Oh joy, an estate sale on Friday! You thrifters know that feeling, when it’s winter and raining (or maybe snowing where you are) and there just are no sales to go to…and then there is one. Whew! This one was in Albany (about half an hour away) and my cohort Judy was vacationing in Bend so I was on my own, but I was going. So there.
And it did not disappoint. The house was one of those large 1890s numbers that someone with imagination had lived in. I wanted to steal the handles off the corner cupboards in the dining room.
Upstairs was decorated with some amazing wallpaper.
The master bedroom had its own sitting room.
See the red chair? We’ll return to the red chair in a bit.
I made my way through the upstairs, then the basement (which appeared to have been updated in the Fifties with a rumpus room), then the main floor (the kitchen had cabinets from the Twenties and a peninsula counter from the Fifties), gathering up some goodies and wishing Judy was with me to try on all the hats. This one was hand constructed by ‘Sherman’ and had a matching handbag.
I went to pay. The cashier was probably in her fifties and had very short mottled blue hair. Smurf blue. I admit this is a fashion that I do not want to participate in (you won’t see me in one of those long jersey dresses with the bold stripes either) but it was a cheerful blue and she was quite pleasant. I commended her and her helper on their pricing (very reasonable even by my standards!) and she said, “It does not help the estate if no one buys anything.” I wish more estate sale folks shared her philosophy.
While I was paying there was conversation about the woman buying “the chair” and if she had paid for it. Someone stepped outside to check and came back and reported she was just loading the chair into her car and would be back in a minute to pay for that and some other things. They kept watching from the window and commenting on the progress of getting the chair into the car and what kind of car it was (a Toyota) and was it a hatchback and couldn’t she lay down the back seats and get it in that way but no, they don’t work like that in that car, and it looks like she’s just about got it in. I took my change and bag of goodies, and headed out the front door.
The woman with the chair was taking a breather. I stopped to ask if she could use a little help. Oh no, she was fine she said, but she was gasping for breath and sweat was literally running down her face. She had gotten a lot of the chair into the passenger seat, but a goodly hunk was still sticking out. And although she kept saying she could do it, she also leaned over with her hands on her knees and muttered something about feeling like she was going to throw up. Just breathe, I told her, slow breaths, in, out…and holding my own breath hoping very hard that no throwing up would ensue.
Which it did not. Hallelujah. In a few minutes we tackled the chair again. Ooched and pushed. I went around and pulled from the other side. We talked as we ooched and I learned she’s a writer, Therese. (Turns out I’m familiar with her blog.) Meanwhile people are coming and going and while one or two made humorous comments no one else stopped to lend a hand.
(Which I don’t get. Aren’t we here to help each other? And it goes both ways – when someone does offer help, how often do we say oh no, I’m fine, don’t you worry about me.)
We got the chair further into the car, but not enough. Door won’t close. Chair has turned into something like my cat Mrs. Wilberforce when she has to go into a traveling case. Her legs go out sideways (how does she do that?) and she will NOT fit through the door. I think Chair was simply refusing to get in the car. No! I live here and I’m not leaving! Chair was thinking.
A large young man carrying a toy frog came out of the sale. He looked strong. I accosted him for further aid. He didn’t think he could do anything, but by golly we ooched it some more. He turned around and butted Chair further in. And that was it. Chair was in as far as she would go. Door was still a couple of inches from closing, but nice young man with frog fetched a bungee cord from his truck and we wrapped it to the back door and hoped no cops would notice.
Which I guess they didn’t, as you can see from Therese’s account of the story. I think this is the first time I’ve gotten to read the other side!
My own purchases were easy to fling into my car and head home, and it was $8.50 well spent. The bulk of it went for this completely frivolous find.
I think I have a new collection: Odd Wooden Toys. Everyone who sees this one is reminded of the flying nun. I love the jaunty angle of her hat brim.
Then they marvel at the gigantic (almost heraldic) cat.
I went looking online and found nothing remotely like it. Maybe it was a prototype, and the toy company owner looked at it and told the designer, nope. That will never sell.
In one of the upstairs rooms there were vintage bags and gloves. When I picked these up
my hands told my brain, ooooh, cashmere. I thought they had an owie (which I knew I could repair)
but it was just holding the tag confirming what my hands already knew.
There was a stack of vintage linens with really amazing prices. I’m pretty sure these are placemats, not towels.
When I saw this tag, I knew they were coming home with me.
More lovely handwork. Currently in their oxy soak; hopefully the age stains will go away.
Picked up some sets of napkins, and my hands told my brain, oooooh, linen.
The weaving and feel remind me very much of a never-used set I sold on eBay for something like $80.
I’m trying them out on our dining table as a runner.
There was only one disappointment, and it was my own fault. This is good tea, and certainly the price was reasonable