Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Estate Sales R My Friend

I have to admit it. I am a yard/garage sale kind of girl. I love the thrill of the hunt and the excitement of a deal. I love gettin' up early on a Saturday morning armed with a purse load of change in one hand and a Starbuck's Tall Vanilla Latte in the other. It's thrifty. It's therapy. It's downright fun.

My bud's Jennifer and Maribeth, however, are estate sale kind of folks. I have to say estate sales kind of bum me out. I been to quite of few in the past, but I never really have, first, found anything that I like at them. Second, understood what the draw of going to some deceased person's house is, and then rummaging through things that once meant something to to them but now are discarded by the family as unwanted. It's sad. I've seen things like wedding gowns and diaries, family photographs and letters. Bibles that that look like they have been in the family for years are out for sale.

I understand that families can't keep everything and that maybe sometimes there is no family (sad, again) so a estate sale is a necessary thing to do. But sometimes there are such personal items out that I am shocked are not kept by loved ones.

Anyway, I stopped going to them and have stuck mainly to my yard sales. Jen and Maribeth swear by them. I do appreciate their perspective of rescuing something that might have gone to the wayside. Plus, they have actually purchased some loverly things lately. I decided I would ignore the underlying depressiveness (Yay, I made up another new word!!) of entering the home of someone recently deceased and give estate sales another try.

My mom and I went to two a couple of weekends ago. Honestly, I still felt weird walking through the houses, but I made myself stay and really look. I came across all kinds of really neat stuff at one of them. The lady that had lived there previously obviously had an eye for gorgeous antiques.

Although most everything was WAY out of my rice range, but all the nifty old furniture was fun to look at. She had some OLD vintage toys from the 40's and 50's that were in pristine condition. There were crystal serving pieces and an entire Lenox bone china set from the 50's that they were offering. They also had milk glass bowls and vases (slapping myself for not snatching those up), vintage table linens, and all kinds of stuff that was neat to see.

A few things immediately caught my eye. I found these amazingly bound books from the 1920's and 30's. I fell in love with them instantly. They were impeccably kept and beautiful and I HAD to have them. Until I found out they were $10.00 a piece. Gag. Sputter. Gag. OK, so I didn't have to have after all. I am sure they were worth it, but right now, my pocketbook (and Dave Ramsey) says NO!

I also fell for these gorgeous plates. All fine china. All absolutely perfect for hanging in my kitchen. All $10.00 a plate. Again with the gagging and sputtering.

OK! Call me cheap, people! I got kids to feed (and to take to Disney World) and I just can't justify paying $30.00 for plates I don't even plan to eat off of!

One thing I was reminded of while shopping - stuff at estate sales is SOOOOO much more expensive than garage sales.

So, Mom ended up buying some nice cookbooks and I just bought a small bowl for salt for my kitchen and a soup ladle. Yeehaw. We left and went home.

I bet your wondering why I have pictures of those plates and those books if I didn't purchase them. I have such perceptive readers!

Well, that night after we got home I began to think about those books. OK, thinking is not a strong enough word. It was more like obsessing over them. Hey, they were from the 20's and 30's !! How rare is it to find something like that in great condition? Maybe if I couldn't have all of them I could buy just one.

So, after discussing it with Da Hubby, he sent me back to the estate sale as soon as we got back home from church the next day to see if the books were still there. They were!! YAY!

A second thing I learned at the estate sales is that usually on the last day you can bargain them down. I picked up my three books plus found these two adorable ones and donned my pitiful, I'm-broke-so-please-let-me-have-these-for-as-cheap-as-possible look.

I found the sale facilitator (or whatever they are called) and asked what was the BEST price she could give me for them. She looked at me and said $20.00 for all. The look on my face must have told her I was putting them back, so she spat out, "How about $10.00 for all?" $50.00 worth of books for $10.00? SCORE!!!

As I was walking to check out I happened to notice that the gorgeous red plates were still there and went over to see if they were marked down. The lady must have seen me looking at them so she came and asked me what I would be will to pay for them. I told her I could pay $10.00 for them all as that's all the cash I had. Amazingly, she agreed. She also threw in the cute little terra-cotta bird in the picture below for free.

A couple other sale finds I found were this cute basket for $2.00 and this cast iron wall piece for $5.00. (The wall piece actually came from a garage sale, but hey, I gotta stick to my roots!)

So, I suppose the bottom-line is even though yard sales will always be my first love, estate sales may make it on my circuit every once in awhile. So, thank you to my sweet friends who reintroduced me to the pleasures of estate sale-ing. You continue to inspire me!

Thanks for putting up with this way too long and rambling post. I am amazed and humbled if you made it this far without falling asleep! I'm going to shut up now and go to bed.


Amy said...

Way way fun finds... and I didn't know that about estate sales versus garage sales.. but it sure makes sense! See, ya learn somethin' new everyday! :)

hugs.. A

me said...

i love the books! they are beautiful! i was just telling kris that if you really want to look and find bargains, don't even go on the first day because that will just make you want things. instead, go on sunday after church. but, do know that some sales occur on monday too so the deals may not be quite as good. great finds, girl!