Right up there next to Thrift Shops, Op Shops for our down under friends, are yard sales. Yard sales, boot sales, estate sales, garage sales, rummage sales, block sales … I don't care what you call them … count me in. Lin pours over the local paper beginning on Thursdays and we look for all the local listings of sales for the weekend. We rule out the ones that emphasize baby clothes and toys. We plan the route carefully … we're efficient.
We're up early, review the travel plan and we're off to rummage through what some people would call unwanted “stuff” … maybe even trash. We are, of course, searching out the treasure. Do we have anything specific in mind? Of course not. Treasure isn't always identifiable in advance. You know it when you see it. As we make our way to the first yard sale, we notice lots of posted signs for other sales along the way. The anticipation rises.
We arrive at the first sale by 8am. There are already cars parked along the street. They've got a Garage Sale flag flying which probably means they do this regularly. No prices are marked. We have to ask for prices on everything we're interested in. $5 for a necklace? Is she crazy? Does she want to sell this stuff or not? We check everything out quickly, but we've already moved on. This one is a bust.
The next one has lots of antiques. They're cleaning out a barn full of old stuff ranging from kegs of nails to 1980's TVs and “vintage luggage”, read that luggage with no wheels, no handles and in rough condition.
Actually, it's not about the conquest, but rather the chase. We love looking at every little thing to determine if we've found the deal of the century. Lin got a lovely Delft compote for $2 last year. This is not David's cup of tea, so it's good he's not here to endure it. We bought all of our camping equipment a couple of years ago on Craigslist or at yard sales. David's idea of yard saling is a quick glance and a question to the owner. “Got any camping gear?” “No? ... okay, thanks” and moving on. Lin and I need a bit more time to look and digest the fact that they don't have anything we need or want.
Finally, we find a place that has reasonable prices and things we might need. Lin picks up a new yard rake for $5. I walk around with some fabric for ten minutes or so and finally put it back where I originally found it. I can't justify where I'll put it in my luggage to take back to Australia. The next sale, however, nets me a package of cool nautical-motif napkins, some artists brushes and a package of birthday balloons marked David … all for 75 cents. Cheap entertainment, I'd say!