If your grandmother left you a necklace of darling green beads, you might restring it to suit your taste, but I bet you wouldn’t sell it at a yard sale.
You would? Heartless.
But would you sell it for 50 cents as if it’s costume jewelry you picked up at the mall on a whim?
That’s just a slap in the face to grandma.
I rescued the necklace from the traitorous adult granddaughter and was pleased to find it goes with a remarkable number of outfits. That’s grandma for you; she had style.
At another stop, I scored a pair of woven chairs for $7, which are tucked under my table, happy in their new home. But not as happy as I, given that they sold for $75 each at Ikea (which seems a bit steep for IKEA, no?) and work well with my table and pared-down style. While the mom took some toys off one chair so I could put it in my car, her daughter kept putting dolls on the other one, propping them up as if to say, They come as a set. I didn’t take the dolls, but I found a couple tops and a funky belt.
And rest assured unknown grandma: I will never sell your necklace at a yard sale.
Maple sniffed today’s Crayola-colored finds like it was a pile of tuna fresh from the ocean. Oh, the scent of strangers! I had barely washed, dried, and folded the clothes before she was back in the laundry basket; secondhand smells and fabric softener all intriguing, apparently. Life is composed of small pleasures, so I let her do her thing but insisted she rate every outfit I tried on. Two paws up, though I could tell she was iffy on the green sweater.
Some neighbors around the corner were having a yard sale while also trying to move a couch out the door. I tried to help and explained that I was a neighbor, not a yard sale freak ready to sue them for a back injury. They didn’t need me, but I needed their black leather jacket that I bought for a cool 5 bucks, channeling Lisbeth Salander. I bought a studded belt too because she would have. Still working on the chest tattoo.
Today’s haul: two pairs of colored denim, two bright cardigans, a striped green sweater, one flouncy red dress, a leather jacket, studded belt, and a James Taylor CD, which I find it hard to believe I didn’t own before now, all for $20.
Another weekend of me looking for stuff and the people of Marblehead delivering. An older man seemed to be selling off most of his home and was even giving a lot of his belongings away; when your house is perched on the ocean, do you really need money?
I’ve been looking for a bold print and this man delivered. For free. “Take it and get a new frame,” he said. It doesn’t need a new frame, but I suppose if I had a house on the ocean, I would have to get it suitably reframed.
I also scored a hose for $1 and a brass planter with ceramic handles from him for $2.
Favorite purchase, however, was an electronic hamster that I bought for Maple. It’s got a tamagotchi quality about it with it’s squeaking and sighing noises that I expect I’ll tire of shortly. But what cat wouldn’t want to chase a (faux) hamster? This one, apparently. She owes me a quarter.
Despite a list of promising sales, I forgo yard sailing on Saturday to take Maple to the vet because she is—wait for it—drooling. What, me, overprotective? But listen, it’s like sleeping with a small, slobbering walrus. Not normal. A quick search of the web convinces me that the little fuzzball has something lodged in her throat. Unfortunately, Webvet is just as alarming as WebMD.
I wrangle Maple into the carrier (which she does not like) and the vet checks her heartbeat (which she likes even less) and pries open Maple’s mouth (which she despises), and declares that they should do an x-ray. Maple and I look at each other. “No, thank you,” I say.
The vet agrees that because she’s eating, it’s unlikely there’s a real problem. So, a hefty $150 later, we are on our way with some anti-hairball medicine (really?) that smells suspiciously like maple syrup and that Maple has no interest in trying, despite the name. A tip from my cat-owning friend has me smear her paws with the goop, which kinda works because she’s compelled to lick it off, but not before she tracks it through the house.
The patient, less drooly
All that is to say, I am only able to hit two yard sales on the much-less-popular Sunday, but for $10 I score this beautiful, petite painting of a bay by Karen Gausch. And that is enough because I could look at it its dreamy sky and marshy shore all day.
Memorial Day is not a popular yard sale weekend, but I took advantage of the gorgeous day to scout out sales in tony Marblehead. At least three of the sales offered an ocean view, the best bargain of all. Still, I raked in all this good stuff for $26:
An old white planter (flowers not included) for $2, a finely weaved basket also for $2, a Cuisinart toaster ($15) with free crumbs, thyme ($2), a magazine, t-shirt, and a trio of old puppets for $1 each. A guy my age was selling the puppets—a bear, fox, and rabbit—and said he unearthed them from the basement after 30 years. Is that any way to treat childhood friends?
“Unlikely friends, the fox and the rabbit,” he said.
I’m an avid yard sale shopper, so it’s only natural that spring brings Saturday posts full of bargains. Allow me to introduce Saturday Yard Sale Haul. Today was rare: I only made it to one yard sale. But let me tell you, the other crazies were out too, and by the time I hit this sale, 5 minutes after it started, the place was milling with women, arms brimming with goodies. Perhaps it was the lucky confluence of the first yard sale of the season and the fact that it’s finally stopped raining that brought everyone to this one yard, or maybe it was just the promise of some good stuff. Europeans having yard sales are the best. They offer up beautifully designed things and a few trinkets they’ve carted over from abroad. Mothers were leaving with Japanese storybooks, French jumpers, and unusual games for their kids.
I scored a unique Japanese mortar and pestle for $1 (!) and a nice assortment of cards, including a little packet of gift bags from one of my favorite designers, Lotta Jansdotter. A good start to the season followed by yoga, an indulgent visit to Formaggio where I reluctantly put down the $10.25 pint of ice cream, and reading on the porch.