In the week leading up to last Saturday, I didn't really think about yard sales. After all, it was a holiday weekend. Not just a weekend with a holiday in it, but a weekend attached to a holiday Monday, which means people would be out of town. But then Friday came along, and I figured I might as well look and see what sales were advertised. And then come Saturday morning, I had a list of seven sales, ready to go.
With only seven sales, all of them single-household, I was possibly setting myself up for a disappointing outing. But actually, no, I had a very good day. I didn't find a bunch of ca-razy items. No vintage lamps, no antique glassware, not even a single piece of old stationery. I bought really sensible things, and I present them to you to demonstrate that yard sales are not just for ridiculous people like me. You can find normal people stuff, too. Some of you are normal, right?
Normal People Item 1: A bed frame.
I haven't had a "real" bed situation in five or six years. I used to sleep on a hand-me-down futon. It was fine, though as time went on, it got progressively lumpier. Then someone told me that grown-ups deserve grown-up beds, and I spent $1000 on a nice king-sized pillowtop mattress set. In that huge splurge, I did not buy a bed. So I had really nice mattresses sitting on the floor for a year and a half.
That's not a big deal, really. There's nothing wrong with mattresses on the floor. The only time I really cared about looking for a bed was when I wished I had an under-the-bed space to put things. Otherwise, it didn't bother me. But I found a bed frame at a yard sale for $5 (retails for about $60), and decided that it was a good enough price to get me to upgrade.
When we got it set up with the mattresses and everything, I realized how much I had been missing the frame. For one thing, the bed feels different - springier. Plus, the bed skirt I bought last year finally hangs prettily, rather than dragging the floor like a fancy dust collector. But the best thing about getting the mattresses up off the floor is that it made me feel more permanent, less transient. I took out a huge loan to buy a whole dang house, but it's the $5 bed frame that gave me roots.
Also, I could fit a whole bunch of stationery under there.
Normal People Item 2: Spice jars.
For this, I must apologize. See, my sister-in-law told me that she needed spice jars. I've bought her several, enough that I was starting to wonder whether she had enough. And then I found a huge box of jars at a yard sale. Some of them were dark glass, which made me wonder if they were from some kind of home photography studio. But then I noticed that the box was labelled "Penzey's" and I realized that I had found something that cost someone else a lot of money. Faced with this box, I decided that I too wanted to put my spices into pretty glass jars that I could label neatly. So I bought the whole box for $5 with the intention of keeping them myself and not even sharing with my poor sister-in-law. She probably had enough anyway. By the time I received her email that said she still wanted more spice jars, I'd already labelled these. And labels are forever.
For the curious - the price per jar as stated to me by the seller was fifty cents. By offering to take them all away for a fiver, I paid about sixteen cents a jar. And if you really want to know, the price on the Penzey's website for them all would have been over $50, plus tax, plus shipping. Of course, having your spices neatly organized with labels written in my impeccable handwriting are, as the ad goes, priceless.
Normal People Item 3: Movies.
My mother asked me to get her some movies appropriate for young children, as my niblings have already seen The Aristocats five thousand billion times. So I bought these for fifty cents each.
A Bug's Life
An American Tail
101 Dalmations (original version)
The Great Mouse Detective
I also got Don't Eat The Pictures, a Sesame Street tour through the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but that one's for me.
Ridiculous People Item 1:
I did not buy this. There was a time in my life when I would have, provided they were willing to come down from $65 to $50. They probably would have, because how many ridiculous people are there in this world?