Garage Sales

I love Spring. It is my second favorite season of the year when I begin hearing the birds sing and chirp, and flitter from tree to tree, all so they can pick their place to nest, and gather all they need to make it feel like ‘home.’ But, we humans are a fickle lot, some of us cleaning out our nests of things we no longer want, or need, or maybe adding to it more things we want, or cannot do without.

The warm weather brings out the shopper in all of us. Marketing and selling opportunities are abundant with the many available second hand thrift stores, flea markets, and garage sales popping up all over town. The offerings are as diverse, and as plentiful as the customers looking for (more) stuff.

I’m cruising down the street when I notice the neon colored signs with arrows pointing in every direction tacked to posts, pickets, or trees. I slow my speed, careful to not miss it, and soon see rows of parked cars along the curbs. Found it.  Wow! They must have some really good stuff to draw a crowd like that. The driveway is loaded with stuff, and people. Finding a small place to park is difficult, but I manage to squeeze into an opening that seems only big enough for a motorcycle.

Hitting the flea markets, garage sales or antique malls can certainly get the adrenaline going. What is it about ‘old stuff’ that some call, “junk,” but fanatical collectors might call, “artifacts from a historical era?” Depending on the seller advertising their wares it can be a creative or enterprising ploy to grab the attention of just the right customer wanting what is offered at a bargain price. Whatever way the stuff is advertised those “Collectors’ pieces,” “treasures of heirloom quality,” “antiques,” or “cast offs” from another person’s attic or basement can usually get the attention of a potential customer, like myself. That ‘thing’ stuffed in a box, laid out on a table or leaning up against a tree is the ‘thing’ that a shopper cannot refuse at a price too good to pass up.

Whatever one calls it, it lures the seeker, or the hunter in all of us. Women, especially love searching for the allusive “treasures” that another person does not want,  uses, or needs. It is interesting to observe people at garage sales when they find just what  they are looking for, or something they cannot resist.

Where else can one go to find a whole box full of useable canning jars with a new box of lids thrown in to the mix. All they need now is a bushel of tomatoes. “Wonderful! I needed more jars.”

Another woman who loves to sew and do quilting finds a pile of fabric scraps, buttons, and notions. “Look at the colors, and textures of fabric here. This will make a great quilt!”

An for the young collectors?  A little boy spots an assortment of McDonald’s Happy Meal toys tossed into a bin of whirring, whirling, spinning, pinging, dinging objects, and is as happy as a kid in a candy store.  “Mom, look what I found in that box over there. My favorite transformers. Their just fifty cents each. Wow!”

I’ve been on the lookout for some artsy, decorative pieces, lately. Oh, this is nice. A black marble vase. To hold a bouquet of silk blooms, maybe? But where will I put it? Wherever. There will be a place. Never mind what I told my husband about his flea market obsession, “If there is a place to put it, it should be kept in its place. If it, you don’t want to clean, then it I don’t want seen.” I’ll find a place somewhere, amidst my “collection” of other things.”

I find myself thinking, as I examine what I think is a good deal. Then I stand there for what seems like and hour quietly arguing with my sense of reasoning that I really don’t need this, but think I want it. It’s a bargain and too good to pass up. If I grow tired of it I will just sell it at my garage sale, or place it into a box for charity.

I walk around slowly surveying every table and box, taking out things, examining things, putting things back. Then I see more boxes on the edge of the driveway. Books of all kinds and genres. Hardback novels, paperbacks, recipe books, reference books. All kinds. A few classics thrown in. Got that one. Don’t want that one. And then I see it. What I have been looking for, forever. Feeling good about defending my reasons to stop and shop at another garage sale. A classic first edition copy of Dr. Zhivago, one of my favorites, in pristine condition.

I knew I needed to stop at this one. What a find! Now, what else am I needing, or looking for? Sound familiar? Yep. It is the season of the ‘garage sale syndrome.’ We all get it sometime or other. Like a virus or bug that does not shake off easily.

Posted April 13, 2012 by Joyce in Spring, Uncategorized, Writing

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