Saturday, September 30, 2006

What do Richard Nixon and silky pineapples have in common, you ask?

What do these 2 items have in common, you ask? They are both fabulous finds I got at garage sales this morning, yes, indeedy!

This past week, the weather has taken a dive and it's been in the 40s when we get into the car in the morning. The leaves are JUST starting to turn orange, so I determined that this period would probably be that fleeting period known as "Autumn" which, around here, should more aptly be called "That one week at the end of the muggy/rainy summer when the sun shines and the air is crisp, just before Binghamton slides into 6 months of darkness and stinging cold."

That was my wake up call that we must be nearing the end of my other favorite season: Garage Sale Season! Damn, I mean Yard Sale Season (Not too many garages out here, but LOTS of yard, you see)

Last night, I staked out my plan of attack by perusing the local newspaper and plotting the route of the 3 closest sales that are also in better areas of town. Lucky for me, all within a few blocks of our house. You know they are going to be good when they start at 8:00 am and use their precious little advertising space to warn "No Early Birds!" And believe me, they are serious about that, as you will see . . .

I sprung awake at 7:00 am this morning, just like when I was a little kid and couldn't drag myself out of bed for school yet miraculously popped awake early for Saturday morning cartoons. The smell of "bargain" hung heavy and low in the air on this sunny, chilly morning, you betcha.

I arrived at the first sale at about 8:10 and I'm not exaggerating when I say that there were already 25 people there in the back yard, poking through 30 years worth of other people's junk. I first noticed the vintage 1981 "Diana, Princess of Wales" set of books, and the "Christmas 1980" paperweight, and thought it was going to be a bust, but no, my friend, the true bargain hunter can see through the junk and keenly spot the gems.

Which leads me to the photos above. OK, I lied: I bought the silky pineapple pillow at a garage sale 2 weeks ago. It made me laugh so hard when I saw it, with its stupid floppy green crown and faux elegance, that I shelled out the $2 (it was marked for $3) and brought it home to John. I fully expected him to prohibit me from all future garage sale-ing, but instead, he laughed even harded than I did and now we have this stupid pineapple perched on the trunk at the foot of our bed, like it's a pet or something, and we both crack up every time we see it. PLUS it has the added bonus of actually matching nicely with our "newborn" colored yellowy walls. $2 well spent if you ask me. It's truly a "gift that keeps on giving" . . .

The Nixon image is from 1 of a half-dozen vintage Time and Newsweek magazines I bought, all from 1973 and all covering the Watergate scandal. That was such a historic period in our history and we really didn't learn much about it in school. Plus, the magazines are exactly contemporaneous with our recently-acquired cache of vintage Playboys, which we are still working through slowly and hysterically, so we are really going to be immersed in that era. It will be so interesting to see how the two publications write about the same issues and play off of each other.

I'm hoping that, as the weather gets colder and the residential garage sales dry up, the ol' Church and Fraternal Club circuit will kick in with their holiday "craft fairs" (or "crap fairs" as some husbands call them) and I can indulge my need for poking through mounds of junky/smelly/chipped/worn stuff while simultaneously picking up a few hand-crocheted doilies. You can NEVER have enough of THOSE!!

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