Saturday, August 10, 2013

Three estate sales: one was icky, one was good and one was great

Duane and I hit some estate sales as part of our usual Friday routine when there are interesting ones advertised.  Linda was out of town this weekend so it was just the two us setting out in Mrs. Peel for the south side of town.  The first (and most anticipated) sale was being held by a woman named Dixie.  She does this professionally and we know that there will always be a good mix of items.  Strangely, though, Dixie mentioned that everyone should wear sturdy shoes and basically enter and search at our own risk.  Hmm... Apparently, this house was built in the 1920's and was still owned by the original family.  OK, that's no big deal.  The outside, as you can see in the pic, was overgrown and the house sat on a corner lot.  The other houses in the neighborhood looked very nice and well-kept.  This one kind of stuck out.  Like a sore thumb.  Duane and I were trying to decide, as we made our way gingerly through the house, how to describe it.  We decided it was probably the most disgusting house we had ever entered.  NOTHING had been changed in that house since it was built and, by that, I mean nothing had been repaired, replaced, etc.  We couldn't figure out how anyone actually lived there.

There were definitely nice items in the house but everything was so filthy and uncared for that it made us hesitant to touch things.  That didn't stop some people, of course.  There were the usual people who run through with bags and boxes just grabbing items.  Oh, I should mention that everything in the house was for sale.  By that, I mean windows, doors, fixtures, etc.  The house was going to be bulldozed after the sale.  It really was the only merciful thing to do.  The property is quite valuable and I'm sure the neighbors will be happy to be rid of the house.  The outside actually looks much better than the inside did.  It had been painted at some point in the not-to-distant past.  I suspect that was to mollify the homeowner's association.  Wonder how many of the neighbors had seen the inside.  The odd part was that this wasn't just an elderly person living there alone.  One of the bedrooms had belonged to a kid/teenager who had written and painted all sorts of things on the walls.

I did actually find a few small items.  One was a miniature volume on Shakespeare's most famous quotes.  By the way, there were so many books but they were in abominable condition.  Many of us commented on that as we shopped.  Such a shame.  I also found some pretty crochet threads along with a hook and some double pointed knitting needles that had mercifully been housed in plastic.  I was also tempted to pick up a Nippon bowl for Linda that was priced at $6.  Duane and I hesitated, though, because, like any collector, Linda knows what she likes.  This little footed bowl was somewhat similar to the style of a larger one she'd purchased at the Webster Flea Market last spring.  After we give Linda a good description, we'll know if we should have bought it if any future situations like this arise.

As  you can see from the pictures -- and these are just a few -- there were antique clocks, lamps, and furniture along with the books, etc.  Lots of stone garden items outside, too, but it took a brave person to wade through the neglected tall weeds in the fenced back yard.  I had sandals on.  Case closed.

Duane's finds.
We hit a smaller sale in the same part of town and Duane lucked out by finding a pair of framed prints by an artist she likes and a book that I highly recommended, Into the Wild.  The ladies holding this sale were very nice.  The older one was gardening and had a talking parrot on her shoulder.  Her daughter came out of the house and she had a pet rat on her shoulder.  The parrot kept us entertained by repeating most of what we said.

After the second sale, we decided to stop at my sister Carol's shop -- Chris's Cookies & Cupcakes.  She's in the process of remodeling but let us in and Duane and I left with some yummy cookies.  We saved those for later and headed to the neighborhood Starbucks near Duane's house.  After spending time with drinks and talking, we were headed back to Duane's house to end our morning when we passed a sign for an estate sale in her neighborhood.  Duane even recognized the address.  That's one of the advantages of going out with someone who grew up in a town.  Duane knows a lot of the history and keeps us informed about various people and places she lived.  Well, this sale was definitely worth it even if it had been the only one we attended.  Cute and clean little house with ladies Duane actually knew.  Everything priced fairly.

My buys.
Duane was able to purchase three paintings by a woman she had adored while growing up.  One is a large charcoal drawing with an old coffee grinder and the other two are small oil paintings.  Very nice that Duane has these to remember her special 'aunt.'  She also bought a large white decorative serving bowl.   I purchased several items, too.  One is a signed print of Yorktown Onions brought back from Europe by the owner of the house.  I also purchased a red leather embossed bookmark from Scotland.  I purchased a number of this type of bookmark when I vacationed in the UK years ago.  It's nice to have this one to add my collection.  I also found a beautiful vintage pin made of wood with carved resin flowers on the top.  This will look great on the lapel of a jacket when it gets cooler.  Then when I happened to mention that Duane and I crochet and knit for charity, one of the ladies brought out a bunch of unopened skeins of cotton yarn.  I snapped them up and will divide them with Duane and Linda for our various projects.

I'm so glad that we caught this last sale and that Duane was able to catch up with some old friend's of her parents that she had known while growing up.  The day started out a little weird with that first sale but, as usual, we never know what we're going to find.  

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