Friday, September 25, 2009

Things That Make Me Sad at Garage Sales

The garage sale season is coming to a close - that makes me sad. They're a little harder to find now on the weekends. When I do visit them, though, it's not unusual for me to see something that makes me sad, nostalgic or regretful. It might be a longing for a tradition that seems to have fallen out of favor, or an article that was clearly of great value to someone at one time, now one step away from the trash can. Sometimes it's hard to resist buying these things, just to make sure they're still appreciated, at least on some level.

Records– I saw some vinyl records the other day that were melted and formed into bowls. I think it's great that they're being recycled, but there's a little pang of sadness at the fact that one small source of (usually rare and forgotten) music has died with each one.

Boy Scout Patches – somebody worked hard for these, but I guess the Eagle has flown the coop.

Weird Needlepoint – I actually "rescued" this one.
Need I explain?

Beatrix Potter Portraits - sad that there was no nursery to decorate when I came across these.

Fur Coat on the Driveway - if we’re going to kill animals to keep ourselves warm, shouldn’t we at least treat these articles fashioned from them with a little reverence and care?

Marriage plaque – does this mean it’s not that way anymore?

Trophies – some guy at our school tag sale actually bought this. That’s almost even sadder.

Handwritten Heirloom Flan Recipe – this turned out to be my friend's recipe from her grandmother – luckily, it was rescued.

Pinto – a classic teenmobile, gone the way of the Edsel, the Valiant and the Yugo....

Embroidered Napkins - people don't seem to do this much anymore. And if they do, it's not with the expectation that it will end up at a garage sale for 50 cents.

Many, many screwdrivers - These were at my own garage sale a few weeks ago, but we were not allowed to sell any.
How many screwdrivers does a man need? More than I thought I guess!

What's the saddest thing you've seen at a tag sale lately?


Lzyjo said...

hmmm, you got some interesting finds, is that the mona lisa? Wow, that must've taken someone a LONG time! That's so sad, all those items. Memories. I like to throw things out so I don't have to be reminded of something, or the other, bills even. But this whole garage sale thing seems like passing ones troubles on others, but then again there must be good karma items out there too. I don't like thinking about all that sad stuff. Made you should consider that those records were probably awful, whatever strange music was on them, perhaps they made better bowls, or something for the wall...okay I'm babbling now.....have a good night!

Joanne said...

We actually bought something sad to make it happy. This summer we started buying select old albums, with the intent of taking the album covers and making an art display for our family room. They're albums of concerts we've been to and have great memories of.

tut-tut said...

I'd say that's REALLY sad, seeing the faded photo of the boyscout over the badges.

Jennifer, now I'm depressed. Sob. I can't go to things like that, or my whole house would be filled.

Wait--it already is.

I hope you bought those embroidered napkins.

June said...

See, this is why I don't do rummage sales much anymore. It tugs at my heart too much. Everywhere you look, there's a story to tell yourself. And the endings can't be that happy if you're telling it to yourself at a rummage sale.

An old friend wrote me today to say that a mutual old friend is looking for old license plates from eastern states. So far he only has New Jersey. So they got the idea that I would go rummaging for more. Oh, my. Don't know if my heart can take it. But please do let me know if you spot any license plates in your circuit!

Loved this!

Gail said...

I haven't been to a decent garage sale in years... One thing that makes me sad are those boxes of old photographs at the antique malls. Those are someone's relatives! gail

JGH said...

Liz, for some reason, I'm a real sucker for the needlepoints. Especially the ones that recall famous paintings. I get a lot of fun great stuff at tag sales too- but you're probably right about the bad records!

Joanne- what a great use for old record albums! I'd love to see a photo of your project when it's done.

Oh Tut, don't cry! Of course I bought the napkins and I'll find more soon, I'm sure. Something to look forward to.

June, I do see license plates sometimes - great to know of a use for them!

Gail, I know what you mean. I see the old photos everywhere and wonder why they ended up so forgotten.

Bangchik and Kakdah said...

I am looking at the handwriting in the recipe.... almost an art in itself. School still teach artistic flowing handwriting? ~bangchik

Frances said...

You are a real anthropologist, Jen. The Mona Lisa needlepoint was a score though, lots of time went into that. I used to collect embroidered hankies and napkins for some reason. They were so pretty. But what to do with them? Having downsized in the move from Texas to TN, there is only so much storage space for unused stuff. What to do with it all? Goodwill and the Battered women's shelter gets our extras. But each thing has or had meaning to us at one time.

JGH said...

Bangchik - yes, they do indeed still teach cursive writing in school here in 3rd and 4th grade. But I don't think there's as much emphasis on it as there was when I was a kid. They also do keyboard exercises in computer class.

Frances, I use the napkins now at the table instead of paper napkins. We try to assign one per family member for the week, but lots of times they end up dirty by night #2. I've ruined many with tomato stains but I don't agonize over them since they were bought at garage sales for 50 cents!

nesting melly said...

i feel the same while pasing on by those many yard sales in nyack. i want to just buy up all of those precious items who are longing for a new home but my lil house is bursting at the seams as it is.

i like your blog! i stumbled upon in looking through the other nyacker blogs. check mine out if you'd like:

oh, my daughter and i saw those chinese lanterns outside of the community garden and we weren't sure what they were called. chinese lanterns - how appropriate! thanks!

happy autumn!

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