Why I Love Yard Sales

So this story has two parts.  First, why I love having a yard sale.

Last weekend we had an epic yard sale.  We started by cleaning out our garage for a project and ended up with so much stuff we decided to have a sale.  And then, I decided, if we were doing it anyway, I really needed to purge the basement as well.

It was hard.  I almost cried many times.  But I kept telling myself that this was the price I had to pay for just having TOO MUCH STUFF.  So, I trekked on with the vision of organization and more space in my future.

I am happy to report that we sold a lot of stuff and the rest will be picked up in a few days and it will ALL BE GONE.

It is therapy people.  And we made money to boot!  This is reason number one why I love yard sales.

But the guilt has been lingering.  Maybe I need to stop going to so many yard sales?  I don’t need so much stuff.  Even though I don’t go as much, do I really need to keep looking for more stuff?

But, I had an experience the other night that will keep me from ever totally stopping.

So second, why I love going to yard sales.

Because you see, when you go  to a yard sale, you find treasures.  Treasures with history and a story.

Treasures like this painting.

 

River-Valley-Painting

A few weeks ago, we were visiting my husband’s home town on what happened to be Yard Sale Weekend.    This weekend is pretty serious business, but in almost 20 years of marriage, this was only the second time we have been able to go on this weekend.  We walked downtown and then a few of us drove around a bit more.  We happened upon a “free” pile (same free pile where I decorated my summer mantel from).

I picked up this painting because it looked just like the view from my husband’s family farm.  Up on “the hill”, you can look down over the river and the valley.  Free, great.  Pretty, even better.  The view that we both love so much, priceless.

Even if it was of another river, in my mind, it was of our view.

And then I kind of forgot about it until I went to hang it in our guest room.

I don’t know why, but just before I hung it, I turned it over and saw there was a signature.

 

Mildreds-signature

I know that is hard to see, but it is signed by a family friend in 1958. I couldn’t believe it when I saw it.  I yelled out to Dana, her first and her last name, I had it right didn’t I?

I did, it could be no other.

In fact, it was the same family friend was at my bridal shower and gave me this recipe.

 

Mildreds-apple-sauce-cake-recipe

And, gave me this beautiful candy dish.  I knew it had been one of her own because it still had a few nut crumbs in it.  Knowing it was hers made it even more special, even then.  The crumbs just made me giggle.

 

Candy-dish

 

The same friend who’s driveway Dana would plow when it snowed and who’s wood he delivered.

And, when I shared the find with the rest of the family.  There were more memories.  Stories of cookies and pictures of a treasured notebook that she used while taking art classes.

And this same friend happened to live right on that river we view from the top of “the hill”.  I imagined she may have painted it right in her own backyard, back in 1958.  I guess it was our view after all.

A treasure indeed.

Newpostsignature.jpg

 

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29 thoughts on “Why I Love Yard Sales”

Comments

  1. What a wonderful story — there are treasures to be found. Do you look around the house now and feel the extra space? I can’t go to garage sales — we don’t even have Christmas decorations except for one lonely Alpine tree stuffed in my crafts closet. We had to give up everything when we moved 🙁 Downsizing stinks sometimes!! At the time I wasn’t blogging so it wasn’t foremost on my mind. I am anxious to see part two of your story. I love the painting.

  2. Love that story! My daughter (7) and I love going to yard sales together. It’s a great way to spend time together and she loves the hunt as much as I do, and in fact has found some things I’ve been looking for but would have missed! 😉

  3. This is a truly wonderful story. I thought you were going to say it was a long lost painting by Gainsborough or some other famous landscape artist. This is even better! I love yard sales too. It’s always such an adventure. One never knows what treasure they’ll find! Wonderful!

  4. How cool is that! What a great find….a treasure to pass down to your children. How cool if you wrote your story down and had a pocket made to the back of the painting and slip it inside for future viewing. Memories to be shared! Priceless!

  5. Hey! I’m at work surfing around your blog from my new apple iphone!
    Just wanted to say I love reading through your log and look forward to
    all your posts! Keep uup the fantastic work!

