It is time I wrote a topic for Gentle Spectrums! Those folks should note “I’m in Gentle Spectrums” for our group draw (I’ll do it November 30). Everybody else: cast your eyes around your homes and please share your bargain triumphs! Comment below, or write your own posts and give the link. This is fun, easy and outside the group’s draw, this topic will stay open as long as you’re keen to chime in. My fiancé & I love browsing garage sales. We choose carefully because our house is small. Naturally, the subtopic could be books by itself, so I’m going to leave that out. Since Gentle Spectrums brings together a broad variety of subjects, I thought this would make a great subject.
At garage sales, charitable festivities, any place: which items do you remember being excited about and glad to find? Were they stellar prices, or a coup for different reasons: rarity, sought a long time, something you use regularly; a staple in your home? We for instance, need to replace my cell phone charger and our phones are old. Are there spots you visit frequently, or are these occasional? Do you have a system? We have lived out in the country five years and that is when we tried out thrift stores. They provide a place to donate things you don’t need; gifting browsers with the chance to find what *we* need at rock bottom pricing. We visit one of these about every three months. Garage sales need to fit into warm seasons around here.
It’s no surprise we primarily search for books but always have a good look at other miscellany. One is considerably cheaper than the other but both are bargains. We have found window blinds we needed, household plants to whom I eagerly gave a home, and all the planting pots we could need. Free is good: twenty-two hanging baskets and three flower boxes grace our home all summer. (They are all inside now with us, still full of lovely blooms)! Our spares will replace cracked ones.
Garage sales require that we start early and keep smalltalk short! There is a lot of ground to cover. Yes, part of the pleasure is visiting people’s personal homes: greeting our township neighbours and seeing a little of how other folks live. However long-winded discourse must be avoided, or we won’t get to the others! A nice prelude of acquaintance – good! Somebody dragging on because you’re the first visitors in a while – snip that as delicately as you can. Around here, hosts don’t all keep garage sales open until 5:00PM and in this town, we were surprised to find very few who run them on Sundays.
The real coup is a community who puts on a sale every summer. Ron drives the car along in increments and I walk my way to several sales on one street. They start Thursday so by the time Saturday rolls around, when Ron & I can go together; you’ll find several folks who have closed-up shop and left out an assortment of wares with a sign saying “free”. This is why I won’t need plant pots for decades to and I gleaned two filing cabinets! One is in this office, a miniature one stores our plant seeds. In the city, I bought a beautiful ceramic basin & soapdish set that graces our sink today. We were glad to find CD stands, a restaurant style water pitcher that we use often, and a wide, crystal-looking vase. I love it and it at last, replaced one our second cat knocked down when he was a kitten.
I recall a yard sale where a divorcing woman wanted to clear out REALLY good Canadian LPs from the 1970s and 1980s, right in my wheelhouse. I love Canadian pop and rock. Unfortunately my mind leaped to how much those few dollars might tally up. If I had done the mathematics and considered how rare it is to find good records; it was worth scooping up all. I seldom have garage sale regrets but remember wishing we hadn’t pulled ourselves from that one as fast as we did. I love the ones I did buy, like Manitoba’s own Tom Cochrane & Red Rider.
We usually bypass dishes because we don’t need any but once found an unusually ornate teacup and saucer, with a Japanese look. It dates to at least the 1930s. Do people give you the stories about what they sell or do you ask? This woman said she had the teacup and saucer for years, as a gift from a wonderful person she dated; whom she decided not to marry. A gorgeous box in our room with a map on the front of the wood, is a man’s jewellery box. It belonged to a woman’s beloved first husband and I asked if she was sure she wished to sell it. She said she did and that their children didn’t need it either. She is remarried and the box has a happy, calm feeling around it.
This is our first house, so we needed everything to do with yards. However one thing we needed, was much stabler chairs than we had been getting away with. So at that community sale our first year, two gorgeous white chairs with exquisite, maroon padded seats became ours. We should have put fliers atop them for a while. When we weren’t looking, our young cats discovered that they made comfy scratching posts. They stopped doing it but a few pockmarks were all it took. Still, they seat us daily. We were elated to find an ergonomic, high quality office chair last year; the one I’m in. I’ll bet it was $200 CDN somewhere. This man asked for $5! Our Siamese and white tabby share our older one. We found four steel and decorative curtain rods a few years earlier, which are far sturdier than the bendy ones from stores.
Ron has acquired many tools he needed, like a vice and even a work bench. Not least, there were cat carriers and a good birdfeeder or two. I see we are being visited by a Grey Jay now! Now: please tell me all about your bargain coups. Are you on the look-out for anything next spring and summer, or do you remain open to seeing what’s there? I could use more flower baskets, their hangers, and cages or ties to prop up tomatoes. Replacing our glass lampshade would be a good find, too. We’re gladly using a spare cloth shade from some other garage sale. Selecting items you might need is an art, isn’t it?