Jenny sent me an email on Friday afternoon with a few sneak peeks of upcoming sales. “Just Moved Sale: All Christmas,” “Original steampunk sculptures at large discounts,” and “GRANDMA NEEDS BAIL MONEY.” Yard sales in February sound great, huh?
Even better when we drove up to our first sale and they had a Churro holder.
Unless it’s for a business, why would you have that? And they didn’t have much else – about six books and some clothing.
Then we hit a sale that started on Friday, but honestly, beggars can’t be choosers. I had been to a pretty good yard sale run by an older woman at the same house a while back, and picked up some pink depression glassware for pretty cheap. When we got there it hadn’t quite opened, so we had to stand around with the line-up of estate sale regulars talking about all their great scores this week. This almost always gets on my nerves and I spent most of the time looking at Jenny saying “grandma needs bail money.”
Once we finally got in, the sale was just “eh” – not really enough stuff to make it worthwhile. Jenny did spot this box filled with a “muscle builder” and I purchased some old Ball jars.
We drove across town to hit an estate sale in a ritzy neighborhood that seemed like it could be pretty good.
I took more or less the same tactic while standing in line, this time mostly demanding that folks not purchase an enormous peppermill that we could see through the kitchen window. As folks started to come out they kept saying how there was tons of stuff, enough for everyone. Enough for Seattle: good sign.
Sure enough, the sale was packed. PACKED. P-A-C-K-E-D. Two closets filled with old lady clothes. Living room full of crystal and silver. And a kitchen filled with food, utensils, dishes, and a giant clam broth dispenser.
While I was digging through some shoes, Jenny came over and commented that it was odd how they had displayed stuff on a bedroom shelf like it was in a pharmacy. She asked me to get a photo of it, and I hung around the room for about ten minutes but someone was always standing in front of it. Jenny managed to get a photo a bit later.
All was well and good until we went into the basement. I first noticed the huge amount of cleaning products. I can’t really point fingers, under my kitchen sink there is a little more than I need, but still.
Then we hit the room with the built-in bar.
There were bottles of OLD beer (really, Rheingold Beer?! They haven’t even made that in my lifetime, I don’t think) and open booze from 40 years ago.
I spotted a bottle of Coke in what looked a glass half liter. I remember those from the ’70s. Jenny found a really cool Trader Vic’s bottle of pomegranate grenadine syrup. I wanted to purchase it, but it was sticky. We both seemed to be sticky after touching it.
This room also had some books – not a big deal, we both talked about how she had a few too many cookbooks. Little did I know we would then head into another room with hundreds and hundreds more.
Most of them were just boring, the type that you would see anywhere. Although a few were more unusual.
Later that day I said to Jenny that it seemed odd to have 400 cookbooks and Jenny said “400, NO WAY. There had to be at least 600. Maybe more.” It was frightening.
Off to the side of the cookbook room was the wine cellar.
All bottles were being sold for $2. We both poked around, but it was scary and the room wasn’t temp controlled. I purchased a bottle of red from 1958, mostly just because it was so bizarre. Later on someone broke a bottle, so the whole basement reeked of wine.
In another room I told to Jenny to look behind me. For some reason she hadn’t noticed the shopping cart. How the hell does someone this well off have that in their basement?!
After an hour (yes, an hour) we made our way to the cashier. Jenny only got a couple of old cooking pamphlets and a 1970 “RAP WRAP” folder covered with crazy astrological hippie art. I had crammed stuff into an ugly tote bag just to carry it around at the sale, and the cashiers somehow got me to buy it for $2. At that point I didn’t really care and just wanted to leave. That sale had wiped us both out.