Saturday, September 8, 2012

Till the Cows Come Home

Is there anything sweeter than hearing the words, “Let me tell you the story of that” as you are paying for a yard-sale item? Lots of times I can get stories because I chat up the seller and solicit the information, but every once in a while someone just volunteers. Happened on Friday at a moving sale for a retired couple headed for Arizona. We’d already gotten into a three-way conversation with another shopper because we all hailed from the same part of the country – Oklahoma and Texas. As we talked we found even more connections in Missouri and Arkansas. If we’d kept at it much longer we would probably have turned out to be cousins or something. But I had two restless dogs in the car, so I handed over a dollar bill for this vintage train case.


I wasn’t in the market for a train case, it just forced itself on me with cries of “Take me! Take me!”


Needs some cleaning up, and the inside is definitely on the scuzzy side.


But there are tutorials online showing how to refurbish these puppies, and I think some cleaning and fresh fabric and sitting in the sunshine will do the trick. In any case, I handed over a dollar, and heard my favorite line, “Let me tell you the story of that.” Oh yes, please, I said. “This was part of a graduation gift from my parents. They gave me a whole set of this luggage, and this is the only piece that’s still left. And that was back in 1964!” If I’d had my wits about me more, I should have asked where this little case has traveled over the years. Next time!

It was nice to get a story, because we seem to have entered the summer doldrums I’ve written about before. Seems like this time of year I never find much, even if the sales are plentiful. Bought nothing on Saturday, and my other Friday finds were two seat belt clips for the dogs (I fret over their safety in the car and want to get them in seatbelts, which we own but rarely use because they are awkward in our cars)


a book I’ve been wanting for some time


and a sofa pillow.


Looks like hand embroidery but probably isn’t, but I really like the design. The zipper was kaput, hence its fifty-cent price tag, but I just stitched it up. Spent $4.50 in all, not bad.


And for less than a fiver, I not only got an item’s history, I got to overhear a fun conversation. (Yes, I’m easily entertained!) At one sale I noticed in passing a framed picture of a cow. Not something I need (or want). A couple of minutes later I heard another guy who was shopping ask how much the cow picture was. “My daughter kind of collects cows,” he explained. The husband having the sale told him, “You can have the whole herd for a buck.” I immediately got a mental picture of several cows standing behind a fence.

cows at fence

Then the wife added, “That one was painted by my son’s first ex-wife.” My mental picture quickly changed to a herd of ex-wives behind the fence. I left before my big mouth could ask just how many ex-wives her son had!



  1. I hope Zoe doesn't eat the pillow!

    1. Funny you should say that, since she ate the corners off another pillow last week. Now we know why I buy fifty cent pillows.

      Bad dog! Stop that!

  2. I laughed when I read your ex wives comment. My brother has three.

  3. Herd of ex-wives -- too funny!
    Seriously, though, I always LOVE to hear the stories of the things I buy. There have even been some items I end up thinking of as 'Bertha's apron' or 'Marge's recipe box' because the previous owners become real people to me. Loved this post!

  4. I thought Zoe had eaten up another pillow when you posted this pillow. Lol. I have a similar train case. It is the same brand but it is red. I have napkin rings in mine.
    Thanks for posting.


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

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