Monday, May 24, 2010

Honk If You Love Yard Sales!

I love yard sales.

So I was thrilled to go to the base wide yard sales on Saturday. Basically a bunch of families were going to be selling stuff at once. And I love to shop (cheaply) so I was excited to go out.

Normally I feel sluggish on Saturday mornings. But that day I was alert and ready to go. I guzzled down some Diet Coke for Caffeine Power and checked to make sure I had money in my wallet. I was on the prowl for outdoor toys, more specifically, one of those plastic outdoor houses.

“Remember to sit,” I instructed to Natalie, as I pulled the wagon out. I had nightmares of her leaping from the wagon and running down the street with her hands waving in the air. “Bye!” she’d scream. “Bye bye!” I seriously wouldn’t put it past her. Why didn’t my wagon come with (tight) seat belts?

So we started walking down the street. I expected to see tons of yard sales set up. But there was nothing. Huh? Did the people not get the memo? It was the BASE WIDE YARD SALE! Granted, I wasn’t having a yard sale either but still. In the distance I saw some items scattered in a driveway. Yes! Yes! But as got closer, I saw that the woman was just setting up. Er. Did she not realize that the thing started at 8? Look, I hate waking up early as much as the next person but she was missing out on potential money. I didn’t want to be Creepy Customer and wait at the end of her driveway so I kept moving.

Nothing, nothing, nothing.


And why did my legs feel like they were going to break off? Ugh, I really need to exercise more.

“There’s one!” Tommy announced and pointed.

He was right! A yard sale. And actual yard sale! With new adrenaline coursing through my veins, I rushed over. I mean, you have to hurry at these things. Because you never know if another customer will grab the one thing you wanted. People can be quite competitive at yard sales. Or maybe it’s just me. I eye my competition up and down silently thinking, “Don’t take what I want, don’t take what I want.”

This yard sale had some books set up. I LOVE cheap books. I immediately started to dig in.

“Mommy?” I had parked the wagon beside me and Natalie was climbing out. Flashes of her running down the street popped into my mind so I had to stop searching the books.

“Natalie, let’s sit. Look, I packed you some Dora snacks,” I pulled a bag from my purse and handed them over.

“I don’t YIKE da Dora snacks. I want to get out and LOOK!” Natalie said, throwing the Dora snacks down.


So I had to paw through the books while watching her. She was really killing my Yard Sale Buzz.

Another woman sidled up beside me to peek at the books and I was all, “ACK competition!” so I hurried through. I pulled out a hardback Olivia book—that cartoon is really annoying but Natalie likes it. Whenever I see it I immediately crave bacon since Olivia is a pig.

My competition found a Nicholas Sparks book. Hey! I wanted that! I wanted—wait, never mind, I already had it.

Then I found the latest Jodi Picoult book and grabbed that. The woman tisked and went, “Oh, great find, I’ll take it if you don’t want it.”

Um. I want it, lady.

I smiled and went, “I’m buying it. Have a fabulous day.”

And the best part was I only paid twenty five cents for it. TWENTY FIVE cents for the latest Jodi Picoult that is still eighteen bucks in stores.

I managed to get Natalie back in the wagon (only had to bribe her with my cell phone plus my Tic Tacs) and found another yard sale. Yay! This one didn’t have much. I just found a few chapter books for Tommy.

Where was all the outdoor stuff?

I walked and walked and walked. The yard sales were few and far between.

Then I found another one. I cupped my hand over my eyes so I could make sure I was really seeing a yard sale. Maybe it was a mirage. After all it was nearly seventy degrees and my poor used to cold weather body was in shock. It was all, wow, it’s really HOT now. I mean, we just had snow a few weeks ago for craps sake. Plus I’m allergic to exercise so I was in pain. Sweat was dripping off my forehead. Yuck.

“Tommy…” I gasped. “Is that another yard sale?”

Tommy stood on his tip toes. “Yup.”

So I grasped the wagon and chugged on. When I got to the yard sale I must’ve looked frightening because the little kid who lived there gasped and asked if I was sick and his father was all, “Can I get you some water?”

I did sound a little scary. I was breathing hard and sort of sounded like a donkey. I kept going, “Eeeeee....awwwwwww.....” that’s just how my breath was coming out. I couldn’t help it.

