I Get It. Do You? 

IMG_6452Sometimes it seems to me that there are two kinds of people in the world. No, not early birds and night owls. Not “glass is half full” versus “glass is half empty.” Not progressives and conservatives.

I’m talking about the folks who love shopping at garage/rummage/tag/yard/jumble sales and those who don’t.

Some people just don’t get it—they don’t understand the thrill of the hunt. They don’t know the sense that, sometimes, you don’t know what you want until you see it, that treasures are waiting to be discovered.

My mom and I get it. During summer, we go out “saling” a couple of days a week.

We went out this weekend, too. Our range was limited because many of our usual haunts were still haunted by the specter of escaped convicts.

We did NOT have a stellar weekend with lots of fabulous finds but we had a handful of very nice hours together and I got a few items that make me super happy.

Like this pretty book, published in 1926, and titled “Birds in Rhyme.”

I love the illustrations in the book, colorful images of a number of birds of North America.

I love the poems that accompany each bird and summarize its traits.IMG_6446 IMG_6449I love that the birds’ songs are conveyed by musical notes on a scale.

IMG_6450 IMG_6448

I really love the cover, everything about it. I love the bright, saturated, complementary blue/green and red/orange. I love the stylized graphics in the Arts and Crafts style.


And I LOVE the fact that the cover just happens to match my husband’s current weaving project!


This one-dollar purchase made my day! What else would give me so much for so little?

So, where do you stand on the subject of garage sales? Do you get it? Or not?

65 thoughts on “I Get It. Do You? 

  1. That’s a beautiful book!
    Garage sales and thrift shops have most things i need and help me avoid chain stores.
    My recent discovery is that picking the garden fruits and veggies satisfies that shopping instinct.

  2. What a score! Now that’s a great payoff. This is my theory about g-sales: They are all about the demographics like urban vs. rural and upper-class neighbourhoods vs. middle class neighbourhoods…it’s amazing what some people no longer want to keep and decide to sell and leave to the bargain hunters to track down. Too bad cities like Toronto are almost all condos…the garage sale is a dying art!

  3. I love garage sales, yard sale, estate sales. There are treasures to be found and I love the idea of giving something a second life. I hate (a word I try and avoid) that so many products go into the landfill.

    Your booklet is stunning and inspires me too, and all for a dollar! I love that you and your mom do this together, treasured moments!

    • It’s true that going out with my mom makes it a LOT more fun and special. When she’s in Florida, I rarely bother with garage sales. Even when neither she nor I buy anything, we consider the time together well spent.

  4. I love seeing your finds, but I would not want to go with you…I’m one of those people who goes out when I need something, makes a surgical strike and leaves. But I have seen a kingfisher make a dive, grab a minnow, fly up to a tree branch and have lunch! Enjoy your outings! We’re all different and the same…

    • Couldn’t agree more! That’s me too. In fact I prefer buying over the internet so I don’t even have to experience traditional ‘shopping’ at all … except food, I like to choose my own and buy from the grower if I can.

      • I enjoy food shopping and book shopping. That’s about it–like you I’m an internet shopper for clothes and such. I think Kerry’s sales are my book shopping. Never know what you’ll find!

    • For all other shopping–food, clothes, etc.–I am a hit-and-run type, too. I guess I don’t see garage sales as shopping so much as treasure hunting! We live on a lake so the kingfishers are always zipping around making their raucous calls–such fascinating birds!

    • Lisa, you and I would do very well together. In fact, your “surgical strike” term is perfect for how I shop … except in a book or a stationery / paper store.

  5. Hey, there’s my catbird! 🙂

    As to garage sales, not much of a fan. I don’t much like going from place to place to place — wears me out quickly. On the other hand, a good flea market or large antiques store can be a lot of fun. Even a good consignment shop or thrift store can keep me happy, if I’m in the mood to shop. So having all that cool stuff consolidated in one place is good. Having it spread out in lots of locations? Not so good!

    • I agree. In one place is great for me, I don’t really like to shop at all, I have found some nice stuff at church rummage sales.

    • Yes, your catbird–you’re why I chose him instead of the other birds in the book! I agree about finding a lot of stuff in one place–I love when a neighborhood arranges to all have garage sales the same day. I don’t love antique stores or malls because the prices are too high–part of the fun for me is getting the real bargain!

  6. You know I get it! I love the hunt. And I would have bought that same Birds in Song book if I had seen it…excellent $1 investment.

    • I never doubted which type of person you were, Susan! It’s the hunt, and finding the unexpected treasure in the detritus, that calls my name! My bird book is in sort of sad condition but I love the cover so much!

    • Yes, there’s something about shoes at a garage sale that’s pretty icky. I almost never look at the clothes either but i got my second-favorite winter coat at a yard sale!

