Sunday, June 15, 2008

In which I find out I have a following

I picked up this ridiculous pillow, then put it down. I don't do decorative pillows. Picked it up again. Hmmm, silk, hand stitching, in perfect condition. Mere rationalizing. You can't rationalize passion. Okay, it's passion for a ridiculous pillow, but still passion.

How much? I asked. Fifty cents.


The morning started nicely. I greeted the woman and her 10-year-old son and asked if they were having fun yet (a line generally appreciated by people who have been up since dawn arranging belongings on their driveway). “Sure, now that you’re here. You’re our first customer!”

I'm easy. I was flattered. Bought a summer reading prize (there goes another fifty cents). While I was looking around the woman told her husband he needed to get the bike out there. He raised the garage door and the bike fell out onto the drive.

“That’s one way to get the bike out,” I ventured. The chuckled.

Lovely people.

It was an auspicious start—a good fifty cent buy and friendly folks at the first stop, but I had scant luck this Saturday. Just as well, since I spent so profligately last week. ;o) And even though the pickings were slim, it's the thrill of the chase that matters, that sense of adventure when you start down the road and don’t know what you’ll see. Did you ever read the books about Freddy the Pig by Walter R. Brooks? (If not, please do!) Among many other accomplishments, Freddy is a poet, and I sometimes think of one of his marching songs when I start out on Saturday morning:

Oh, the sailor may sing of his tall, swift ships
Of sailing the deep blue sea,
But the long, white road where adventures wait
Is the better life for me…

My adventures admittedly are mild, as perhaps behooves a middle aged librarian, but they’re mine. And even on a morning where you find nothing you want to take home you may see something you’ve never seen before. This time it was—a bounce house. Yes friends, I could have owned my very own bounce house. Imagine how popular that would have made me with the neighborhood children! Alas, even deflated it would not have fit in my car, so reluctantly (okay, not very) I left it there for someone else.

I spent three dollars this Saturday and brought home:

Two prizes for the staff summer reading program—a cute cache pot, and a white corian terrier cutting board. Evidently it was a souvenir of someone’s trip to Palm Springs, for it has the maker’s name and address on the back.

One more bug-related prize for a children’s librarian, a wooden butterfly puzzle thingie. I think the daylily looks scared, don’t you?

Proof that we have eclectic musical tastes at our house…a music video by Dead Can Dance, Natalie Cole singing standards, and a CD of fiddle tunes.

And the pillow. I simply could not leave it there. I needed it. Perhaps all our searching and buying is simply a way to reveal us to ourselves, to know ourselves better. When I look at this silly Halloween cat, I'm pulled in by the wide, terrified eyes and the grin almost big enough to hide the fear behind. But now he’s with others of his kind, and can relax.

If you go garaging in the same area long enough, you start to recognize the other regulars. If you drive a green convertible, they also recognize you. I was waiting at a red light around the corner from a phantom sale (you know the ones—there’s a sign on the corner, you drive down the street, and there’s no sale…harrumph!) when a car pulled up beside me and honked. I rolled down my window. Two ladies in the car that I've seen at other sales.

“Where were you going?” they asked. I said the signs had lied on that last street. “Well heck,” they said, “we were following you!”


  1. I love reading your adventures! We don't have garage sales over here but do have places where people can offload their rubbish (sorry I meant treasures)to people like me.
    Great bargains, I'm not sure if I could cope with the grinning cat but at that price I'd have brought him home too to see if he had grown on me.

  2. Fun post!!! Thanks for taking us on your adventures w/ you. I think the cat pillow is cute. He looks very at home w/ you. ;o)

  3. I have the same Dead Can Dance DVD! I love DCD! I must be an eclectic music lover too.

  4. Wow!! You really scored some awesome treasures.

    You have the best posts. I always look forward to seeing what you got, how much you paid and what plans you have for the item.

    You have inspired me at garage sales to not only look at the item but to look at other ways to use it.

    Keep them posts coming!!

  5. Gosh, you guys, thanks! It's fun having you along for the ride! ;o)

  6. "Perhaps all our searching and buying is simply a way to reveal us to ourselves, to know ourselves better."

    Isn't that so true? And then we put out in the main part of the house the things we want people to see and think about us, and keep some of the other treasures private. It's so sad to go into someone's home and see all the "stuff" and know that it isn't really the person, it's just what they want you to think about them. I don't have friends like that, but I used to know quite a few.

    I have that DCD too, but I think it's awful compared to earlier stuff of theirs. One day I will garage sale it away!

  7. I like the cat!! it has a Wallace and Grommit thing going!!

  8. So much fun again. Like I said, always a good time here. I wish our local garage sales had such an interesting lot of people!

    When your time permits I have a little award for you on my blog. Because you do make my day!

  9. I would have taken that pillow home. Great score!

    Does it make us weird that we love to read about other peoples' thrift/yard sale adventures? It's second hand second hand!

  10. FREDDY THE PIG :->..I have all of my husbands childhood books upstairs to read to my "someday" grandchildren and one series is the Freddy books as he loved them. He is now 66. I come from a long line of garage salers and can remember going with my grandma in the 1950's. On one of my birthdays my husband had the local paper print birthday wishes to me on the estate/garage sale page as he knew that way I would see it!!!


I really love your comments. Thanks for coming along on my thrifty adventures!

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