“I’m....okay,” I told the father. “I just....eeeeeeee....awwww....”

And that’s when I saw it. The plastic outdoor house I had been searching for. Right there in—

“I’ll just load this up now,” another man said, taking my house and loading it into his truck.

What? No! My house! He must’ve JUST bought it.

Then I spotted a play BBQ set and was about to move towards that but my legs were dead and wouldn’t move. They were all, “You’ve abused us today, we’re not budging.” While I was debating doing an Army crawl to it, this woman marched over, stuck her grubby hands on my BBQ set and went, “I’ll take this.”

See? Competitive, I tell ya.

If I had just been in shape I could have gotten the house AND the BBQ set. Hmph.

“Seriously, do you need water?” the father said again. I think he wanted to add, “Please don’t pass out in my yard. I just laid seed down.”

“I’m great, thank you....eeeeee....awwww...” I lied. I wasn’t great though. I was close to climbing into the wagon and asking Tommy if he could pull us home.

“I’m selling candy apples and grape soda. Want some?” the father’s son piped up.

Well. It wasn’t an outdoor plastic house or a play BBQ set. But at that moment a candy apple and a grape soda sounded splendid.

So I forked over some money and happily took my treats.

Maybe I’ll find an outdoor plastic house next year.

I’ll make sure to get myself in shape so then I’ll be in peak performance.

Oh, who am kidding?

Next year I’ll just drive around in my car like the smart people did.


  1. Hilarious! I always want to be a yard sale person, but I can't handle how early it starts. And 8 seems luxurious to me, in my neighborhood things get going at 6!

  2. I can't handle the cheapskates at yard sales - its 2 bucks, are you really going to haggle?!

  3. This is so funny. I love yard sales but hate setting them up and certainly hate getting up first thing on a Saturday morning. Tell us how the book was.

  4. I love to have yard sales but I don't shop them well. I always buy stuff I don't need. And... they start at 5:30 or 6:00 around here too and that is way to early for me.

  5. Ugh. As my kids would say 'Mom, that does NOT sound like fun.' You're more courageous than I am.

  6. I wish I could muster up some sympathy for you but well, what with the laughing and all, it's just not there right now.

    I cannot believe what you wanted was actually THERE. Do you know the chances of that happening? Me neither.

  7. We are selling Bella's outdoor house AND castle slide thingy. Guessing you don't want to walk that far though....

  8. My step mother goes yard Sale-ing EVERY saturday and loves it. Actually, she brought me home one of my cats from a yeard sale!

  9. I keep reading about all these great buys at yard sales and thrift stores...I have got to start shopping them...who knows how much money I'll save and what kind of treasures I might find! First I better declutter my house to find room for them...I always bum myself out!

  10. i never, ever have yard sales nor shop at them... i do loove cheap books though (since i read so quickly and much) so i go to good will and they'll have books there for like 2 bucks... LOVE IT!!!

    by the way... hope you NEVER have to live in south georgia... on sunday it was around 94 and the humidity made it feel around 100 degress... now THAT was hot!!!

  11. My dad loves going to garage sales. I like the idea of them. But then I have to get up early.

  12. Our small little town has always had a "Garage Sale Day". 20 years ago it was at least every other house on all the streets who had a sale. I could send my older kids out with $3 each, they'd be gone for hours and bring home millions of fun things. LOL

    These days we're lucky if there are more than 3 or 4 sales in the whole town on that day. Bummer!


  13. Maybe you could even rent a trailer.. and use Tom's... ut oh! no, scrap that idea umm.. borrows someone's pickup truck?

  14. I LOVE yard sales. I'm waiting "patiently" for all the community wide sales to start next month. Not really....I wanna go now before it's so freakin' hot I have to wring out my underwear.

  15. Yard sales are perfect for kid stuff! I got a Sit and Spin for a dollar! And, yes, I agree, Olivia is kind of an annoying brat. Well, you didn't quite say that, but that's what I think!

  16. I love yard sales; I buy, donate to Goodwill, buy, donate to Goodwill--it's a vicious cycle. I'm really enjoying your blog!

