“It's in my car.” We headed out to the garage. He looked in the back seat and smiled. When you come home with an item your husband was about purchase at a store, and you paid one-fourth of what the store would have charged, smiling is definitely in order.
We’re starting to renovate our yard, and he told me the other day that he wanted to buy an electric mower (been using a push model, but it's all pushed out). And there it was, at the very last sale, the one I almost missed. Saw the sign as I turned the other direction, circled back around. New-looking electric mower, huge bundle of extension cord, hedge trimmer (which we also need—the $5 one we bought at a garage sale 15 years ago is getting tired). After admiring their gorgeous chocolate lab, I asked the couple having the sale how much they wanted for the mower. Fifty bucks. We plugged it in so I could see that it runs. I got its life history. I checked my billfold. I had $45 left, would that do? Close enough. So the husband showed me how to fold down the handle, and fitted my new mower into the back seat of my convertible. The ten-year-old son stowed the hedge trimmer and the 150 feet of extension cord among my other purchases, and I thanked them most sincerely.
A satisfied expression crossed the man’s face.
“There was a guy earlier, offered me thirty bucks for it, and said he’d be back later ‘cause I wouldn’t sell it. I sure hope he does come back.” He looked very happy at the thought.
It was a pretty happy morning all around. One woman had a huge stack of magazines she was giving away and was terribly pleased when I took about 20 of them. (There will be no lack of reading matter in my bathroom for some time to come!)
I talked to a quilter at another sale and was telling her about creating aprons from skirts and dresses. Her eyes lit up. “I made aprons last Christmas, and I hated doing the hems.” I foresee more aprons in her future.
I kept meeting people who love libraries—the woman who takes her grandchildren to storytime, the boy who had just finished “the most awesome book ever, they ought to make it into a movie of the week!” A teenage girl engrossed in a novel that I recognized as from one of our branches. Showed her the genre label on the spine that I designed; no doubt she was suitably impressed (not!).
Talked to a couple of women who make glass beads in a little studio in their garage. Oxygen tanks and blow torches and rods of glass were ready to go. One of them also makes little glass dragons; the purple one she showed me was quite fetching.
I chatted with a middle age lady and her mother at another sale as I picked up a couple of things to buy. I spotted a new-looking pasta server marked $1 and joked, “A dollar is kind of high for a back scratcher, don’t you think?” The older lady took it from me and tried it. A satisfied expression crossed her face.
"That’s wonderful, way better than those flimsy bamboo things.”
“That’s what I use mine for,” I told her. “Next to a husband it's the best back scratcher around.”
When I left she was peeling off the price tag.
I spent $49.35. You already know about the mower, trimmer, and endless extension cord. The rest went for:
Book on teddies. It was supposed to be a dime, but I was out of change at that point and the lady said just take it. I was happy to.
A yard of lovely lilac-print cotton fabric, plus pieces of this great cowboy theme material.
Another apron-to-be. This is actual patchwork, not just printed fabric. I asked the guy how much; he said, “Fifty cents. Oh, twenty five cents.” I love it when they talk themselves down. Hauled out my billfold. I had a nickel in the coin compartment. “That’s fine,” he said. So I got a ninety-percent discount on the original garage sale price.
Lovely wool and angora yarn to resell.
I was perusing a box of rolls of pink plastic mesh, trying to decide if they could be of any use to a children’s librarian and thus a worthy door prize (decided no, hope it's not the one thing they’ve all been wanting!). A man’s voice across the driveway rose in humorous confusion. “What the heck is this thing for? It looks like something a terrorist would use.”
I looked over. It was a suitcasey sort of thing. He went on. “You could break down your weapons and fit ‘em in here and put ‘em on the plane.”
“It’s for scrapbooking,” was the reply.