I know my parents like to go to the casino but I don’t know how much money they may spend in an afternoon. I do know they also like to yard sale with me on Saturday mornings and can sometimes spend only a handful of change. The casino is nothing more than time spent in the hallows of a smokey ballroom. The yard sales are more than time spent outside in the fresh wooded air. I’d like to believe that the hidden treasures in someone else’s yard is a better gamble than praying to get into someone else’s vault. While I’m not a one-armed bandit, I am an outlaw when it comes to the steals I find.
I remember a particular Saturday where we cashed in with a variety of items and ran into some wonderful people along the way. Walker Road cost us $1.50 but scored us a frame, a new coaster set and a decorative bottle. That was where we ran into Stella. She was looking for bottles and vases for her flower shop in the next town. I bet she got them for less than retail.
One street over, Peabody Road is known for better real estate. Certainly, I’d confirmed it by spending $7 in that neighborhood but I also walked away with a mirror for my entry way and an antique wooden box. I found it to be a good reflection of the items I treasure in my own house.
Heading into the next town, I spent 50 cents on a book that had been recently recommended. The woman at this house said that she was cleaning out her father-in-laws house. That’s when I saw the commode I had to purchase, especially after hearing her story behind (no pun intended) it. The toilet wasn’t to sit on and read my book. Rather, it was meant to be a 25 cent stocking stuffer (we New Englanders shop Christmas in July) for my brother-in-law. I found it to be the perfect whimsical item. It was an ashtray commode that allowed you to put your cigarettes into the water tank.
Page Street in that same town, allowed us to add another chapter to our bargains. The older man we met at this house, used to own a landscaping company and store and was discarding some former inventory. Evidently, he used to sell wooden Polar crates and other decorative items there as well. While I considered the crate (with hardware closures) a local steal, I did not run-off too quickly. Adding to my bundle purchase, I included a vintage cane for my collection. The gentleman was having a yard sale at his old, new house because he was also trying to discard items that were included in the purchase price. His loss was my gain for the mere cost of $10, as I hobbled away on my antique walking stick.
The local outdoor flea market is also worth including in our yard sale route for the day. It’s only open a few months out of the year but can usually score something, whether it is of sentimental or resale value. This is where I stocked up on shaving cream for my girls, bought Pac-Man iced tea glasses for my niece and a Homer reproduction print. Where else could old and young find such a variety of old and new items – in only a few minutes – for a few bucks?
My Dad considers our outings exercise. My mother is like myself. She loves the thrill of the hunt, puts away for Christmas, purchases whimsical items for others and upgrades her own home belongings. Like the casino, the time passes quickly but we fill our trunk every single time with treasures. All we have to do is spin our own wheels just down the street.