Sunday, December 27, 2015

December Begins

We are still a few weeks behind on the blog but we are making rapid progress. Hopefully, by New Year's Day, we will be up to date!

Thanksgiving was behind us and December had arrived. This first week, like every other week in December, would be a short workweek. We took vacation days the first few Fridays of the month and then there would be Christmas Day and New Year's Day which both fall on Fridays this year. We would not experience another Friday workday the remainder of the year.

The month began where November left off...milder than normal temperatures with some of the flowers in our garden trying to stay around as long as they could. We were pretty resolute in our quest to get all of our Christmas decorating finished as soon as possible. It would not be finished by this first weekend of December but it was beginning to look a lot like Christmas in our house even if it wasn't the finished product.

There were no estate sales of interest on Friday but the thrift shops were open so we decided to see what we might find. Our first stop was at this thrift shop. We had things to donate (some of Monica's mom's clothing and some things that we no longer wanted) and they always are happy to accept donations. The sign in front read "Christmas Fair" but that would be the next day and we would not make it. We were here, simply, to donate and shop.

The thrift shops were a good idea for today because we thought they may be putting out the Christmas donations that they had accumulated during the course of the year. We seemed to be right. Although no one thrift shop had a treasure of Christmas things for us, they each had something (except The Salvation Army) for us to bring home and to add to our Christmas decorations for this year.

Friday night was the annual Old Fashioned Babylon Village Christmas Night in town and we go every year...well, except last year when torrential rain shut down most of it. It is a great night with family to open the Christmas season.

Santa would be stopping here before the night was over! 

Most of the businesses and attractions stay open late on this night and the Old Town Hall is no exception. There is this great old Long Island Railroad sign inside with "Dashing Dan". We actually have a vintage cocktail glass from the late 1950's/early 1960's that was once used in one of the bar cars. 

From one of the windows inside of Old Town Hall, we could see that Santa had arrived. 

There was an amazing train set on the uppermost floor. Peter and Marissa loved it! 

A view of the train set with speeding train in the background (to the right) 

Another view of the train set

The train set was interactive with several buttons that you could push to activate parts of the set. Look at the cool Esso gas station in the background! 

A great old McDonald's


There was even a replica of the building that we were in! 

There was a band playing Christmas carols in the street

There was a carousel set up just for the night

Many of the businesses decorate their buildings for Christmas

This restaurant decorates for Christmas every year...

...and they always have Santa coming down from the roof.

Rob ran into one of "his people" in town. They said "how" to each other. 

We ran into Santa and, as the sign promised, he DID stop here! 

Santa's sleigh was led by these beautiful horses who we were able to pet.

Peter, Valerie, Marissa and Lenny in front of The Conklin House which was built in 1803. It was open for a tour and there were lots of cookies offered and lots of cookies consumed! They also had hot cider which we all had too! 

It was a great night spent together...and with family! 

Saturday was, as always, a day that would start with saling and there was no doubt where we would start for today was the day of "The Ultimate Sale". It was an annual church sale just a few towns away from Monica's hometown and she had been going to this sale since she was a kid. Rob was introduced to it by Monica years ago and it is now a part of our routine. Although it does not open until 9am, people line up in the hallway a few hours before for the opportunity to be near the beginning of the line. It is not just our routine. It is a routine for a lot of people. 

Last year, we did not get here until around 8:15 and we were about fifty people from the front of the line. Once the doors open, everyone is allowed in at the same time but there is something to be near the front that compels you to get here early. This year, we got here a little after 7:30 to find a much shorter line than we expected. The essence of the sale had changed!

There were always vendors on the main floor selling their wares for the small price of renting a table. We ignored them. Our goal, and everyone else's goal, was to get to the big, open room downstairs that was filled with the donated items. Much of those items were old. It was a giant white elephant sale. Not this year. The sale this year would be just vendors...more so than any year before but just vendors. Rumor has it that the church just couldn't get any volunteers to run the sale the way it had been run in the past.

We waited around until 8:20 along with these people who had also come here year after year (Monica posed for the picture too). A few people had already left after getting the news of the change. There were many "insiders" who we suspect knew, in advance, and simply didn't make the trip. We decided to leave at this point, opting not to waste another forty minutes on line. We can hope that this sale reverts back to what it used to be by next year. We left with lots of disappointment.

So...we went to the second sale on our list. A thirty minute drive away but we still couldn't escape the line. The sale was run by an estate sale company that does not have all that many sales but we know them. It was an estate sale and we saw a few old Christmas things in the pictures. That was enough to bring us here.

Outside the house, we seemed to be surrounded by holly berries. It was a reminder that we were now in December. Our view of this plant didn't last all that long. We were inside in just fifteen minutes.

The basement was big and there were lots of old elements throughout

There was a pencil sharpener mounted in the basement. That was a good sign! 

We loved the old butterfly T.V. tables in the basement. We passed on them though. We already have some.

We found a second mounted pencil sharpener in the basement. Double good sign? We weren't sure. Where were the old Christmas things?

We found The Clapper in one of the main floor closets. While tempting, we did not get it!

We found this second kitchen upstairs and we loved the old cabinets. We also found one old Christmas thing but where was everything else?

We found out that, at least for today, we were too late. We saw someone with a small box of old Christmas things ahead of us. We works for another tag sale company. We are not sure whether she is a collector or a seller but we were sure of one thing. She got the old Christmas things...except the one thing that she missed. We left with that and some old sports books.

Stop #3 was not on our list at all. It was a thrift shop that we passed on the way to the next sale. Well, it was a thrift shop that we DIDN'T pass on the way to our next sale. We have not been here in over a year and decided to stop in since it was along our path. There was nothing for us here. It was a very quick stop.

Stop #4 was a sale that had "1960's toys" and "mid-century furniture" according to the ad. There were no pictures in the ad at all so we were not sure what to expect. It turned out to be a garage sale. We did find a few records, some books and a great plastic baseball card locker which was like the one that Rob had as a kid.

Our final stop was at an estate sale run by a tag sale company that we know. The ad that attracted to us had no pictures and was simply listed as an estate sale with a loaded basement. We actually wound up here in error. We also saw this sale on their own website and we ruled it out as not being a worthwhile stop. We didn't realize that the non-descript ad that drew us here was the same sale. We were glad we came. Although there wasn't much, we did find a lot of vintage reindeer and they came home with us.

We had enough time left in the day to stop by to visit Monica's dad for awhile and then to go home and relax before continuing our Christmas decorating activities which also dominated a good portion of our Sunday.

Here are the things we found that weekend:

Some records

An old cake decorating book

Some sports books

A plastic baseball card locker that is just like the one Rob had as a kid

Lots of great Christmas things

By the end of the weekend, we had finished so much of the Christmas decorating. We knew that we still had hours left until we were done but we were doing this our house...for our Christmas. That kept us smiling. 

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