Opening Day of Yard Sale Season

For years I’ve been saying to my daughter that we need to have a camera crew accompanying us on our weekly yard sale excursions. Not so much for what we find, but for a view into the subculture that is yard sale folk. I like to call them “my people.”

Many faces are familiar only in the context of this Saturday morning ritual, and to see them at the grocery store or out at a movie is unsettling. Kate and I have little nicknames for some of the regulars, and we wonder if they do the same with us: “Oh good lord, there are those two. Look out for them, we call them the grabby sisters.”

It is a morning-full of entertainment out there, let me tell you. But Oprah has retired and I’ve grown tired of waiting for Nate Berkus to show up on my doorstep with his camera crew, so this year I’m taking the Yard Sale Documentation Project on myself.

My daughter has already rolled her eyes at this idea. “You’re not going to embarrass me, are you?” she pleads. My response to this is that if she wasn’t embarrassed when I drove our Mazda from the driveway onto our back lawn where we drove in circles for 90 seconds or so, then she’s probably safe.

And so it begins. Each weekend that involves the search for goodies at the crack of dawn, I’ll post the results here on the blog. There likely will be pictures of the treasures of the day; there may be tales of woe or the thrills of victory; there could be a photo of a woman mowing her lawn at 8AM whilst sporting a nightgown and hair rollers. (Oh I wish I’d had a camera on that day!)

Today’s was a modest beginning , but for March 24th no one is complaining. Our host commented to another customer that the clerk at city hall (in South Portland Maine you need a procure a $5 permit to have a yard sale or the cops will pay you a visit….and they will come and take you down) said it was the first permit issued for the 2012 season.

Although I was not the earliest bird catching these particular worms, the goods I claimed were worth getting out of bed for. The tally includes these lovely handpainted plaster “thingees” that will hang in the kitchen, a Dirt Devil “Scorpion” model hand vac, a nicely framed old-fashioned print, and in a wonderful twist of irony, a great little unused ball of twine. (See blog post from March 1st of this year.,.. I consider it “a sign.”) Total cost = $7.

For those of you who enjoy the more cerebral columns you might see posted here, don’t worry: the rest of the week will be devoted to such matters. But the Saturdays between April and November are reserved for one of my favorite past times and I’ll be happy to have you come along with me!



  1. March 27, 2012 at 9:08 AM

    “A Peaceful Woman” is ready to find her inner calm yardsaling with my friend Jeanne. Let’s make a plan for a treasure hunt!

  2. April 14, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    […] In case you missed it, I’ve taken on the documentation of my Saturday morning adventures in yard sale-ing, since Oprah never did call (what, she’s got better things to do– like build orphanages?) and Nate Berkus has not yet returned my calls. (You can visit the first post of this yard sale season if you like by clicking here.) […]

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