GARAGE SALE JUNKIES
by Emma L. Willey
"There's the sign!" I yell to my husband, and he slams on the brakes! Pity the poor fellow behind us who might run into our big van. I can spot those cardboard signs a half mile away even though neither one of us can read them until we come to a complete stop. We hurry from one sale to another, eagerly rummaging through other people's junk, and invariably end up with several items we can't possibly live without. There's something about clawing through someone else's discards that somehow cleanses the soul.
CAUTION! THIS CAR STOPS AT ALL GARAGE SALES! Our bumper sticker says it all, and finally, now that we are retired and in our golden years, we have time to stop at all of them. Every weekend, my husband, Orman and I get geared up for our trip around town to dig out treasures. It takes a couple hours the night before to list all the sales by area and to look up the addresses on the map (with the aid of a magnifying glass).
We start our adventure early in the morning, armed with our organized list and a tank full of gas in our old van. It will haul almost anything we might find to buy and we are on our way.
At one sale I pick up and cuddle a tattered doll that has seen better days. She has survived a lot of abuse, and I think she's looking for a better place to live. I'll just take her home with me, give her a bath, brush her hair, make her some new clothes and tie a pretty ribbon in her hair. She'll be ready for some little girl who will adopt her and love her.
We blow the entire day at our favorite hobby, planning our time and route so we can eat lunch at a restaurant, another of our favorite things to do.. Finally we are at the end of our rope and the end of our list. We decide to take home our treasures.
By the time we get home, we've already forgotten half of the things we bought. Here's that beautiful vase with a rose painted on one side, and a gorgeous scalloped saucer I have absolutely no use for (but I can't pass up a bargain at only 50 cents). My pink teddy bear was only a dollar, and he has taken up residence on my pillow. I already have a bouquet of silk flowers in every room of my house, but this one was only 25 cents.
Orman finds his own bargains - a rake, a hoe, a pick and a wheelbarrow. After tearing up the gravel in our new driveway with the pick for an hour, he comes in all stooped over and whines, "I made a big mistake buying that pick!"
Everything we bring home gets a going-over. Furniture is washed and treated with a coat of Old English polish or sanded down and refinished. The dishes and knickknacks are washed in Clorox water and scrubbed like they've never been scrubbed before. We spend hours cleaning, sorting, and finding places to put our new treasures. We forgot to ask ourselves if we had room for them when we bought them, but eventually we find a little niche for every piece. We’ve had a entertaining, busy day to help pass away the hours in one day of our retirement.
If we find too many things we can't use, sometime in the future we will host the darndest garage sale you've ever seen. Yard sale "junkies" will come from miles around to snatch up our bargains. I only hope we don't go to the sales next spring and buy back our own junk.