Susan Dromey Heeter's Budget Vogue: A word scrapbook of column memories

By SUSAN DROMEY HEETER August 19. 2017 2:24AM

Scrapbooking is to me is what thrift shopping is to my husband: something foreign, distant and vaguely confusing. I have never made a scrapbook, but am entirely in awe of those who do create these legacies of memories, capture time and showcase beautiful words, thoughts, moments.

I'd like to scrapbook a bit today - simply in black and white with words - to showcase some of the highlights of my Budget Vogue columns, ones that warm my heart with memories of time and place.

My very first column showcased a pair of Gucci boots I found at Wonderland Thrift Store, now in Stratham. At the time, Wonderland was located in Exeter and the boots were in a box of shoes located in the back. I tried for days to get those boots over my thick calves but to no avail. I ended up selling those $2 boots on EBay for $300. Score.

But my favorite score on that column? Walking around Full Circle Thrift Shop in Kittery, Maine, and hearing a woman say, "I just read about a woman who found a pair of Gucci boots for two dollars and sold them on EBay." I was flabbergasted and approached the woman and said, "That was me!" I felt I had arrived. If I did scrapbook, I'd put a picture of her in there. She made my day. Someone read this Budget Vogue column. I was amazed.

When I first started writing Budget Vogue, I was a brunette. My hair was as dark as it had been since the day I was born. Alas, for decades that hair color came out of a bottle. The column I wrote about going gray was one that seemed to resonate with quite a few readers.

My hair is entirely silver now and very often I'm asked about the process. I refer readers to my column where I'd imagined Oprah interviewing me. If I scrapbooked? I'd cut out the front of a Nice 'n Easy box and put a big "X" through it. And then maybe I'd put a strand of my gray hair under the plastic.

My life this summer has involved quite a few trips to New York City. I've written about Manhattan on a budget, and I recall the first time I wrote about trekking down to Gotham with my girls - who were 7 and 11 at the time.

At this writing, my 17-year-old has spent the entire summer in NYC and I've had a myriad of opportunities to visit. If I scrapbooked, I'd put the tickets to "Book of Mormon" we just won via the pre-show lottery for $30 each. Front row. We were so close we witnessed sweat, saw the tiny microphones the performers wear on their foreheads, had absolutely no obstruction. Brilliance. I bask in the glory of continuing to trek to the Big Apple on a dime.

Budget Vogue has been a venue to share not only the joy of thrift shopping but the joy of frugality and simplicity - shopping at Market Basket, celebrating my late dear friend, Joan Ryan, as the "Matriarch of the Repurposed," hyperventilating at the 700-Family Yard Sale held in Durham year after year. I'd scrapbook a picture of the ganache cake of Market Basket - perhaps with a picture of Artie T.

As I write, this scrapbook in my head looks delightful and I hope you readers may enjoy the walk down memory lane. At some point, ideally I will gather these columns, these "best ofs" and compile them in a book. I invite you to let me know any you might enjoy seeing between its covers.

Best for a lovely end of August. I'll scrapbook my memories of your lovely notes and comments.

Susan Dromey Heeter lives and teaches on the Seacoast. Contact her at Budget Vogue appears monthly in the Sunday News.

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