Saturday, December 7, 2013

When Life Gives You Snowflakes…

I was SO excited Friday morning to head out with 4 or 5 estate sale addresses programmed into my GPS. When I picked Judy up she was just as jazzed – that many sales in December is a bonanza in these parts.

So what if a flake or two of snow was starting to fall! It was nothing. Of course, by the time we reached the first address, it was more than a flake or two, but the streets were still clear and dry. We were a little surprised to see a small sale set up by the sidewalk though. “When the house across the street is having an estate sale, it’s a good time to set up your own!” the lady told us. “Of course I wasn’t expecting snow.” We chatted for a few minutes as we perused her wares. “I think the mosquito repellant bands are going to be a hard sell this morning,” I told her, brushing snow off the package.

The estate sale house is one Judy and I have driven by many times and we always exclaim over how much we like it.

If anyone is in the market for a beautiful home with lots of built in storage and cool nooks and crannies, let me know and I’ll point you in the right direction! And it’s only about 4 blocks from the governor’s mansion, so you know it must be a nice neighborhood. (And no, those bushes were not blooming when we were there!)

Estate sales can tell a lot about the people who lived in a house. I think this was a very creative couple from the things we saw. She liked to sew, among other things, and had quite a stash of fabric and patterns. The ladies running the sale had arranged the fabric by color.     fabric stashThere was a good sized box of vintage patterns. This was our favorite.

three hats and a curler bag

He liked to make things too. I picked up a box of leather scraps for my BIL, Biker Bob, who’s been making some cool biker accessories and asked me to keep an eye out for leather. The box was taped up to keep everything together, so I had to wait until I got home to see what was there. It’s hard to resist a grab bag, isn’t it? Turns out there are all kinds of leather scraps.

leather stash

Green, anyone? Or purple?

green leatherpurple leather

There are practice pieces of tooling.

tooling leather

I probably will toss the random bit of string

green cord

but the lacing and needles will no doubt be useful.

leather lacingsleather needles

He was also a wood carver. I’d never seen a pipe before it was a pipe!

pipe carvingbefore carvingafter carving

Must have been heartbreaking when this beautiful piece of wood cracked.

oh no, it cracked!

The biggest (literally and figuratively) surprise was the 35- inch-long tanned snakeskin!

snakeskinsnakesking detail

This appears to have come from an alligator farm in Florida that Ross Allen ran from 1929 to 1969. So it must be at least 45 years old. Besides wrestling alligators and tanning skins, Ross also was a stunt double for Johnny Weissmuller in a Tarzan movie. Thrifting is SO educational!

Ross Allen snakeskin

My other purchase was an old tied baby quilt.

Zoe likes her quilt

Not fancy, but isn’t that flannel fabric adorable? And the batting inside appears to be wool.

lambs in flannel wool batt

You pick it up and all you can think is “cozy.” Zoe loves it. It was only a dollar because of its condition, but I’ve been wanting some kind of throw to cover the leather cushion of my vintage Siesta Chair

my chair

which is Zoe’s favorite sleeping spot. If Edward gets in it, she barks at him until he climbs out again.


We probably spent at least an hour at the sale, enjoying the details of the house as much as shopping. Down in the basement (wonderful vintage rec room) we heard some guys laughing as they came out of the laundry room. “They must have had to build the house around that thing!” one of them exclaimed.

I think they may be right. Biggest darned freezer I’ve ever seen in a home.

BIG freezervintage Beall freezer logo

When we emerged from the sale, we spontaneously began to sing “Winter Wonderland” for the snow had been busy. Had to scrape at least an inch off the car windows, and when we started around the corner and down the hill, braking got very interesting as I approached the stop sign. It only took us a couple of blocks to realize there was no way we were going to be able to go to any more sales. Just about broke our hearts, but we didn’t have long to think about it, because right away we had to concentrate on getting home.

The snow wasn’t terribly deep yet, but it was the kind that packs down and gets slick as soon as the first car drives on it…and we both live up a pretty steep hill. Fortunately I zigzag through our neighborhood often and know it quite well, and I was able to choose some of the less steep blocks for our ascent. Traffic was almost nonexistent once I was off the main street, so I took it slow and managed not to use my brakes until I got to Judy’s house. She seemed to be willing to hop out without my stopping, but I didn’t think that was necessary!

Made the few blocks from her house to mine just fine, and carefully backed into the carport with a sigh of relief. You know, no matter how old you get, life still hands you new experiences: I’ve never been garaging in a snowstorm before!

snow in the garden


  1. Oooooohhhhh....heading up up a hill under those circumstances is absolutely terrifying. The fear of losing control and sliding backwards is even more overwhelming than trying to get DOWN an icy slope, I think!
    ............but that feeling when you can pull into your own drive - safe and sound - and can finally take a breath!

    It looked like a very nice sale!

    1. Yup, that feeling is priceless! When we lived in snow country before we had studded tires on the car in winter. Guess they really did make a difference!

  2. How disappointing that you had to skip the other estate sales. Glad you got home safe and sound though.

    1. You said it. It was really hard to bail out just for the weather, but I'm sure it was the smart thing to do.

  3. I love trying to figure out what kind of interests and what kind of lives the people in the estates sales lived. Some times it makes me sad though. I'm glad you made it home safely. Never driven in the snow.

  4. Thanks! We spent the next four days in the house, it was nice when we could get out again.

    I figure someday (far, far in the future!) there will be an estate sale of my stuff. I picture people wandering around the house, amazed and delighted at what they find!

  5. I always love hearing about your escapades! At least you found one good sale and made it home safely! ~~Pam


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

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