Friday, July 8, 2011

Estate Sale Goodness

Estate sales can be a mixed bag for a whole lot of reasons.  I tend to get a little melancholy as I wander through the bones of  an anonymous life.  It can a bit weird to paw over the books, clothing and knick-knacks of a stranger.  It is almost too intimate --- an oddly voyeuristic peak into the  life of someone who has recently been laid to rest or has taken up residence in a nursing home.

I always try to get a read on the home and its history as I walk through the door.  Some are filled with the loneliness and isolation that can be old age in America---spartan furnishings, a dusty walker in the corner, a new-ish wheelchair folder against a wall,  and a stale and medicinal smell that hangs like a cloud.  This is where the "melancholy" part comes in....these sorts of sales are always sad and poignant-- barren and devoid of personality.  No cosmic footprint, as it were.

Others tell a joyful story of a life well lived and make me wish that I had the opportunity to know the owner.    I hit the jackpot this past week-end!  The house was a tiny little thing in a not so nice neighborhood.  If it had ever seen better days, those days were long gone.  I wasn't sure I even wanted to waste my time going in.  The estate sale had been going on for days and it was set to close in 20 minutes--I figured that anything worth getting would have already "been got".  

I double checked the ad and noticed that it mentioned "sewing supplies."   Decision made. I am a SUCKER for vintage sewing supplies, so I took a chance.  I am so glad!  The house felt happy and I probably would have liked the lady who lived there.   She had cookbooks and craft supplies EVERYWHERE!

There was a pile of vintage baby clothes that tempted me---so very sweet and tiny.  I have boxes of baby/toddler/kid clothes that belonged to my own children, so I felt a connection.  While wandering through the house I found several treasures:  a vintage child's chalkboard, some killer fabric from the 1970's, and an adjustable sewing mannequin (snagged it for only $15!!!).  It was a nice haul and I was not at all surprised to see that the mannequin was already set to my measurements.  Sometimes things happen just the way they are supposed to----the home had wonderful energy.

Once I got home I  snipped off a tiny piece of the brown and turquoise fabric to embellish a cuff bracelet that I am working on---a bit of crafty homage to the owner of that smiling  little house on the sad street.   I like to think that she would appreciate knowing that her stuff  had moved on to happy and creative place.  I hope that she has transitioned to a happy and creative place, as well.


  1. I felt like I was there - shopping with you...Love it.

  2. Thanks, Kelli! Estate sales serve as my weekly therapy session....

  3. This is one of the most lovely posts I have come across in a long time. You tell a story beautifully! Thanks for stopping by my blog.

  4. Love reading your stories Pat, you have a talent for telling them well!

  5. Thank you, Marcia! you just made my day!

  6. great post - enjoyed your shopping adventure & your writing