    • You’re so right about the real treasure being the time with my mom! We did surgery on my husband’s weaving yesterday. He had two threading errors so we cut three warp threads (eek!), pulled them out and re-threaded, then he started a new section–it’s perfect now! We’re pretty smug that we figured out how to fix it!

  7. When my son was a toddler I shopped yard sales for him a lot. But that was directed shopping. Nowadays I seldom go to yard sales as I often see little to entice me on my driveby. I do occasionally go to tag sales where most of a house’s contents are up for sale. I would so buy that bird book for the cover alone.

    • I think young parents should buy all their toys at yard sales–SO much plastic stuff available at some sales. Those are the ones I drive by, with all the bright Fisher-Price in the driveway! I love the sales where the whole house is being emptied too–except for that nagging feeling that someday my belongings will be dispersed that way!

  8. That is a lovely book! I love that you love it so much 🙂 I used to enjoy, and on rare occasions still enjoy, garage sales and like it if I have a hunting companion. However I mostly don’t go any more as I don’t want to end up buying stuff just because it was 50 cents and a bargain. I’m not sure which category that puts me in……. The weaving is looking good – and bright!

    • Having hunting companion makes a BIG difference–I almost never go alone. And, really, I try very hard not to buy things just because they’re bargains but I can use my Etsy shop as an excuse to buy something if I think it’s going to sell!

  9. I love reading and/or hearing about the treasures other people find in garage/yard sales. I love being the recipient of some of their finds. 😉 But, like arlingwoman, I am a strike and leave shopper. Well, I am when I am on my own. In your company I could be persuaded to look and linger. Lovely book, lovely weaving.

    • As I just wrote to another reader, I generally am not a shopper at all–I really look for every excuse NOT to go to the mall or the market. But, being with a friend and looking out over a pile of stuff that just might hide a treasure? FUN!

      • Your looking for treasure set my mind working yesterday. I remembered about treasure hunts and scavenger hunts. I am going to put together a small one which my mother can do from her chair. 🙂

  10. I agree – there are people who get this, and do not — and I don’t find many people on the fence about it! I get it 🙂 Last weekend was the town wide yard sale in my town and I had a spectacular wander, spent $12, and came home with many treasures, and saw many treasures that I didn’t need but was so glad to see (like a television from late 40s early 50s — it was sculptural and a beautiful piece of furniture made from gorgeous wood and I would have gotten it as such if I only had the room to spare! It probably didn’t “work” but I would not have bought it for that of course!).

    • I love our neighborhood sale, too. It always has tons of participation so LOTS of people come to shop and there’s a carnival-like atmosphere. It’s a good time to have a garage sale and an even better time to go wandering and shopping at other people’s sales!

  11. It’s the little jewel among the not-jewels and the unexpected gems that one finds at a garage sale – that’s what attracts so many of us, myself included. You just might find a wonderful old book for a dollar. Or a thingamijiggy that’s priceless – at least, to your own mind.

  12. I am firmly in the yard sale/thrift shop camp, and I converted my husband who never bought second-hand before he met me. Now he even gleefully hauls home things people have put out by the curb for trash pick up.

    • Since I’m retired, I’m sort of on permanent vacation! Many people in our area have garage sales on Friday–I always feel a little bad for the people who work because they have to miss out on these sales!

  13. I have a friend who’s very good at Car Boot sales (yard sales to you?). Me? I just see tat and books I don’t want to read and children’s clothes I don’t want to buy. Must try harder?

    • I don’t think that trying harder will help–you may just be that different sort of person who is never going to “get it.” My sister is undoubtedly never going to get it–all she sees is nasty, dirty, old stuff. It’s okay–room in the world for all of us!

  14. Great find! Out our way, folks hold auctions on their farms (as well as major yard sales). Early on, before our home looked like early antique store, we went to these every year and found many great finds. There are the 10, 15, and 20 gallon pickle crocks (all cracked, thus not of interest to serious buyers) in which we stage wood for the stoves in winter, various pieces of furniture, etc. One time, we took some city friends to an auction. As we settled in, the auctioneer was taking bids on an old style mop-bucket (with the ringer handle, etc.) I picked it up for about $5. Our friends were worried what we would end up with by the end of the sale. 🙂

    • I can’t think of anything much more fun than a country auction! When you get a good auctioneer and a good crowd and some interesting stuff . . . magic!

  15. Garage sales aren’t really a thing over here, but I do like to pop into the local thrift store on a thursday (shops close late on thursday nights) after work and sometimes I manage to find some goodies. I especially love finding beautifully illustrated postcards. They often get to spend some time in my livingroom, and after that, they get send somewhere into the world!

  16. Kerry, as soon as I read your post, I knew that the comment section would be fun!
    While I don’t get to garage / yard sales often, I do love to wander through them.
    The book you found is wonderful … and for a dollar!!

    • I should spend more time reading comment sections on other blogs, too–they are often as readable as the posts themselves! And I feel like I know you all so it’s like having a conversation among lots of friends!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s