Sunday, August 19, 2012

Passing By

All these garage sales we go to…seems like many of them mark some passage in life. Sometimes it’s that the kids have outgrown clothes and toys, and it’s time to let those things go to some other family. I see lots of those, and sometimes I just drive on by. Since I no longer buy door prizes for children’s librarians, my need for toys has greatly diminished! Besides, there’s no need to tempt myself with too many beauties like this one…which I thought I might resell, but have not been able to part with.

Kouvalis Ladybug

Decluttering can definitely be a life event. Sometimes the decluttering is because someone decides to have a sale, and sometimes they have a sale because they decided to declutter. Either way, it feels good to lighten the load in our homes. I know that sounds strange coming from someone who goes out just about every weekend on a treasure hunt, but maybe that’s the key word…treasure. I bring new-to-me things into the house, but I’ve also sent boxes of stuff to the kitty rescue thrift store. I figure as long as something makes me happy I’ll keep it. Sometimes I’m quite surprised by what makes me happy though. Like this vintage mixer bowl, and a couple of 4” springform pans.


I can’t explain it. I pick up this bowl of heavy white milk glass and it just makes me smile. Perhaps it belonged to a very happy cook and absorbed those good vibes. And…it cost fifty cents!

One of my stops this weekend was an estate sale – definitely a passage. The things in the house had belonged to a woman who sewed, and made costumes, and kept children’s drawings. And she wrote notes about her possessions, like the lady whose rug now graces my kitchen. Didn’t buy anything at this sale, but I enjoyed some of the notes.


The most poignant sale was for an elderly couple who are selling their home of many years and moving to a retirement center. Most of the sale was in the garage, where various family members were handling business. They were a fun group. I heard a woman complain that someone had taken something from “her pile.” One of the guys told her, “Hey, you can just charge her for your personal shopping services.” She seemed to like the idea of leaving a sale with more money than when she arrived. I saw a sign that there was furniture inside the house, so I went in to see if I could find that last twin bed I’m looking for. Nope. But the elderly couple were in the living room where a sofa and some other pieces were for sale. She was on the sofa, and I asked if she were demonstrating the merchandise. She said she was, and invited me to help her, so I sat and chatted for a few minutes. They seemed brave and resolute, but I could tell this was a hard thing to leave their home.

Another couple I met was also having a moving sale, but they were at the other end of life’s journey, with a little boy about a year and half old. Some of their items had a midcentury vibe, like this gem


which I did not buy. I wonder how many baby boomers have horrible memories of bad haircuts given by well-meaning moms who believed the “if you can comb hair, you can cut hair” promise. In fact, wasn’t that a chapter in one of Beverly Cleary’s Henry Huggins books?

I got to talking to the couple at this sale, and it turned out they’re moving not terribly far from me, into a midcentury modern house! They got quite excited when I mentioned we’re starting a group up for MCM aficionados, and fortunately I had some flyers that we made up recently. Seems like they’ll be a real asset to the group, since they took a handful of flyers with the intention of dropping them off at cool mcm houses they encounter. I can’t wait to get this group going, because everyone who’s interested really wants to have potlucks and see other people’s houses – which is my idea of a good time!


Spent a total of $8.25 this weekend. The rest of my finds were some movies


a CD I thought my biker BIL might enjoy (I thought the disc label was too cool)

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a handmade vintage apron with chicken scratch embroidery

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a fabulous Pyrex dish with lid and teak-handled rack (can’t you just see it at a potluck with baked beans in it?)


and a tea cozy.


It’s very nicely made, and appears to be German.

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Found it at my last stop, and I suspect it was still on that driveway because I was the only person who’d come along who recognized what it was. Kind of like the time I bought a darning egg (yes, occasionally I darn a sock) and the person selling it didn’t even know what it was.

Sounds like one of those life passages…being old enough to recognize a tea cozy!



  1. Thoroughly enjoyed your post. I too have treasures that make me happy and cannot part with. My problem is almost all of my treasures make me happy!

  2. "Does it make me happy" seems like a good tool for de-cluttering. I do need to get to that as after a few years of treasure hunting I have found a lot of things that do to replace the things that do not make me happy. That Pyrex dish in the rack would make me happy. I have bought tea cosies and a darning mushroom in situations where the people selling them do not know what there selling and I guess they might be getting more than money if you educate them to the objects purpose.

  3. I think your group sounds like a wonderful, delightful idea!! you will have to tell some tales of your meetings/gatherings too!

  4. I love finding treasures even when they are not for me! I love the Pyrex dish and with the holder too!! Great find!


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

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