Sunday, June 14, 2009

Life Is In the Details

(my new patio, furnished with tag sale chairs, donated slates, umbrella, and table, and decorated with transfer station finds. Cost? Free!)

It's summer! One of the joys of the season is combing the multitude of yard or tag sales that flourish on the weekends. Because both J and I are frugal Yankees by nature, have somewhat limited incomes, and take delight in using discarded things in new ways, we often join forces on a Saturday or Sunday (or both) and take advantage of someone else's urge to clean out the house, the attic, the garage etc. Every week the local penny saver is chock full of ads for sales and I religiously circle them, mapping out a route for us to take and starring those sales that list some of the myriad things for which we are always on the hunt.

This weekend was no exception. Two sales in particular caught my eye. Both were in the same town and both listed all sorts of items we had on our perpetual lists. I circled them with glee, called J and off we went. We entered town from one end, hoping there'd be a parking space somewhere in the middle of Main Street (which in the small towns around here is never more than a quarter of a mile long) so that we could walk to either sale.

"Odd that there's no traffic," remarked J. "Parking will be a cinch!" Then we saw the sign. It was nearly billboard-sized. GIANT TAG SALE it shouted in red letters. The dates were printed below. J looked at me. "What dates did the paper list?" she asked. I checked.

"Oh. Ummmm...," I muttered. "It says here that the sale is next week."

J burst out laughing. This wasn't the first time I'd gotten pre-excited about a sale. The last two times we'd gone tagging I'd made the same mistake. "I never did check the dates," I confessed. "I just assumed they were this weekend." (Never assume. You know what it makes out of u and me.)

J snatched the paper from my hands. She looked at the circles and stars and started reading the dates for herself. Not only was the giant sale next weekend, so were two others that's I'd circled with my enthusiastic pink marker.

"That's it!" she exclaimed. "Next week I'm checking the paper. You can't be trusted."

You'd think, after all these years paying attention to every little detail required of home-keeping, raising children, working, and caring for myself, I'd be able to remember to check the dates in a tag sale ad. I am attributing the lapse to the aging process, hoping that as the years go by and all that's left for me to do is check tag sale dates, my expertise will triumph.

There's never a loss without some small gain, though. Instead of tag sales, we traipsed off to the transfer station where the price is always right and the date doesn't matter.


Molly said...

I can't remember doing something like this myself, but that may be because my memory is already shot! I have a friend though, a few years older than me,[which may account for it,] who regularly drives across town to attend our quilt guild meetings, a week before they're scheduled! And wonders why the parking lot is empty!

Pauline said...

lol Molly! I was embarrasses to realize I couldn't seem to remember from week to week that I needed to check the dates. I had to laugh at your friend's mistake - having made that one myself I figure it's better to laugh than to cry ;)

PhilipH said...

Hello there,
Just browsing your two blogs which I enjoyed reading.

You liked Canterbury Cathedral; so do I. And Salisbury, Winchester, Chester and Lincoln. These are all lovely places to visit and just absorb the peace and beauty.

Music: 1940s/1950s are my favs, with so many great standards that are regularly played here in the UK. "Passing Strangers" with Billy Eckstine and Sarah Vaughan is great but scores of others are equally loved.

What, may I ask, is a 'tag sale' when it's at home? We have car boot sales. People bring all their unwanted bits and bobs in the boot (trunk) of their car and flog them off in a field somewhere. Is that what a 'tag' sale is in your area?

Hope you don't mind my popping in. Enjoy the rest of the summer in your gentle sounding garden. I live in a small 1-bed cottage with my wife Pat. It's part of the Earl of Haddington's estate. Have a look if you like:

(Scottish Borders countryside)

Regards, Phil

Pam said...

We call them garage sales here in Australia, and one of the reasons I look forward to the weekend.Such great fun! I think the wrong circles are just the excitement of the chase...your mind is obviously on the future finds. Excitement and anticipation have a lot to answer for!

Pauline said...

Philip - delighted to have you drop by. Tag sales is a general name for various types of personal sales usually held at people's houses. There are yard sales, garage sales, barn sales, moving sales, etc. Items "tagged' or chosen for sale are displayed and sold for bargain prices.

I enjoyed looking at the estate and wish I lived in the West Lodge!

Pam - I try to make the circuit here too - there are always lots of sales in every neighboring town to check into!

Meggie said...

I have often made the same mistake of date or time! My companion is not nearly so kind in his remarks about my 'stupidity'! But I do, so, love to find an utter bargain, & look at all finds as 'gifts' of the universe.
I really need to find a female friend to go shopping with!! We could laugh together, at our mistakes.

JeannetteLS said...

Ah, tag sales. That's a sign of a New Englander. I lived in PA for two years and talked about tag sales and folks thought I was nuts, as they spoke about how they "drug themselves to three yard sale over ta Selinsgrove but last Saturday." Your writing is a joy. I'll follow this one because it seems to be what strikes you personally now and again. We can access your published work on your other wonderful blog. All the entries made me smile, something we need, most especially those of us who live much of our lives at our desks.

Jean said...

Life Is In the Details..."

Oui , on peut mesurer la valeur profonde d'une oeuvre , d'une personne , en observant des détails qui semblent peu importants .

Jean said...

"Life Is In the Details"

Oui, tout est important.
Chaque détail montre l'essentiel .