Yard Sale Documentation Project 6-9-12

We’ve often observed that some days of yard saleing seem to have a theme, in that there might be a specific but obscure item that appears in several sales on the same day.

There have been Saturdays where every time you turned around you were being stalked by a gang of outdated globes. (Cue Psycho music.) Bowling balls are another “theme” item; these along with the globes would make for interesting lawn ornamentation, wouldn’t you say?

The list of other random articles which have appeared in weirdly consistent ways has included Waring blenders, Polish-made dinnerware, doggie costumes, and pizzelle makers.

Today’s theme, if you were to gauge it by what came home with me, was  “container day.”

I do love old suitcases, lord knows why. Part of it is the story in my mind regarding the owner, which in the telling tends to be a man: Where was the person going with this case? Was it used on business trips or for pleasure? Was he cheating on his wife? Was he a smoker? Did he have money or was he looking for it?

There are several old suitcases in my house already (it’s probably a good thing they can’t talk) and most of them are functional, serving as storage space for linens, old books, and miscellaneous Tarot decks that I just can’t seem to part with.

The one pictured above, picked up today, is a real beaut — olive-green fabric with leather trim. Only problem is that the locks are stuck and the thing can’t be opened, a situation I do hope can be remedied by my clever-with-tools son-in-law.

Even still, it’s lovely, especially at a price of $2.

At the very last sale of the day, while wending my way back home — always traveling by a different route in case I missed something by having gone the other direction on the way out — I happened upon what looked like an estate sale.

An unadvertised sale (do I need to say out loud that I spend time on Friday evening scoping out the listings in the newspaper and on Craig’s List, mapping out a route … this is serious business, people!), this looked to be an estate sale, with a lawn full of old tools, boxes of kitchen ware, piles of gaudy-colored afghans, and lots of pine and oak furniture. I should have taken a photo of the scene but I got out of the car too fast and it slipped my mind.

Ooo, another container, a wooden grocery box. I might have passed this by but for the wonderful paper label still intact, “Huston’s Biscuits Auburn Maine.” I Googled the name but nothing came up, making it likely that this small business went defunct or was bought up by a larger bakery in the area somewhere along the line.

The thing measures 12″ x 14″ x 9″ and has handles carved into the side of the box for easy portage. Happily, it hadn’t absorbed any funky smells along the way and it will now be used as a toy chest for my granddaughter.

This box has such character, and was a steal at $2.

If you have/had a favorite grandparent, or have any memories of your grandparents at all, the yard sale scene will take you on a trip down memory lane faster than anything I know.  Such was the case with the set of glass nesting bowls in the photo below.

It’s not like I NEED more bowls. There’s no such thing as a “set of dishes” at my house, it’s more an amalgam of various pieces that came in pairs or odd numbers from yard sales gone by. Somehow it all goes together, and these particular glass bowls were irresistible.

Firstly, all three in the set were intact.  Probably from the 40’s or maybe the 50’s, there’s not a scratch or a nick on them, embellished with a raised fruit pattern around the midsection of each one … I can picture green beans and cut corn at my Grandmother’s Thanksgiving table.

Had to have them.

Easily going for $20-$25 in an antique store, the sweet little estate sale lady was parting with them for $1.

The final container of the day is the Japanese porcelain box seen here. It doesn’t appear to “have age” but it is functional and has a nice presence. The porcelain box ($3) along with a new tablecloth ($1) and a maraca for Vera (40 cents) rounds out the tally for Saturday June 9th.

Total cost for the day: $9.40.

A morning’s entertainment, a hefty dose of nostalgia, my daily supply of vitamin D,  providing some neighbors with a little non-taxable income…it’s all good.



  1. Josephine Mori said,

    June 10, 2012 at 12:46 PM

    I have personal memories of those glass bowls, using them myself as a little whippersnapper learning to cook with grandma. You will find plenty of uses for that little porcelain box. Again, thanks for taking us along on your adventure.

  2. June 10, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    Yeah, I thought that was the tright vintage for those bowls. They sure do conjure up some memories.

  3. Mike said,

    June 10, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    OK! Way to go! Did you get my good karma text as you set out? I’m sure I could open that suitcase…but I bet Charles is up to the task.

  4. June 10, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    Yes I did get the text, must have done its magic! I’ll be awaiting the blog on your kitchen project…with pics, interviews, comments from the family, etc.

  5. Mike said,

    June 10, 2012 at 2:19 PM

    I was just setting it up as your reply came in…I’m sure it will be fabulous!

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