A Yard Sale Story

Great things happen to me at yard sales.  Seemingly small but great things.   There have been countless times I’ve had a thought like “I wish I had a toaster oven,” then two weeks later I stop by a yard sale on the way home from somewhere else and find a perfect toaster oven. 

Here’s my most recent example.  A few weeks ago, this was the vignette on the table in the entry to my house.  I love grouping vintage books by color, and pink is a hard color to come by.  I love the children’s book on top, The Pink Motel.   But it’s obviously a bit worn, torn, and dirty.   I usually don’t display books in this condition – I like to have clean, functional pieces in my collections.  But I really love the pink cover, the title, and the illustrations on the cover.

So I stopped by a yard sale recently, and came upon this for $1!  It was The  Pink Motel in perfect condition – even with the original paper cover!

So now I had a dilemma:  should I just get rid of my old copy?  I love the exposed hardback cover, but now I see that I love the art and colors on the original paper cover.  Hmmmmm . . . 

  I took the paper cover off the nicer copy and put it on the ragged copy.  Now the nicer copy sits atop my stack on the entry table.  And the paper cover is now on the ragged copy, which I am displaying elsewhere.  This may seem silly to you, but these kind of little things really make my day.

When I was pregnant with my first child, I was determined to recreate a sweet part of my childhood and started buying original Fisher Price Little People buildings on Ebay.

One night I dreamed I went to a yard sale and found a Fisher Price School House and Airport sitting on a blanket spread out on the ground.  Next weekend I went yard saling with my friend, Cathy.  As I parked the car and walked across the street, I saw before me a Fisher Price School House and Fire House sitting on a blanket spread out on the ground.   OK, in my dream it was the Airport and not the Fire House, but in real life I already had the Airport and needed the Fire House! 

I about had a fit right then and there and totally made a fool of myself as I tried to explain this dream to the yard sale lady who then gave me an inflated price on the items, quickly realizing I would probably pay too much for them since I dreamed about them (and because I was probably crazy!).

All this to say, great things happen to me at yard sales.  Seemingly small, but great things. I’ve come to think of these things as little presents from Jesus.  Who else knows the secret, silly desires in my heart and sets them in front of me?  This mindset has helped me open my eyes to potential blessings in unexpected places and situations.  I just don’t believe in coincidences anymore!  Especially when it comes to yard sales :).


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10 years ago

You didn’t mention the ball-fringe curtains that you had been wanting. We had looked in catalogs and discussed prices, and then Boom! There they were at a garage sale waiting for you.

Wish I would have a dream about a beautiful couch for my playroom . . .

10 years ago

You’re not crazy – you just find joy in the little things. And I believe everyone could use a bit more of that in their life (that, and more yard sales. You can never have too many yard sales around.)

10 years ago

Michelle, I forgot about those ball-fringe bedroom curtains! Not only were they EXACTLY what I had been looking for in the catalogs, there were 6 panels – exactly how many I needed for my bedroom!

Paul Martin
Paul Martin
10 years ago

I understand what you’re saying totally. I could have written this post about my hobby/habit/addiction of attending area estate sales (except I seek out garage and shed goods instead of drapes and decor goods). We should trade “wish lists”.

To us: “garage sailing” is “treasure hunting” and
“dumpster diving” is “rescuing & recycling”

10 years ago

Has Audrey read this book? Did she like it? They have it at the library — and the updated cover is hideous!

10 years ago

Andrea, of course Audrey read The Pink Motel! She liked it. I haven’t seen the updated cover – didn’t know it was still in print!

And Paul, we definitely should trade wish lists. Love the terms you use: treasure hunting and rescuing – much better!

10 years ago

I liked your article about garage selling….I love it as well and have had very similar experiences too. Feel very much the same way. I live in Spokane Washington and lately Ive been calling it “Junkin” I have found great things this year and it always amazing how people are just giving stuff away either because they dont know what they have or what to do with it…im very much a visionary…lol. creative minded people love it!

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