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Last Weekend, I Had An Adventure

vintage estate sale finds

vintage estate sale finds (Photo credit: Peppysis)

Saturday was an interesting day and goes to show that things don’t always work out the way that you plan. Saturday was THE day to file taxes which I usually anticipate taking hours and hours and spend months ahead of time, to save up all of the necessary paperwork to make it as smooth a task as possible.

Alas, I overlooked one crucial document so everything came to a standstill on that end until I locate File X (I’d say file A but X is a more alluring letter, don’t you think?). What to do with the rest of the day?

I spent the better part of Saturday AM learning the ropes of estate sales.  Have you ever gone?  As a first-time goer, it was strange and a bit awkward.

For the benefit of those who have never been, I shall try to describe the sights and smells and so hopefully you will have SOME idea of what it’s like, at least, what this location was like…

Saturday AM was nippy with breezes kicking up at around  5-10 mi. an hour.  This particular sale opened at 9am although some people (like my sister) got there as early as an hour before to stand in the queue and get tickets. As I was running late, I missed my sister entirely and stood about in the cold, unshielded from the wind and passerby cars on the road, until they were taking my number.

The house itself was slightly larger than a doll’s house, a single-storey brick cottage with a stoop for a porch and a stamp-sized backyard with a shed in the back.  When I entered the building, someone was sitting at a card table, accepting tickets and handling purchases and change for shoppers who’d entered before me.  Every surface imaginable, from couches, mantles, cabinetry and counters, bed tops, extendable tables, etc. was full of marked (and sometimes unmarked) items for sale.

Old books at estate sale

Old books at estate sale (Photo credit: Lynn Kelley Author)

I discovered less in the way of smells and more the nature of people cram-packed into a small space.  My guess was the person who died was male, formerly married, and a bottle collector.

The home had hints of a female presence, from quilted spreads, dog figurines and a collection on Fiestaware that another gentleman found before I’d gotten there.

The basement, though, was a treasure trove for bottle collectors.  The man must have had several hundred bottles stashed away from perfume bottles, to medicinal, a few jugs that may or may not have stored moonshine at some point (grin) and the colors – amber, cobalt blue, clear, and faded green glass!

Some of the more experienced estate sale goers gave me tips, which I’ll share with ya’ll below:

  • For the biggest selection, get there early on the first day. First come, first served!
  • The first day, prices are always as marked.  If you see an item that you’d like for less, place a bid on it.  If it doesn’t sell at full price, you may just get it for less, later.
  • The second day (Sunday usually), items are marked down in the afternoon, but the selection will be less.
  • Always bring cash.
  • You can sign up for notifications on estate sales in your zip code (or nearby) and get a preview of items for sale at EstateSales.net.

I was surprised by how expensive things were but my sister tells me that I’m a bit spoiled in that regard.  Twenty dollars didn’t go far but I did pick up a few things there, and at a couple of my favorite secondhand stores later on that day.  Next time, I’ll take pictures!

This entry was posted in: Writing


Lauren Miller is a Midwestern born writer with a passion for Jesus, the written word, and dogs. She has two decades of experience in the library field and reviews books for the Historical Novels Review (UK). She likes to spend her free time enjoying period films, discovering new reads, and being surrounded by other people’s pets. Lauren, her husband, and their wily Maine Coon (who isn’t quite a dog) live in Missouri. You can learn more about Lauren’s writing at LaurenJoanMiller.com.

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