No matter how much of a rush I’m in when I pass a sign for one, I somehow always find myself a few minutes later browsing through bins of vinyl records and fingering ancient roller skates, completely immune to the voice in my head reminding me I should already be where I was going.
Garage Sales = New Beginnings
Some find it sad to see the used-up accouterments of someone’s life laid out for strangers’ judgment. In the light of day all those things that have journeyed stalwartly through life with the seller for untold years take on a faded, defeated look. “See,” the garage sale host seems to be saying, ”—this is what my life has amounted to.”
But I disagree with such dissenters! I choose to look on the positive side. The things you see displayed on the driveway are, in my opinion, simply the tossed-off remnants of the person’s old life, being discarded to make room for something new and potentially glorious. Who knows what might soon sit where those bins of records once stood? A new digital music player, perhaps, or a music stand and a violin.
Also, I like that the things you find at a garage sale have stories to tell. Their scratches and faded parts hint at the long years of an existence wholly foreign to me. They have a history, just as people do, which makes them so much more interesting. And, of course, cheaper.
My Best Finds So Far
Some of the best things I’ve ever bought at garage sales might just make you skeptics change your minds. Here is a small selection:
- A red sequined handbag that the sellers’ grandmother had carried “out on the town” during the Roaring Twenties. In the folds of the lining, I discovered a handkerchief embroidered with the initials LS, which happen to be my initials too.
- A first edition copy of “The Personal History of David Copperfield,” by Charles Dickens, procured for $2, which I turned around and sold for $5,000 to an antiquarian book collector.
- A 1949 yearbook from Rockport High School, which contained a photo of my father during his sophomore year, which was only the second photo of the man I had ever laid eyes on due to complicated circumstances not worth going into here. It turned out the seller’s father was his classmate. She gave me the book for free, and I’ve cherished it ever since.
So there you have three great reasons never to pass by a garage sale without a quick peek. You never know what treasures await you!
What amazing things have you found at garage sales?