Volume XI, Issue 49 ~ December 4-10, 2003

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Bay Reflections

Farewell Autumn, Yard-Sale Shoppers Season of Plenty
by Hanne Denney

I’m not one of those people who spend every Saturday morning rushing around from neighborhood to neighborhood checking out yard sales. But I will stop at one if I’m on my way somewhere, or if an attractive sign catches my eye. I am sorry when the cold mornings arrive, because I know the sale season is ending, and I won’t be finding great treasures on someone’s front yard any more that year.

I want to share some of my finds from this season with you, and to thank the people who let me have or buy their treasures. To the church congregation that let me buy a whole box of little toys for $5, thanks. The kids in my care had a great time sorting through them and picking some out to take home. We found a whole set of dinosaurs hidden in the box, 30 different ones! That’s brought some great learning and play time to my house.

I found a bag of little green baskets at a recent sale. I didn’t know what to do with them until I took a walk with the kids. They started picking up fall treasures: chestnuts, acorns, pinecones and leaves. The baskets became a charming gift for people we love.

Someone sold a small handmade wooden box that I treasure. I’ve filled it with shells and bits of sea glass from a beach, and it gives me great pleasure to look at.

I’ve gotten some wonderful books from yard sales: a collection of Shakespeare’s work, a book of children’s poetry, a huge Julia Child cookbook. These may have sat for years on your shelf, but they’ve been opened at my house and appreciated.

Speaking of books: Thanks to the family who gave me a huge box of children’s stories and toys. The books became part of our neighborhood book exchange. You made a lot of kids happy because they got to pick out ‘new’ books to take home and share with their families. I appreciate the puppet theater that was also in the box. We’ve already made good use of it.

I bought a big glass bowl for a dollar. Sometimes it’s a fruit bowl, full of apples and boxes of raisins. Sometimes, like for Halloween, it’s a punch bowl with a witch’s brew. And sometimes I fill it with rice, just to practice measuring and pouring. It’s a great bowl.

You never know what you’ll find at a yard sale, and sometimes you don’t find anything interesting. Sometimes you buy something just because it will be useful eventually. I’ve got a whole box of wooden cutouts a woman had leftover from her days as a crafter. I have no specific plans, but I know some little people who can figure out a way to make anything beautiful, given some paint and time to work on it. We’ll use it.

As for the rest of you, start saving stuff now for the spring. Yard sales are fun and a good way to turn trash into treasure. Don’t throw your old stuff out. A kid-oriented person like myself may come by, and we can use almost anything.

Of course, when I’m done with your treasures, I’ll probably have a yard sale, and you can come buy it back. I always seem to give away a lot of stuff when I have a yard sale, so maybe you’ll get some freebies. People give me a lot of things, so it seems I should give some of it back. See ya next year, at my house or at yours.

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Last updated December 4, 2003 @ 1:35am.