We'd plan to go garage sale-ing. But my daughter and I woke up to rain, so we were bums and slept in. I know better. From experience, the best deals are found on rainy mornings when not many salers are out. But on this day our Saturday morning pillows won the fight. Eventually we roused ourselves, rallied and headed out.
The first two sales were a bust. Those sales where I want to send mental telepathy to the homeowner; "Save yourselves and throw all this crap away." Monica and I swiftly moved back down the driveways and back to the car doing our best nonchalant walking away moves.
We tried one more because it was closely and we liked the long driveway. (We're driveway choosey.) Since it had rained, tables were damp and not everything had been covered. I spotted a pink chenille bedspread. $15, too much. Oh so close, but it was damp around the edges. The seller came up to us, handed us a paper grocery bag and said;
"We're having a sale. Everything you can fit in the bag is $1, except for the collectable table."
Hmmm, I think I'll take a second look around.
What item fit nicely all folded up tight in that grocery sack? The chenille bedspread of course. I added a few cool old jars, a fabulous ancient book titled 'The Impatient Virgin' that could not possibly leave behind, and a fab old Simplicity magazine from the late 50's / early 60's that is packed with vintage ads and artwork. I thought for sure the seller would question the bedspread, but nope, she didn't. I handed over my $1 bill.
Now energized, undaunted by sprinkles and only down by a dollar, we were off to the next sale. We journeyed a few blocks and looked for garage sale signs. What we found was a darling neighborhood we hadn't known existed. Homes with giant shady trees, deep greenery and darling gardens. Not perfectly manicured, not new homes or even big. Just nice, well loved kept just right with families, retirees and homey coziness. How had we not known of this darling neighborhood not that far from our own?
We spotted a sign in front of a house so we decided to give it a try. It was a charming house with a fantastic pathway with an arbor covered with a climbing hydrangea. Heaven at first sight. I ventured into the garage. I spied a double sided child sized standing chalkboard, complete with trays and chalk. $10. I whipped out the $5 I had in my pocket and handed it to the owner (who was quick, clever and hilarious.) Monica knew to just take my keys, go to the car and get my purse so I could retrieve more cash. Gotta love her, she knows when I'm a goner. I already had visions of it with a fab design behind my porch garden or at my son's graduation party. Let the drawing begin!
The homeowners were both darling people. The chalkboard had been their daughter's. She'd learn to draw and write on it over 30 years before. The man offered to carry the chalkboard to my car. By the end of driveway was another cute arrow chalkboard sign. I asked him about it and he said; "Oh that? We use that for the pond tour. I'll take you back there and show it to you." Pond tour too?! I'm in! Plus, by the curb was an old handmade wooden child sized stove. (No doubt once used by the now grown up daughter.)
It was free. Clearly, the nice man loaded that into the truck of my car.
*silly happy grin*
Now on to that pond tour. Monica and I ventured down that arbor hydrangea'd path we'd seen earlier. YAY! Fabulously overgrown, lush and loved. The nice merchandise-carrying-giving-me-free-child-play-stove man handed me off to his wife who was already sitting by said pond. She was equally as delightful. Instantly darling and fabulous. The pond was big, filled with large beautiful koi, moss and beautiful perennials. The koi had been alive for 5 years, even through winters and they've not lost one. There was even a live frog sitting cozy in the rock fountain. Dreamy.
The man came back with the original knobs to the little stove. He told me that if I'd email him the measurements, he'd make a new backsplash and and attach the knobs. Why yes, yes I can do that. Thank you so much.
It was like garage sale nice people dreamland. Monica was equally touched my these wonderful folks and this darling neighborhood which is just a hop, skip and a jump away.
Just wait till this little stove comes alive, finding new life at the end of my paintbrush!
Happy Summer Everyone.