Yes, for me that is a major splurge! And half of it was for one item. A sudden fit of passion was all it took!
Judy and I headed out Friday for sales that were miles apart. There was still a short line waiting to get into the first estate sale, but we decided to wait. Everyone was chatting and having a nice time. I got into conversation with the lady behind us, and Judy suddenly left the line to talk to a gentleman 4 or 5 places back. When we got inside she explained he was her ex-brother in law! This happens all the time with her, the woman runs into someone she knows just about everywhere we go. Didn’t find anything I wanted to here, so we hopped back in the car and headed to the north end of town. (Chattering all the way – we never run out of conversation.)
This sale was better – I actually started picking up a few things. A pair of black angora gloves, a white Italian wool muffler that looks like it’s never been used (I like it with that black coat I got
a can of mini Victorian twisted tinsel, just like I found at another sale last year.Could not resist this vintage wire letter holder – it looks too much like our friend Xanadu!
It’s only 36” wide but there’s over 3 yards of it. Any suggestions on how I should use it?
Then we walked into the living room, where we saw a mid century cabinet in one corner. Judy wondered what it was, and I said I bet it was a record player. The price wasn't marked, so we asked. Twenty-five bucks. Does it work? No one knew. Another shopper asked if it had a radio in it, and we all stood around inspecting it. Then one of the worker guys grabbed an album off the pile that was for sale, put it on the turntable, and gently lifted the needle onto the record.
Nat King Cole began to sing “Unforgettable.” Everyone in the room paused in what they were doing. And a moment later, over the lush music, I heard a voice saying, “Mine. It’s mine. I’ll take it.”
Yeah. My voice. What can I say…the sound was to die for; I could hardly believe the clarity. An RCA Victor Total Sound Stereophonic record player. It’s a wonderful piece of furniture, just the right period for my house.
I love the legs, the font on the control panel.
Look at the embossed emblem on the arm.Nipper, the RCA dog, always reminds me of our Zoe. Or vice versa.
These puppies were the bomb, back in the day.
And yes, I bought the Nat King Cole album too, plus another blast from the past.Luckily I was driving the Civic (knew it was too cold and rainy to put the top down on my convertible) and the RCA fit nicely into the back. We headed on to our last estate sale, where the first thing I saw was a piano. I have my weaknesses; I can never pass a wind chime without hearing what it sounds like, and I’m the same with a piano. So I stood and played it for a couple of minutes (that folk-sounding tune that Ken Burns used in his Civil War documentary). A nice looking piano but the sound left something to be desired. Left it to look at the stack of record albums (now that I have to collect them again!) and when I asked how much the records were, the lady said, “They’re a dollar each, and you get a free one because you played the piano!” First time I've ever been rewarded for my piano playing, which is at a pretty primitive level!
Saturday started with an estate sale with nothing for me, then a couple of moving sales. When I arrived at the first, they were loading the biggest Christmas wreath I've ever seen into the trunk of a car as a cute little dog watched. I went inside to shop, and a few minutes later the guy came in laughing. “While we loading that thing,” he told his wife, “Al climbed into the front seat of her car and was ready for a ride.” Al was the dog. He spends his days in a second grade classroom. Lucky kids!
There were some wine glasses for sale, and okay, that’s another sound I can’t resist. I never buy a wine glass without pinging it, and if it doesn't sound right I don’t buy it. These sounded fine.
When I got them home I noticed a brand name etched on the base and looked them up.
Riedel. OMG. Did you know that just one of their best wine glasses can cost over $200? I imagine these two are from a less fancy line, but even the least expensive ones are over twenty bucks each. I’d say a buck for the pair is a win for me – and just think how good my pinot noir will taste!
My last stop was more downscale, but a nice family, getting ready to move. I noticed a little glass topped patio table and four chairs; they need repainting but hey, for $15 I can do that. And the chairs are fabulous.
I discovered they were made by Homecrest, most likely in the early Sixties. I’ll be keeping an eye out for something like a heavy vinyl tablecloth to use for recovering the seats. This set will live on our downstairs deck. Any votes on what color to paint them?
So that’s the story of my third biggest splurge of 2013. Number two was the weekend that included a weight bench set for fifty bucks, which my husband uses regularly. (Better than monthly gym fees!) And the really biggie was back in May when I scored 31 items of quality clothing for a little over $70 – or about the price of just one of the Hawaiian shirts it included.
Seven more weekends…wonder if there are any more treasures out there waiting for me this year?
When I wrote that last paragraph on Saturday evening, I figured that was the end of the story. But every time I woke up in the night I found I was thinking about something I’d seen at the first sale on Saturday, and I knew I had to go back.
For a bonsai.
This estate sale included a big collection of bonsai. I have to admit I can take or leave the usual evergreens, but these were mostly deciduous trees. Maples, a mimosa, a contorted filbert.
I was tempted but resisted their price…but knew that Sunday would be half-price day. I admit I was kind of antsy driving over there, afraid they’d all be gone. I kept reminding myself of my belief that if we’re supposed to have something, we will. When I arrived at the house I hurried downstairs and out onto the patio – where there were two bonsai left. An evergreen, and an elm.
Of all the bonsai in the group picture, I do think this is about the prettiest! I love the double trunk. And when I got home I started reading about its care, and apparently the Chinese elm is considered perfect for beginners. (Whew!) And you know what? I bet my little tree will just love Nat King Cole.