Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Thinking Small

Another weekend was upon us and it would begin, as always, with plans to sale. Our week long search for something great resulted in a small list of sales that were all nothing but question marks. None of the bigger tag sale companies had any sales of interest to us and so it would be the small, privately run sales and garage sales that where we hoped to find some treasures. There would be no pictures to view. There would be no detailed description of what was for sale. Our intuition was our only guide. We made a list of six sales. We chose our starting point. Off we went! 

 Sale #1 was just five minutes from our house and was an easy choice as our first stop for that reason alone. The description of the sale listed "vintage handbags" "Christmas" and boasted that it was "loaded". We were cautiously optimistic.

On the first floor, we ran into this Christmas cow which was unusual but not our type of unusual. It is new as was every other Christmas item we encountered in the house. We didn't see a whole lot of vintage handbags nor did we see "loaded" anywhere. We did, however, buy a Peanuts paperback from 1968 and two boxes of bug lights for our house. We were off to a very modest start. It was time to see what sale #2 would bring us.

This sale was less than ten minutes away and its ad said...nothing. Well, almost nothing. It said "estate sale". That was pretty much it. Monica had a feeling about it. She called it a quiet sale. No one would notice it. If there was anything here, it would be ours. 

It was a sale run by the family. They were very nice. We were told that the lady whose items these were was 92 years old. There wasn't a lot to look through but we came up with a few great things...an old football book, a great vintage wastepaper basket and a few old Christmas things including a knee hugger elf, all for a very, very low price. We were telling the daughter-in-law how much we love Christmas things and she mentioned that they still had an attic to clean out and that she believed it to be mostly Christmas stuff. She promised to have her husband bring that stuff down at the end of the day and that it would be available for us to see on Sunday. We promised to return bright and early the next day!

Monica had a feeling about this sale and she was right! After a break for breakfast, we continued our Saturday saling.

Stop #3 was listed as a vintage yard sale and there was a crowd there. Although the description was accurate (there were some old things), there was nothing there for us. However, there was a very small garage sale across the street that turned out to be a winner. There were only a few tables there but, on those tables, we found three 1960's Hawaiian dresses for Monica (including one by Alfred Shaheen) and a great Christmas tree skirt, marked Japan. And all for $1 apiece! 

Now, we had a decision to make. We could go twenty minutes west to the sale described as "vintage stuff" or we could go to two sales that were thirty minutes to the east. The western sale really felt like a dealer's sale which meant high prices. We chose to go with the numbers...two chances to find more stuff.

On the way there, just five minutes into our trip, we decided to stop at a thrift shop that we visit when in the area. It is a nice thrift shop and we occasionally find things there. On this visit, we found a pair of salt and pepper shakers that we liked and that would come home with us.

The first of the two eastern stops was a sale run by the family of the deceased who, according to the ad, was 100 years old. It was well into the second day of this sale and we had no idea what we would find. 

The house was old and had very low ceilings upstairs. There were funny little rooms with windows set lower than you would expect. There was also this cool bathroom with an old pedestal sink and a dizzying black and white checkered floor.

There was also a closet filled with Christmas stuff and, while much of it was newer, we found some old Christmas in there too. Those things came home with us as did a turquoise drain board and an old metal stand for our coffee pot. 

Our last planned stop was at a sale described as "40 years of accumulation". It was an extremely quick stop. It was a big house with almost nothing inside. 

Just down the road, we saw a sign for a barn sale and, since we were already out this way, we decided to go. We were surprised to find that this was the home of the owner of a small tag sale company who we have not seen for some time and it was great seeing him. He had not run any sales in awhile and was looking to get rid of some of the things he had accumulated. The items were antiques and not our style. We did not get anything here either.

On Sunday morning at 9am, we returned to the scene of Saturday's second sale to see what was found in the attic. We saw the son as we got out of the car and he apologized that there would be very little new things. Of the nineteen boxes in the attic, eighteen were completely empty (saying this as he pointed to a pile of boxes now stacked up for the next garbage pick up). He said to go inside and take a look at what was there. We walked in and were greeted by the daughter-in-law who referred to us as "Mr. and Mrs. Christmas". There were actually four boxes to search and we did find another old football book, a knee hugger elf and an angel ornament. She then told us that she thought she had some old Christmas things and took down our phone number and she would ask us to come over to look some time next month. As we walked outside, again talking to the son, we showed him what we found. He led us to a side door where he pulled out three more elves just sitting alone and we bought them too. It was an interesting stop and a fun one!

Here are some of the things we brought home this weekend: 
A Peanuts paperback from 1968 and two football hard cover books from 1948

An old stand for our coffee pot, a vintage wastepaper basket, a pair of Long Island Game Farm salt and pepper shakers (marked Japan) and a turquoise drain board

Three Hawaiian dresses from the 1960's for Monica

A candy cane popcorn decoration, a small bottle brush wreath and some vintage wrapping paper

A Christmas tree skirt (marked Japan)

More Christmas...two Gurley candles, an old angel still in its box (marked Japan) , five elves (four from Japan and one marked Hong Kong), two pine cone elves (both marked Japan) , a light up angel, a plastic reindeer and a musical creepy Santa still in its box (marked Japan)

While we didn't know what we might find this weekend, we let our instinct kick in and we found a few great things. We have a phone call to look forward to in the future and we can look forward to all the time we get to spend together; now and forever. 


  1. Maybe I will go sailing this weekend. Not sure there will be any with it being Halloween weekend. It has been a very long time and you always make me itch for a treasure hunt.

    1. You definitely should, Granny Annie! You never know what awaits you! (Rob)