Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Quatro Quilters y Ropa Usada!

I'm on a lay-over, waiting for my last leg home from Texas!

Of course, now that I am going home, the weather has decided to turn sunny and warm...auugh! I must have a frozen fairy on my shoulder, because it has been cold and windy in Texas the whole time I've been here, until this morning, that is!

Yesterday, oh yesterday! How can I find the words to describe to you JUST. WHAT. I. SAW!!

I was picked up by Jan and a whole carload of winterly-displaced Minnesotans ((who call themselves Winter Texans, but are fooling NO ONE with their totally home-sounding-to me "Oh, Yaaaaaaaaa..you BETCHA, Don'tcha Know??? Don'tcha wanna come WITH?!?" Minnesotan slang! :cD))We headed out. To MC ALLEN...for my first venture into the land of ROPA USADA!

What Just IS Ropa Usada, you ask? Oh Man. Oh MAN. It makes the Goodwill Clearance center look like a teeny tiny yard sale!

I know the building looks unassuming from the outside, but....



This was my first view through the big wide-open loading dock doorway.

MOUNTAINS!

MATTERHORN MOUNTAINS of recyclable clothing!! And about anything else could be hidden in there too. The price? 50 cents a POUND.

((OKAY. YES. I KNOW. My bags were almost already at their weight limits anyway! But the MN girls said they would ship a box for me if there was something I could not bear to leave Texas without!))




The piles LITERALLY went to ceiling level. And you had to watch out for the killer fork lift that was beeping and backing up, and dropping new bales of clothing, and using its deadly forks to push the piles back up to the ceiling....people were climbing on the piles and digging. DIGGING...for hidden treasures!

I was told before coming, that I should wear tennis shoes....no flip flops or clogs..because one could easily lose their shoes, and any other loose items in the piles, never to be found again! I can see why!




Jan snuck a sneaky pic of me digging and checking out labels, hoping that things I was finding had that 100% cotton tag!



The second place we hit was a bit different...and of course, because it was "somewhat organized" in bins...the prices were a bit higher. They had done half the digging for you...and I'd say that was worth it!



We found the "PLUS SIZE" area....and the prices were only $1.50 a pound! Look at this yellow striped XXXX large shirt! Whooooo! This definitely came home with me, and made for a fun "object lesson" in just how MUCH fabric can be found in a shirt-of-significant-size!

Jan also grabbed a pic of the other three of us as we prepared to stow our goodies in the back of her car:



It was such a great day! We found a terrific Mex-Tex place to eat on our way back to Harlingen, and I was able to rest up and do a load of laundry, catch up on email, and unwind before doing my presentation for the guild last night.

My flight boards in about 20 mins, so I'm running to finish this up....we'll catch you again from NC!

16 comments:

Hillbilly Handiworks said...

Oh my goodness, what a place!!!
I am surprised it's not against health codes or something.
Well, at least the clothes aren't in a land fill.

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

Merciful heavens! Aren't you glad/lucky that this is not near your home! Having TOO MUCH FUN again, I think! ;->

Emma said...

I seriously would love to come and just shop your stash. Seriously. Can I have some? With you finding all of those shirts...my own personal stash resides in a single laundry basket. That's it. :( Such a sad lonely stash, hahaha...

Sharon said...

and to think that someone wore that striped shirt. Yikes. Your shopping adventures are just that, an adventure. Thanks for sharing and safe travels!

SubeeSews said...

I just have to ask....what did that first place SMELL like? Were the clothes clean?
yikes!

Quiet Quilter said...

I just got finished with a Crazy Quilt made from my DHs old clothes....but that is an amazing sight! Must google to see if there is anything like that further North here in Texas.....

julieQ said...

Hmmm, that is a place I have never heard of here in Texas!! Wow, what a lot of clothing to pick through...love that shirt!

Louise said...

I'm glad there isn't such a store where I live. I'm already addicted enough to buying shirts!
Louise

Serena said...

holy mother!

wow!

qltmom9 said...

That is SO cool! I would have had a BLAST! There are Goodwill outlets somewhat similar in Indy, but the stuff is in carts, NOT piled to the ceiling. Now, I want to go thrifting! You sure do have FUN!

Thanks for sharing, Lucy (in IN)

Quiltin' LibraryLady said...

I've read about those places on the RVers' blogs. Interesting, to say the least. I'd be a little careful though, what with the bedbug epidemic & all. Seal whatever you bought up in plastic bags, then when you get home stick them in the dryer at the hottest setting for 20 min. to 1/2 an hour or in the freezer for a week or two....just in case.

Paula Ganyard said...

My mother-in-law lives in the McAllen area and I have seen these places many times, but never thought tok go in one. Next time I will have to check it out.

Feather on a Wire said...

I am so jealous! My poor husband has to put up with me eyeing up his shirts as we have nothing like this in England. (And when he buys shirts, I always guide him to the ones I'll want to cut up down the line)

Leila said...

My sister in law talks about this place. I think it sounds kinda stressful (like the very best treasure MUST be at the bottom of the pile. . .)

Beth said...

Bonnie that looks like your kind of place. Bet that was a great treasure hunt.

Kathie said...

oh my gosh, I just can't imagine!
only you could find a place like that
I was surprised at how little your tote bag was!!!!!
Kathie