The fun started on Friday with an email from my colleague Cathy. “thought of you today....saw two mid-century modern lamps for $10 at a yard sale in Fullerton. she said if they didn't sell she would email me. they had the double ringed type of shade in bark type fabric with a print, and some interesting metal rods coming down over a pink enamel ball of sorts....you had to see it....If I hear back from her, will send you her email....”
Dang, I thought, they sound great and someone is sure to snatch them up. Oh well. But a while later this popped up in my inbox: “JUST GOT THIS FROM THEM......YOU CAN LOOK AT PHOTO AND CONTACT IF YOU WISH......GOOD LUCK”
And the picture?
There is a whole world of subtext to the phrase “heading for Fullerton.” It involves getting to the 55 freeway, then Interstate 5, then the 57, then the 91…all of it in Friday afternoon rush hour traffic. If Steven hadn’t come along so we could use the car pool lane I think I might still be toiling along in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Even the car pool lane is bumper-to-bumper, but it usually moves a tad faster. Eventually we got there. Found the house, where the front door (no screen door) was standing wide open. Trusting people, I thought. I rang the door bell. No one came. Waited, rang again, no one came. A minute later a woman with a toddler came around the corner and saw us and called hi. She’d been out walking her grandson and said everyone else in the house must have ignored the bell. She took us in the garage to see the lamps, talking all the while. She was in her early to mid sixties, and said these lamps had belonged to her parents. “They had all that blond furniture, that’s what I grew up with,” she told us. “My dad tried to give us his dining room set but I didn’t have room for it, and it’s not my taste. I don’t know what he ever did with it. I think my brother in law took it. One of the grandsons wanted it, but he wanted to paint it black and it really was too good for that.”
At this point I am practically gasping with pain, imagining what was probably Heywood-Wakefield dining room furniture being shoved unloved to whoever would take it. She also described their sofa, which was probably one of the Hey-Wake models with an attached end table. But alas, all she took from her parents’ house was these lamps, which have languished for years in her garage. They are going to be moving to Texas when her husband retires, so her daughter convinced her it’s time to get rid of stuff like these old lamps. We were able to sincerely assure them the lamps will have a good home. We ended up yakking for probably close to an hour, and I’m sure I could take a test on their family history and make a good grade.
By the time we left there, and dived back onto the various freeways, it was dinner time. We ended up stopping at our favorite Indian place, so perhaps I should add the cost of dinner to the price tag for the lamps, since if we hadn’t gone after them I would have cooked dinner at home. But I prefer to think of that as just a celebratory dinner to gloat over this find. As soon as we got home, Steven plugged them in and turned them on. The shades take on a new life when they are lit. I love the pattern in the fiberglass.
and the atomic-motif balls under the pink part just crack me up. I have no idea where they will end up in our retirement house, but wherever we put them I know they will be worthy conversation pieces.
So that was Friday’s big excitement. Saturday was even better (though no more midcentury finds) because…wait for it…I sold three copies of my book to people at their yards sales!
I know, how crazy is that? As one lady said, “This is the time I ever bought anything at my own yard sale!”
It came about just from chatting. No, I'm not yet walking around with copies of my novel, accosting strangers and forcing them to buy it. (Though I’m not saying I might not try that sometime. I do have a box of copies in the trunk of my car, just in case.) At the first place, this was the sequence: I asked the prices on a couple of items, and they were fifty cents. I mentioned my blog, since that’s my favorite price, and gave the two ladies having the sale my blog card. One of them said she liked the logoand I mentioned that I used it for my publishing company too, and that my first book has just come out. She very kindly asked what it’s about, and when I described it said she and a friend had just gotten back from a mystery conference, it’s her favorite kind of book. She bought two copies, one for herself and one for her friend. I even got to sign autographs. So thank you, Nancy, you really and truly made my day. Sure hope you like the book!
Further down the road, something similar happened. This time it started with a vintage bed, and I mentioned how I wished it were a pair of twin beds instead of a double since I need some for the retirement house, which led to describing how we plan to have writing and storytelling retreats there, and then to the book, and by gum they wanted a copy too. (Thank you, Marilyn!) There will probably be no living with me now. Actually, it’s really motivating me to finish the editing on the next book.
When I wasn’t taking in money, I managed to shell out a whole $7. I came home with 8 DVDs not in our collection. A couple of them cost a buck, but most were 25 cents. I am willing to try most any movie for a quarter. We watched part of Dinotopia last night, and it’s a hoot. If you’re old enough to remember the old Spin & Marty TV show, this is like an update of that—with dinosaurs.
I found a darling vintage dessert plate to fill the gap in our collection left by something getting broken a while back. We use these wooden racks for our plates so that everything is accessible (every plate is different, and we get to choose at each meal which to use). It also keeps me from bringing home too many dishes, since I can only have 8 of each size. I looked up the logo on the back of this new one and found the company (Bishop & Stonier) used this particular logo from 1891 to 1936. So it’s definitely new only to me!
Found some future door prizes, including a wooden puzzle for toddlersa cute bookmark and a Dakin giraffe puppet. Lizzie really, really wanted the puppet for her own, but I resisted, since her intentions were to chew off the tips of the ears, remove the eyes, then open a seam so she can pull out the stuffing.I know this from past experience.
Picked up this box of soaps
because I like having a variety of soaps to choose from, and I like chickens. Certainly would NEVER have paid the original price (this is for 4 small guest-size soaps!).And I can never resist images of reading, so I got a box of a dozen cards and envelopes.If I have a frame the right size in my stash I think I’ll hang up one of the cards. I looked up the artist, Nishan Akgulian. Click on the ‘bas bleu’ category for more of his reading images. I love them!
Speaking of love…yes, there were dogs this week! Lucy the chocolate Lab was described by her owner as ‘a very kind dog.’ Sweet little Coco Chanel is a Springer mix. Poor baby was attacked by another dog not long after she was rescued at age two, but she recovered from some pretty awful damage. She still has a bit of a ‘hitch in her getalong’ (sounds so much better than ‘limp’!) but doesn’t seem to mind a bit. (Dogs are such good role models.)