Herald-Journal Herald and Journal, March 23, 1998

Mom, Dad, are we there yet?

By SUE FINK

My eyes have already been searching the side of the road for those telltale signs of spring.

No, I don't mean all the junk left after the snow melts. This time of year I am eagerly searching for my favorite sign of spring, the garage sale sign.

I have become what may politely be called a collector. There is nothing I enjoy more than finding a huge garage sale to browse through.

It's the same feeling that I used to get as a child when I would stand on the dock trying to catch sunfish with a cane pole. I remember the excitement of holding the pole, all the while thinking about what might bite on the other end of the line.

The difference now is that I am the one who is about to take the bait.

Dolls are one of my favorite things to look for at garage sales. My mother got me interested in collecting them a few years ago. Since then I have been collecting my favorite rag dolls, Raggedy Anne and Andy. I have quite a few Raggedy items tucked away in a spare bedroom at home.

I have also amassed quite a collection of picture frames. Some day I actually intend to put some pictures in them.

Shoes are another item I find hard to resist. The prices are terrific. Who can beat a pair of tennis shoes for a quarter? After all, I'm just going to wear them out to the barn for chores. The cows don't care if my footwear is slightly used or out of date. Best of all, they have no idea what a logo is.

It's amazing what treasures you can find digging through what other people might consider to be junk. Yes, I do realize that not everyone appreciates my garage sale goodies as much as I do.

My youngest daughter, Jesy, has made this very plain to me. She does not agree that all the things I drag home should be called treasure. She has even suggested that I should get rid of some of my bargains. Throw back some of the small fish, so to speak.

One afternoon I happened to be watching Oprah when Jesy walked into the room. Oprah had a guest on that day who was talking about collectibles.

He asked Oprah, "Don't you know that whoever has the most stuff wins?"

I jumped up and began to dance around, cheering, "Jesy, I win, Jesy, I win!"

She looked at me doubtfully and exclaimed, "Mom, you're living in a landfill!"

Of course, I don't let skeptics like Jesy stop me. I still shop at every garage sale I possibly can. Flea markets, and an occasional auction are also good places to do a little trolling.

I just know that somewhere a really big one is waiting to be caught. I can hardly wait 'til the season opens.


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