Yard Sale Documentation Project 6-16-12

It’s nearing the height of the season. The weather has been cooperating, and there are as many unadvertised sales as there are published notices for where to find a “Mega Yard Sale”, a “Cleaning Out Sale: 30 years in the Making” and a sale where “Everything must go.”

This is also the time of year when friends are apt to join us for the Saturday morning adventure. I really enjoy sharing the event with a newcomer, but I also feel the pressure of wanting to make sure they have a good experience, enjoy their morning, and come home with at least one prime score.

My friend of 20-years Janice was with us this week. She’s long heard the stories and admired the objects that have landed in my home over the years of my participation in this addiction …. I mean hobby.

On Thursday, when I asked her what she needed in the morning to be ready to go, she mentioned what fun it would be to go out to breakfast for eggs and home fries before heading out. Obviously I had not been clear that the bus leaves at 7:45am and if there are home fries to be had, they’re on one’s plate by 6:30.

“You are one serious yard sale mama.”

But, my friend Janice knows how to suck it up. Here she is having her breakfast(sans home fries) on my porch at 7:30am, all perky and ready to go…

… sort of.

Niether one of us are chirpy happy in the morning.

Janice was impressed by the quality neighborhoods we visited during this morning’s excursion. Yes, the home seen below can bring tears of joy to a yard-saler’s eyes but there is a catch: if you live in a house like this, your idea of a bargain might be vastly different from mine.

Although Kate and I each did pick up a few things here, Janice experienced this gap in perception around the value of a metal planter. Hard to imagine that a buck or two either way really makes a difference here, but apparently it does.

Also this morning we also had the dubious pleasure of exposing Janice to one of the perennial yard sale folk, “Bike Guy.”

While it is honorable that this guy spares the planet his gas emissions by riding his bike throughout the 10-mile radius in which he can be spotted on any given Saturday, the guy has the personality of a door  knob, not bothering to look through the things in a person’s sale but going directly to the owner with the same repetitious, flat-toned words every time. “Do you have any CD’s, DVD’s , records?”

Janice maybe thought we were exaggerating the lack of couth on this one, but she had the opportunity to witness the monotonous and somewhat rude speech not once, but at two different sales. Same approach, same missed opportunity.

In contrast, and I’m kicking myself for not taking her picture, we met a most gracious woman who allowed Janice and I to ogle and aahh over her adorable, well-preserved 1920’s bungalow. We were in a modest seaside neighborhood when the woman, catching my friend and I peering through her open door to see what beauty might be resting inside, invited us inside to share the joy.

Original woodwork, a stone and brick fireplace built by the home’s first owner, perfectly proportioned windows, all with  a sense of spaciousness and grace matching that of its current owner — original, authentic, and beautiful.

This is the sort of thing “Bike Guy” will never experience.

On to the haul for the day. Janice did go back to New Hampshire with some new valuables and rated her South Portland sale-ing experience as an “8.”

In addition to the things pictured here (a new pair of Merrill shoes, a pair of decorative shoe clips from the 40’s which will more likely serve as sweater closures or a scarf clasp — the things have serious teeth!– a book for Vera, a humongous pillar candle for use on the front porch, a small picture stand, and a mirrored hook for the bathroom) there are two “honorable mentions” from my stash.

The first is the mirror seen here, already in position between my dining room and living room. It’s said that mirrors in a dining space increase the sense of abundance at the table, and even though this one is high above, it makes a nice statement and is a lovely addition to the room.

The final object du jour is this painting by a local artist, Rick Hamilton. This is the second “Hamilton” to come into my home, Hamilton the First hangs in the kitchen, whereas this one found its home in the dining room. I just love the shapes, the colors, and the simple happiness this painting conveys. And it’s nice to support local artists, even if it is in the yard sale venue.

  So there you have it. Total cost for the day’s purchases: $17.50. And while Janice gave the day an “8” and I’m glad she was happy with it, I’d call it a “7.”

I don’t want to shoot the moon too early in the season.



  1. June 17, 2012 at 5:35 PM

    Next time, I will get my home fries at Becky’s and still be ready to go by 8 🙂

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