don't you write a blog about The Philippines?"

Now this happened to me a couple of times when I was living in Pattaya, writing about Pattaya. It didn't ever happen in CDO that I can recall. But to have it happen in a random store in a random outlet mall in a random city in Florida is borne of fantastic odds: I figure I have perhaps a couple thousand regular readers worldwide. To run into somebody who knows me — especially outside of the locales about which I normally write — is simply amazing.

Anyway, Albert (this fellow) and his wife Debbie introduced themselves to me and my mother (Paul was off shopping for new shoes) and we chatted for about 15 minutes. Debbie's brothers live in Cagayan De Oro. Albert told me all about the large Filipino Cultural Center up in Tampa, and how to stay in touch. Nice folks who are actually not from Florida and normally live up in New York State.

On the way home, Mom, Paul, and I stopped and did some window shopping at The Salvation Army. Frankly, I was amazed at the furniture they had. Up North, The Salvation Army store selection has always been exactly what you expect: Furniture that has gone almost past its functional and useful and aesthetic lifespan, seen 15 or 20 years of spilled drinks, rambunctious kids... to be succinct: visibly used.

Here in Florida, with a large portion of the community over the age of retirement, it's a different matter entirely. Here in Florida, many — if not most — people don't donate their furniture to the Salvation Army because it is being replaced with something new; instead, they are parting with often-almost-new furniture as they move off to a nursing home or, sadly, a cemetery. In addition, the number of donations here, by dint of these same demographic realities, are substantially higher than in any other place, so the selection here is much more substantial.

The Salvation Army isn't the only place to shop for furnishings either: There's a huge consignment place called King Solomon's Treasure right next door to The Salvation Army that is the size of a department store, and two more used furniture places down the road a little way. Don't forget estate sales and the classifieds either. Based on what I saw, you could easily kit out an entire 2-bedroom apartment in tasteful, almost-new furnishings worth many thousands of dollars for less than $1,500... and that includes the pots and pans and mattresses and curtains and bedsheets and artwork on the walls.

5 comments:

Kathy said...

Your mom is a sweetheart for shopping household stuff for you and Epril. Epril is a lucky girl... I wished my in-laws did some shopping for me too before I got here in the US... lol...

But don't forget to leave some items for Epril to choose and purchase herself. It's still fun for us women to buy our own stuff to decorate our own abode...

Best of luck!

Mom said...

Hi Kathy - I'm leaving all the things that Epril needs to "pick out" for her to do. I'm getting her just the mundane stuff that we all need and add up to costing more than they need to when getting a "first home.". There'll be lots of things for her to get. Right now, they have nothing. . . so anything I add are things like everyday glasses, pots, pans, measuring cups, spoons, dishwashing stuff, an iron, are needed right away and can always be added to. My mother did that for me when I got married eons ago.
And I always appreciated it.

Kathy said...

Dearest Jil's Mom(for the lack of better phrase to address you),

Apologies if I sound like I am implying something negative by making the comment about leaving some for Epril to purchse herself. Nothing negative is intended towards you... You are nothing but a sweetheart and every girl would wish to have you as a MIL... Including me.. wink!

By the way, I am also from Jasaan and I know Epril and her family but I was already living here in America when Jil moved to Jasaan. My family lives a couple of blocks away from the house that they used to rent in Jasaan.

Anyway, nothing but the best for Jil and Epril... My respects for you and Mr. Paul too...

Jungle Jil said...

Hi Kathy,

I'd like you to get in touch with Epril... or I will put her in touch with you. I see you are in Louisiana. Not too close, but not so far as to make a visit in the future too difficult.

Anyway, as I was saying, I'm trying to get Epril to find some friends here in America with whom she can talk about her upcoming move here. She has not found too many Filipinos with whom she can talk, and I'm hoping that you might be someone who can help her with her expectations and necessary adjustments.

Kathy said...

Hi Jil,

No problem. Epril is already my FB friend and we have a lot of common friends who are from Jasaan and are already living here. I have a blogger friend who is from CDO and is currently residing in Orlando, Fl. I will definitely introduce her to Epril.

Let me know whenever she arrives so I could give her a ring. I would be more than happy to help her adjust with the transition here. It's not that easy I admit,(been there, done that)but I'm sure Epril will do fine.

Goodluck with the visa process and regards to Epril...

(By the way, I was the one who left a comment about visajourney, a couple of months ago and Kathy is not my real name, Epril knows it though... wink!)