  17. Oh I love yard saling! Sometimes just for kicks I'll pick something up that I saw some lady eyeballing and just carry it around debating outloud whether I really want it or not. Drives those old ldies crazy! lol

  18. Yardsales are my downfall. All my free cash goes there. I can go through 25 bucks like no one's business. But I love the deals, Just love them to the point where it's a sickness.

  19. I do love a good yard sale but only if I drive and leave the kids at home. :)

  20. Lol. Score on the book though! I love yard sales but luckily (or not) I never carry cash so I can't go take part! But just out of curiosity, how were you gonna get the awesome house home? ;-)

  21. I'm a yard sale fanatic!!! I love love love going to the local swapmeet on sunday mornings...lots and lots of cheap books and doodads that i have no use for, but must have. (((LOL))) btw - i adore Nicholas Sparks/Jodi Picoult. Can you do a post reviewing your favs??

  22. You totally have my heart now that I know you drink Diet Coke in the morning. You have never been more beautiful to me.

  23. Sorry you missed out on the big items, but it sounds like you still got some great books--and treats!

  24. I'm totally competitive. And good for you for walking even if it did mean passing out in someone's yard! haha

  25. HONK!!

    I love me a good yard sale :)

  26. Yard sales are great - especially when there are multiple one is close proximity. Sorry you missed out on the yard toys but the books sound great :)

  27. Those are the first things to go...unfortunately! Is their a Craigslist in the vicinity...another great place to look!

  28. Well, Amber, it might be just as well you didn't get the plastic outdoor house, or the BBQ. Look at the bright side. You would have had to load them on the wagon and carry Natalie. All too hard, Honey!

  29. Hot weather and being out of shape, I so understand you.

  30. yup take the car next year... eee aaawwww... LOL you always crack me up..

  31. I haven't been to a yard sale in years but I used to love to go! You can't beat the book deals!

    Good luck on the house! Try looking on in your area!!

  32. Rule 1- Use car
    Rule 2- no kids, right/
    I often feel the same way. It really brings out my comptetitive side. I'd find the person who bought the BBQ set and steal it.

  33. honk honk! I LOVE garage sales. I definitely would recommend taking the car next time though, lol. I'm lazy enough where if two sales are more than four or five houses apart, I'll get in my car and drive rather than walk down the block. I'd try craigslist for a house, if they have it for your area.

  34. We had a garage sale this last weekend and made BANK! The only bad thing (kind of) was that before we even were done setting up a lady came and bought all of our big ticket items. (all the big outdoor toys) which is what we hoped would bring people in! I had tons of cute boy clothes, but after all those things were gone, people did a drive by! grrr! Oh well, I guess i'll just have to save my gently used gymboree/gap/old navy/ children place clothes for someone who will truley appreciate them... LIKE US :)

  35. Oh man! The yard sale broke you and the mountain broke me!

    Also, now I miss yard saling. I used to go every weekend, but then I realized I was stockpiling OTHER PEOPLES' junk. :-(

  36. What I want to know is...if you had made it there in time to get both the playhouse and the would you have loaded them in the wagon to cart them home?? Lol.

    I love garage sales! Especially one with books!


  37. There are such serious treasures to be found in those sales! You were wise to go, but yeah, you took the wrong set of wheels.

  38. HOOOONNNNNKKKKK HOOOONNNNKKKK! i LOVE garage sales or yard sales. And I too, am competitive. In fact, I may have actually tried to buy the BBQ set and the plastic house off the people who thought they were taking them home.

  39. Love yard sales but I have to be in the mood for them...then once I start...I like to look at a lot of them! It's the same old man's junk.....

  40. It's so hard to load and unload kids to go to the different sales, though.

    Good find on the Piccoult book. Love her.

  41. Not a thing we have here in the North East of England - what we call a bring and buy sale is probably the closest we get - I love the idea of yard sales.

  42. You took your kids with you to the yard sale? Lady, you are BRAVE.

  43. Wow, every time we've ever held a garage sale, we'll advertise that it starts at 8am, but we've got people doing the drive-bys starting around 6:30 or so.

    Maybe later in the summer, someone will host another and give you your fancy outdoor house.

  44. What were you thinking? Of COURSE you should have been driving! Oh well, I'd be happy too to get that Jodi Picoult book, and what a steal at a quarter! Whoo-hoo!


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