The Charm of Re-Purposing

I jaun12472340_10154019662203762_4425929220853481898_nted up to Lynden today.  Since I’m staying at Amanda & Leo’s, watching their doggies while they’re honeymooning in Maui, it was a short and pleasant drive through the countryside.  Those roundabouts add to the jaunty feel, slowing traffic for a couple of do-si-dos.

I chose the Front Street route.  I like to greet my dearly departed ancestors as I drive by the cemetery that way.  I like the tunnel of trees that leads downtown.  I stopped first at the Windmill, which housed a shop full of Dutch delicacies last time I check, but that space has become a big, fancy restaurant.  While there, I strolled the indoor canal to enjoy the sight of beautiful koi and note the other shop changes.  Then I continued down the street.  I had a mission; to gather treats reflecting my heritage, for a themed gathering this weekend.  I had in mind to find a loaf of Koeke, and a bag of Dubble Zoute Licorice, special treats that I grew up with.

I stopped in at Lynden Paint  and ordered a custom pint to finish a wall I put in for Amanda a couple years ago.  I stopped in at the bakery and cafe, just to feast my eyes and nose.  I found a big bag of Zoute Drops and some Speculaas at the Dutch Mothers restaurant, and settled for those, as I really didn’t want to visit the Supermarket.  Sad that the specialty shop was gone.

The next point of interest was across the street.  The historical building that had been the Delft Square most of my life, then suffered a fire in 2008, was open and bustl12376654_10154020956903762_962632801553317896_ning with new business!   The lineup in front is Avenue Bread, a Village Books/Paper Dreams meld, and Drizzle.  Sound familiar, Fairhaven?!  The back and upper floors are a hotel.  I must say, I was impressed with what has been done with that old building.  The original massive beams, floors and poured cement walls are intact features of the rustic modern decor throughout.  Flaws and even burn marks are simply part of the charm!  Whatever was still there and functional was re-purposed.  I love that.


That’s my intention for my bus, as well.  Whatever is there and adequate for my needs, I want to keep.  No need to rip out all the old insulation, walls and floor.  I don’t want to spend precious resources to turn it into something unrecognizable with newly purchased materials.  I will buy new ONLY as a last resort.  The ReStore, Craigslist and materials re-purposed from myself, friends and community will build this bus home.  Labor of patience, love, whimsy and imagination will be the transforming power.



  1. Eager to see the LDS site transformation for myself this summer.

    • …It took me a while, but you’re referring to the Lynden Department Store, which the Delft Square was in your youth, before my time! Yes! I think you’ll find it’s more similar to it’s original condition now than it has been for several decades! It’s sorta like when I removed the crumbling drywall from a room in Grandpa’s old house on the Halverstick, revealing the original lath walls (which I don’t think he appreciated. ..sorry Grandpa).


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