  6. Awwww! I love the story so much…..but the painting? Even better than you described it.

    Thank you for giving me hope to follow each and every yard sale sign I see. 🙂

    Happy weekend friend!
    karianne

  7. Six degrees of separation………………………………..LOVE IT!!!! What a treasure!!!!!!! How very special indeed!!

  8. Oh Laura! What a great story!!! Don’t you just love when those connections come together and you find out you have something even more special than you thought? I’m still smiling!

  9. What an awesome story about your “free find” and your sweet family friend! It’s like your painting has come full circle – like it was meant to be! Those are the best kind of stories and the best kind of friends! I love your blog, do down to earth and touching! Thanks for sharing with us.

  10. What a great story kind of gave me chills.
    My mom bought my oldest an antique child size table and chairs for his 1st birthday. I hated to sell it but he is 20 and really has no use for it. I listed it on Craigs list and shortly got a call from a prospective buyer. When he came to buy it he told us the story behind the set. His father had made the table and chairs and they were sold at a local furniture store for a promotion. The look on his face was priceless when he first saw them. Knowing that they were going home made it easier to sell.
    Can’t wait to hear part two of your story.

  11. Wow Laura…what a story!…It was destiny….you were meant to go to that yard sale and buy that painting…How so very special and a little …..que the Twilight Zone theme song …. I am sure when you discovered it was “your view” you had to have had some chills….So yard saleing is a good thing…and it is hard to “let things go”…I am trying to do the same thing…like our very first bedroom set…it is time to let it go…I just sold my very first Mother’s Day gift, a maple tea cart…I could not use it nor could anyone else in the family, so it went to another home…

  12. Laura, what a beautiful story and thanks for sharing it with us. Is Mildred still living? If not, it’s even more special to you. I love yard sales and have held usually one every 3 years. They are a lot of work though; sometimes you make out pretty good, depending on how well you have advertised and what you have to offer. I always organized the yard sale on our street where we lived for 27 years. Anything left over that didn’t sell, I’d pack it up for one more sale or box it up and take it to our local hospital thrift shop and let them try to sell it and keep the money because the Ladies Auxiallary donated lots of money to scholorships for graduates who were going to study medicine or nursing..Sometimes they donated lots of money for a new piece of technology or equipment needed in the hospital that wasn’t in the budget.

    We downsized 9 years ago and you can not imagine how much we gave away to organizations. Now we are starting to weed out again. We have limited storage space plus our lives have changed..We don’t need certain things anymore.

  13. Laure,
    What a beautiful story.. It just touched my heart it was so sweet. I have to believe it was destiny too. You just happened to be at the yard sale that you have rarely gotten to.. Is your friend still alive? If she is you should drop her a note. I’m sure it would make her so happy to know the painting has found a home with you.
    …. Please don’t ever change your sweet blog. I look to you for inspiration and your stories are uplifting.. You help me look at my house through fresh eyes to see the posibilities Please keep up the great work and keep bringing us such wonderful stories. Thank you for the happiness and joy for the simple things in life .

  14. What a precious “find”,only our loving Lord cared enough to help you find this drawing. These are the wonderful things that makes it all so special. Enjoy!

  15. what a lovely story….I too love going to yard sales..As I have gotten older, I still love to stop when I spot one but I have learned to use restraint. The fun is in the search for the perfect item, that you must absolutely have. I am going to make the wood wreath for Son and his family for Christmas. I so enjoy making things that will hopefully be treasured for Christmases to come.

  16. Laura,
    The having sales and giving away lets us welcome other things in. We change over time and when we edit we fine tune who we are and what we treasure right now.
    I second the suggestion of a pocket on the back of the painting so the story stays with the piece. Maybe you need to include a copy of Mildred’s recipe too.
    Many people are having pleasent thoughts of Mildred today, she is being blessed.

    rick

  17. So nice to hear this special work of own found a good home.

    It kills me when people so easily dispose of pieces of art like this. I can’t tell you how many old quilts I’ve seen at yard and auction sales. Someone spent hours and hours on that quilt and instead of it being passed on as a family heirloom, it’s thrown in a pile to be disposed of, often for only a few dollars.

  18. I know you almost posted this a year ago, but I just want to say Thank You for this story. It brought such warm thoughts to me. I love to go to yard sales too, and I often wonder about the history of some of the objects I’ve bought. God must have designed for you to have that painting.