Not A Sterling Find

Fall is a coveted time of year for we yard salers.   Not only is it the end of the season before the cold and snow hits, it is also the season of the town-wides.  Our family had been counting down to yesterday to clean-up in Sterling, MA.

My mother was coming with me for the morning.  When I arrived for pick-up, she suggested we just stay in the area rather than going all the way to Sterling.  “All the way” being three highway exits.  My heart sank but I also yard sale to spend time with my mother.  She thought there were enough advertised sales to keep us busy and we wouldn’t have to fight local traffic. I was reluctant but agreed.

Our first stop was an estate sale near my sister’s house, which by the way is almost as far as Sterling anyway.  She was off to swimming practice with her twins.  While that too is a great way to spend time with family, I knew she was a little disappointed not to be at the townwide.  We were there to check out her backyard. After our marathon drive and arriving at the estate sale, she sent us a text that said, “I heard it’s not worth it.”  Thanks for nothing.

We were already there though, so of course we had to look.  Now I don’t mind picking, resale or cleaning up my purchases but this place was a mess.  EVERYTHING had a layer of filth on it.  My Mom wasn’t impressed and didn’t make a purchase. I strategized and bought only the items NIB.  I didn’t care if the boxes were dirty.  For $8 I left with a ceramic Christmas tree with lights, a vintage dresser set and a girl portrait from the 70’s.  While I’d gotten over the drive and dirt, I wasn’t readily over the fact that my $1 item in the lot originally only cost them 88 cents.

At this point, I was already hoping my brother-in-law was scouring Sterling and representing for us there.  I wasn’t sure our day would pan out too well if this was how it was starting.

The next yard sale was around the corner but I’m not into buying a grown woman’s clothes and shoes that are strewn all over her driveway.  Give me a break.  And this was the nice part of town…

My Mom always says the upscale neighborhoods never have much and the advertised yard sales aren’t as good as the ones we just find free-stylin’.  Even though this was her philosophy, she suggested we go down the street, closer to town, and check out the day care yard sale.  I’d heard it wasn’t good but off we went.  I headed toward the wooden puzzles and my Mom went in the other direction.  What I didn’t know was that she was sorting through the ‘free’ pile.  That’s where she found  my Fisher Price marina complete with boats, peeps and life jacket.

I was thrilled that Ma had found a great toy for resale.  We laughed that I’d complained about the last stop and managed to find something at the first.  We’d driven out here for advertised sales but could now freestyle our way back.  It was looking up.  Suddenly, I wasn’t feeling so bad about not getting to pick my way through Sterling Common.  There’s no marina in Sterling.   And if there was, it certainly wouldn’t be free.