I find myself constantly surprised so far that as soon as I start thinking of an item that I need but can't buy, a source of the item seems to appear. I don't know how or why this is, but most likely its simply because I'm looking for it now, whereas before I would have just gone out and bought it. My two most recent identified needs were towels and greeting cards.
My husband was getting a card ready to mail to his mother for her birthday this week, and I noticed that our stock of greeting cards was very low--basically down to the stuff that doesn't really suit anyone we know. Now, I'm a big fan of homemade cards, especially for kids' birthday parties and for people like grandparents who get a kick out of them. Otherwise, I'm not that crafty and would really need to do some learning (and come across some second-hand materials) to pull off nice cards for adult friends and such. We were also out of envelopes, and had to scrape to find one to mail a bill. So I had my thinking cap on, but wasn't coming up with much.
The second need I had identified was towels. When we moved into our house 4 years ago, we not only needed towels but lost some to various purposes during the move. We redecorated the kids bathroom and bought new towels to match, but have yet to redecorate the master bath and are still using the 3 or 4 ratty towels that remained. We've always intended to buy some, but have been waiting until we redid the bathroom. After drying off with a hand towel for the hundredth time, I finally decided I needed to find a source of second-hand towels, and I wasn't sure how excited I was about that.
Well, lo and behold, I was helping a friend unload some things from her car when I saw a box brimming with brightly colored towels. I aksed her about them, and she said the box of stuff had more or less been pushed on her by a family member clearing out clutter, and she took it to be polite but didn't want it. She nearly jumped for joy when told her I'd take it. The towels were clean and in good shape, and also contained a new-in-package bundle of washcloths. The bright colors work in the kids bathroom, so hubby and I will be using their towels in our bathroom. Problem solved! I forgot to take a picture before I washed them and put them away, so everyone gets to enjoy a view of the kids' bathroom cabinet--LOL.
The crown jewel to it all was what I found in the bottom of the box--a grocery bag full of over a hundred greeting cards and envelopes for every occasion! I was very surprised and couldn't believe two such hard-to-find items were taken off my list with one fortuitous glance into the back of a friends car. My daughter immediately confiscated the box, since I have a birthday coming up. I happened to notice that when she returned it to me, the Mother's Day card I had seen in it had dissappeared too. :)