Sunday, September 14, 2008

No Charge for the House Tour

Yesterday I stopped at several yard sales. One was the kind where one house is having a sale and has put up signs, and then on the day of the sale the neighbors wind up setting up "shop." I call it yard sale piggy-backing, and the house that went to all the work to set up the signs is called the"host" (as in a living animal or plant from which a parasite obtains nutrition). Piggy-backing is not a bad thing at all.

1) For the piggy-backing neighbors, it's in their favor to not have to deal with setting-up signs. I happen to think putting up the signs is one of the most dreaded tasks of a successful yard sale, so if someone else is gonna do it for ya, go for it.

2) For yard sale clientele, driving up and seeing several houses involved in the sale is a draw. So the host should view it as a plus. I might do a drive-by of one house and choose not to stop, but if there are several houses, it's usually worth my time to stop.

So yesterday I pulled up to the host townhome and before I went in I stopped at the piggy-backing neighbor, a dear woman in her 60's who had one measly card table set up outside her front door. We got to chatting, I asked her to put aside some vintage Christmas napkins she was selling for $2, and then went into the host house. Ugh. Smokers. Who in their right mind would buy a piece of upholstered furniture from a house reeking of cigarette smoke? I might buy something made of glass, maybe.

So I went back to the neighbor to pay for my napkins and she asked me if I was sure I didn't want the owl lamp (pictured above; it is over a foot tall). I said I really didn't need it. She said that she had made it, to which I replied, "I'll take it. And it will go to a good home." She clapped in delight and then showed me the other items on her table, each with a story, not my taste, but for someone else, probably a gold-mine of vintage finds.

She then asked if I wanted to see the inside of her house. "You seem like the type of person who would appreciate what I collect." Husband took over the card table, and she (Frances; by then we were on a first-name basis) and I headed inside. What a collection of stuff! As a world traveler, she had a lot of things from the countries she had visited. And lots of beachy items from trips to Florida, including a driftwood lamp in her foyer that I would have loved for my place. And, believe it or not, included in her collection of figurines, was a set (probably 15, at least) of ceramic Old English Sheepdogs. I asked if she had ever had an OES, and she said no, she just liked dogs and these particular figurines spoke to her.

I have no use whatsoever for the owl lamp; it goes with nothing I have. And Harleigh took one look at it and said it was the ugliest thing she's ever seen. But I have high hopes for this little guy. I think for Halloween I'll hang him on the front porch. I always have the porch lights on anyway for the trick-or-treaters, so why not light the way with something fun!


K_Streams_Her_C said...

I think that lamp is AWESOME (and I'm pretty sure trick-or-treaters will as well).

nikkicrumpet said...

You are so sweet to buy that owl lamp...I think it will work for Halloween...and who knows you might need to scare aware varmints some day and it may come in handy lol. You must be such a kind hearted lady. Now I'm off to snoop around this beautiful blog. I'm so glad you stopped by so I could follow you home!

Daisys Little Cottage said...

I want that qwl lamp. I m serious. Is it still for sale. Who wHO whO do I pay? Will pay shipping and finders fees. Will you prt with it after Halloween????

Empty Nest Full Life said...

I love it, now that was a fun yardsale! and the light will be the perfect trick or treat light. I just knew you were going to have one of those OES figurines, but maybe next time.

Jerusalem said...

I love the idea of him for Halloween! You could wrap some spooky vines around his chain... I love older people who are so open and friendly - they are always so interesting! Great story!

JGH said...

Now THAT was a fun garage sale trip. You made her so happy when you said you'd take the owl. Maybe you could paint it black and pretend he's a halloween bat.

Gretchen said...

I'm not crazy about the owl but since it comes with such a sweet story I'd probably have to keep it forever.

Now if she had offered to sell you those dogs, it would have been an even better day.


Brandi said...

I'll take that owl.. how much???

This dear old lady seemed like a delight!!!

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