I love yard sales. I love searching through someone else’s things, items cast aside and for sale in a driveway, looking for my newest treasure. I’m not one of those people who comb the local paper and plan an early morning route to hit the sales before anyone else. I like to leave it up to chance. I like the impromptu stop at the sight of a hand made neon poster board sign written in black sharpie promising the hope of finding something, anything. I have an entire collection of teapots found at yard sales. My favorite one plays I’m a Little Tea Pot from a little music box built into the bottom when it’s tipped to pour. Another has a tea strainer built into the lid that lowers into the tea from a little silver chain threaded through the top. Neither cost more than $3. Recently my boyfriend, who is not a fan of the yard sale yet no longer denies my request to pull the car over at a whim because he knows that if he doesn’t stop, I will pout dreaming of all potentially missed treasures until we happen past another yard sale at which he will stop, bought me a wonderful treasure for a mere $2. It’s a little three legged step stool with a fourth leg protruding from the flat top which I assumed was a handle. All was good until we went home and I tried the step stool and it immediately fell over and I fell off banging my knee on the cabinet which lead to a slew of horrific swears spewing from my other very happy self. After some thought I realized it was not a step stool since the tree legged design is not stable enough for a step stool which might be why it was left waiting for a new owner. I guess it might be a little seat or plant stand either or, I love this wonderful gift.
As I was driving around town this past Saturday I couldn’t help but notice the abundance of neon yard sale signs nailed to telephone poles, mailboxes and even a few strung on shrubs. The first one that I stopped at was filled with the typical ugly vases and used VHS tapes that invariably someone is sorting through. Nothing to be had here, however, the next was another story. Right there in the middle of the driveway was a wonderful watercolor painting of some tulips, sure the gold painted frame was a bit dated but for $1 I could take it home and repaint the frame! Voila a new painting for me! After a little chit chat with the domestic retailer, I find out that it is the annual yard sale day in this town. Every year on one particular weekend, everyone and anyone can have a yard sale and have it listed in the town yard sale directory complete with a color map. I could hardly contain my excitement. The only thing that had me worried was my lack of preparedness. Any true yard saler knows that cash is king and small bills are a must. I had less than $15, hardly enough to potentially secure a major furniture find – antique writing desk, kitchen hutch or any large piece of truly valuable furniture which I would never be able to fit in my tiny car anyway. I was ill prepared for this day but ready none the less to give it a good college try!
Oh boy, up ahead is a multi family sale – these are usually no good, filled with kids toys, mostly broken and dirty, and baby items – high chairs, strollers and bassinets, but I stop anyway and find nothing. Next stop a new coat rack that with a coat of paint will look lovely in my new walk in closet. New knitting needles, a crochet hook and circular saw later and I am quite proud of my finds. After finding a wonderful little corner table, a book that I had just heard about and wanted to get, a bag of pink Christmas bulbs, two band new jigsaw puzzles, an old crock and a little purple porcelain canister with a painted picture of a woman in a fancy hat and I am ready to head home. All before noon and all for only $11.25! This is almost as good as the day that I found that espresso machine for $5!
I could probably have a yard sale of all the things that I’ve bought at yard sales and I could turn a profit. My boyfriend is generally disgusted by my habit of buying used things out of people’s yards but I just keep reminding him that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure and that he should stop asking me for receipts for his birthday gifts.