My parents were in town last weekend and my mom came to sales with me and Meghan as our special guest star. I’ve been to yard sales with my mom many a time, but I think this is the first time she’s tagged along for the full Yard Sale Bloodbath experience. It’s October, so I wasn’t sure what we’d find, but I put together a small list of sales with potential.
Our first sale was in a fancy neighborhood and I wasn’t sure what to expect. We were pleasantly surprised by their spread of books — it’s always nice to buy stuff from someone with taste. Each of us got a book or two here and I also got some dress-up costumes for my daughter and a kids guitar. They were still putting boxes out and we got to be the first to dig into a couple. I opened up one jewelry case and it was a vintage amber bracelet and earring set — Meghan muttered, “one of us has to get that!” I knew I would never wear it so I handed it to her. As she left she told me that Annoying Jewelry Guy had walked up right behind us at that moment. Ha! (My mom said, “That was Jewelry Guy? Where?” It was like a celebrity-spotting! Sadly he’d already moved on at that point so she didn’t get the face-to-face experience … maybe that’s actually a good thing.)
Everyone buying things at the first stop is always a nice way to start, and after chasing down some nonexistent sale we went to a moving sale which sounded promising, or at least interesting. The guy had mentioned art by local artists and other things that gave his ad the vibe of possibly being good. We walked in and saw a bunch of old rock buttons on a black bandana, ranging from early ’80s punk to more recent random crap. I asked how much and he rambled on about how he had bought them all at various places back in the day, then said $12 for all of them — that sounded good to me. Meghan started looking through his books and amassed a small pile, while I grabbed a pair of $3 Ray-Ban sunglasses (or so I thought, until later at home I discovered that they appear to actually be a pair of generic sunglasses in a Ray-Ban case. They’re still kinda cool though.)
Then I heard Meghan say “WOW. What IS that?” I turned around and saw this monstrosity!
I apologize in advance for the nightmares some of you are going to have. It’s creepy, right? Some woman was excitedly paying $5 for it, presumably for halloween party decor. The guy said it had been used in some kind of low-budget horror movie. As for the art, a few things were hanging on the wall and Meghan asked about the rest but he seemed like he didn’t want to show it to people unless they were really serious about buying stuff.
There were two sales on the same block not too far away — a rarity this time of year, but they both turned out to be awful. And then there was an odd-sounding estate sale. There wasn’t a ton of stuff there, but their stuff was unusual … how often do you see a saddle at an estate sale?
Upstairs they had some very fancy furniture.
This bedroom set had a sign on it saying it had come from the Washington Governor’s Mansion? Or something along those lines …
The other bedroom had this amazing wallpaper.
Meghan bought a few things including a vintage pair of Frye cowboy boots (!). I bought something truly odd, a large ceramic mug depicting the WPPSS power plant, for $1. Then we drooled over this desk on the way out. (If I had that desk, I would totally use it to display a Bob Seger LP, too.)
We went to a few bad sales — one of them had these cans that might have tempted me for no good reason, if they hadn’t been priced at $5 each.
Then we pulled up at this sale, which seemed to be all about the Halloween decorations.
Seriously, it went on and on. And on. And on. This is just a small sampling.
I did buy some glow-in-the-dark sidewalk chalk here, and as I left the seller said “Tell all your friends to come shop here!” I was at a loss how to respond. As we drove away, Meghan made a comment about this guy’s “anal bead hairdo” – it was a long ponytail with multiple rubber bands, creating a look that did bring up some unfortunate imagery. At first she’d thought it was part of a costume until she realized it was just his look. Then she laughed and said she couldn’t believe she just said “anal bead hairdo” in front of my mother. (Let me state for the record that it takes a lot more than that to offend my mom.)
I did a quick check on my phone to see if there was anything else nearby, and I found there was an estate sale listed right near where we’d started — how did I miss that? We circled back around to check it out. It was a gorgeous house right on the water, and the view was amazing.
It actually took a few minutes before I stopped gaping out the window and really started to look at their stuff. They had a good selection, but I wasn’t finding anything I really needed to own.
My mom and Meghan each grabbed a few things and then Meghan found a penguin ice bucket in nice shape for $3! It was another “one of us has to buy this” moment — I decided to go for it. My mom reminisced about the one she used to have, which I remember from growing up — we mostly used it as a biscuit-warmer.
I was pleasantly surprised at how decent the day turned out to be! We all bought stuff and had fun — can’t really beat that.
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