Saturday, February 11, 2012

Tales and Tubes and Travel Things

I just love the stories that random strangers tell me at garage sales. Today’s came about because I found these two adorable cross-stitch pieces.

IMG_3992 cr

My sister, Midcentury Marilyn, has blue and white décor in her kitchen, so I immediately thought of her. (And now I have ruined the surprise she would have had when I send them to her. Hmmm, maybe I can hold onto them for a while – translation: forget I bought them and not send them for months – and by the time she gets them she’ll have forgotten about them too and so will actually be surprised. Yup, could work.)

I felt like the tail of a dog as I stood at the end of the line to pay for them. The house was full of people milling about. To my right was a room with some stuff in it for sale, and when people wanted in there I’d move to the left. On my left was the family room, so when folks wanted in there I’d move to the right. Had a regular dance going for a while. I’m glad the line wasn’t any longer than it was!

So I handed over two bills (small ones!) and headed back to the car. Just past the driveway I saw a guy standing and waiting, nursing his Starbucks container. “Couldn’t take it in there?” I asked him. It wasn’t a sale for a claustrophobic. He laughed. “I took a quick look around the garage and then I got out. Too crowded for me. My wife will be a while though. She uses her elbows and is better at getting through crowds.” (I’m glad I encountered him and not her!)  He asked if I’d found anything, and I held up my treasures, then mentioned they’d be going to Oklahoma. He brightened. “My wife’s from Oklahoma!” (Perhaps that’s where she learned her elbow skills.) We ascertained the tiny town she is from and how nice the people are there, including her parents. “When her dad was killed, we had to go and stay for a while to settle the estate,” he told me. “The people are so nice, but man, I could never live there, they have these enormous bugs!” (I agreed – my bug phobia is one of the reasons I live in the West.) He shook his head. “We were getting the house ready to sell, and I went in this room and there was just a gigantic bug. Well, I just backed right out of there and closed the door. And you know, we sold the house without ever opening that door!”

As they say…let the buyer beware!

I should have recognized the address of one place I stopped. Turned out to be a second weekend of a sale we went to last week. You can imagine how picked over it was, but they had a big ‘half-price’ sign, so I did a quick once-through, and sure enough found something. Now that we keep our bad boy Noll inside all the time I can feed the birds again, so I picked up a fifty-cent feeder. The birds have not yet discovered the thistle sock I hung up last week, but maybe they’ll recognize this style of feeder.


My last find is something I never thought to own, and won’t use very often, but I know that whenever I do use it I’ll think fondly of the two quarters it cost me.


It’s an airline seatbelt extender. You narrow-hipped folks won’t be able to relate to this, but some others might! Spending several hours strapped into a plane is bad enough, but when the seatbelt is just barely big enough it can verge on torture. And yes, you can ask for an extender – but it’s nicer not to have to ask. As Miss Piggy said in her Guide to Life regarding air travel, if getting there is half the fun – you must be going someplace pretty awful!


  1. Sharon,
    I like having garage sales because its fun talking to all the interesting people. My kids roll their eyes because I tend to make friends when I am standing in line at the grocery store. Must be the Southin' girl in me. Thanks for sharing your fun. I was working in the library today. Darling prints!

  2. Never heard of an idea! now that the kids left this morning, life can go forward down here...gotta quilt to quilt, and a stone planter to dry set and bunch of yard sales to catch up on....
    one bit of big excitement....we have tickets to see the Chieftains next Sat down in Irvine, and are TRES excited (that was for miss Piggy)! we don't go to many concerts but this is a dream come true!

  3. I love talking to other people and especially the people holding the sale. I like it when they knew the person who's stuff it was. Last week I bought some cocktail dresses and they belonged to the mother in law of the sale manager, she said she could just picture her wearing them at a dinner party at her house. They did have a lot of entertaining items. The stories make all the difference!

  4. Oooohh, cocktail dresses! I am a total sucker for vintage dresses!


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

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