Saturday, August 8, 2009


Some people go partying on weekends. Some blow their money on golf and fishing, or going to ball games. I junk.

I was supposed to be making salsa and freezing blackberries today. But there were yard sales everywhere, so how could I stay home when all that junk was beckoning? Salsa and berries can hold til tomorrow. Sometimes a woman needs to play.

What did we find?

A set of hand-embroidered cotton pillowcases $1.00, a beautiful blue and white soup tureen made in England (Alfred Meakin mark, Parisian granite, Washington pattern) $5.00. I've been looking online for this tureen and pattern, but the closest I can come to it is the same pattern in brown. On there are a few pieces in brown, ranging from about $60 to $200, but no tureen, and nothing in this pattern in blue. Interesting.

More finds: two blue calico rabbits (which shall be for an unnamed friend for Christmas) 1.00 ea. , a hand mixer 1.00(not pictured, but needed because somehow we lost a beater to the old one), two handcarved wooden spoons, , several small candles 1.00, three old books that I think will be useful for storytelling research and one book for a friend 3.00 total, a stainless steel watering can for 1.00 (with its $12.99 sticker still on the bottom), two nice clear glass serving bowls (not pictured) 1.00, and one old, very thin spoon (that the seller told us he found while digging a grave for a neighbor years ago) .25, two old carpenter's rules (a gift for another friend) 1.00, a "grapevine striker" for bricklaying which Larry said was a really good one .25, a lovely matted and framed sailboat print .35, two glass Pyrex pie plates 1.00, two child's silver mugs 2.00.

three t-shirts, a new heavy flannel shirt from St. John's Bay, a pair of dress pants and a Liz Claiborne jacket, two purses, a new tote bag, a linen storytelling shirt, a pair of Earth shoes for me and two pair of shoes for Larry (not all pictured but you get the idea). I feel like I'm writing the 12 Days of Christmas here!

And--two Rogers nickel silver spoons, a set of 4 snack plates and cups in the original box (very 40's or 50's looking) 5.00, 2 handmade afghans in perfect condition, .25 each (not pictured),

and a big green pitcher from the 1960's just like the one I bought for my mother for Christmas for 79 cents in 1962 or '63-- 50 cents...what else? I'm pretty sure I missed a few things.

Best find of the whole day: the man who sold us the spoons, silver cups, carpenter rules and the green pitcher also had a batch of old postcards and photos from the Mason County, WV/Gallia County, OH area from the early 1900's. We bargained around and ended up with the lot of them for $8.00. Then he mentioned that he also had old letters from 1916-1919 that he would give us if we were interested. You can imagine my answer to that.

The letters are mostly love letters between young people. One is from a man anticipating being shipped off to World War I and wishing he could ask his friend who had been killed in the war if it was a quick death. In another letter a friend assured the recipient that the typhoid danger was passed, and talked about the joys and trials of her new teaching job.

In the photos there are some that are disturbing: a man with some kind of terrible, bumpy rash, a baby in a coffin. Others, like the one of the child with puppies are slice-of-life photos. Few have any identification on them, and most are on postcards. My favorite of the purchased postcards has to be the one with the handwritten note on the front telling the recipient to "come get you some cabbage."

The big surprise to me is that many of the letters are to or from a Cora Livingston; that was the surname of the people who had once owned the property in Mason County from which we moved the log cabin in 2003. Could these letters belong to the same family? I would like to think so. I will post photos of the letters tomorrow, I hope, if my satellite will cooperate.

The man from whom we got them spends much time in the woods with his metal detector, and had a box of oddities he'd found--old coins, a Civil War belt buckle and many other things. He was a backwoods sort of guy who knew enough to go to the library to look up information on his finds. Still, he was happy to let us have the things we bought from him at extremely low prices. Perhaps he knew they would have a good home?

P.S. The berries are in the freezer. Better to get them done than to have them spoil. Cobbler tomorrow!


Susan at Stony River said...

Had to laugh out loud during your post---I spent my Saturday at the yard sales too! We got a lovely red bed for our youngest daughter for $10, and the kind folks threw in a big beanbag. My husband found a cute bbq for $2, and I got a manual typewriter for the same price. Also a puzzle for our son, bedding for the new bed, a bagful of clothes, a Tonka fire truck, and a car for baby's Barbie. Woo!!

Eventually of course we'll have to have a big yard sale to unload all the crap we pick up every Saturday at the yard sales ROFL!!

Can't wait to see how the cobbler goes... and I still have a carload of jars to bring you, anywhere you like. Just say when!

Robbyn said...

Junking.....I LOVE junking! and haven't done it in years, if you can believe it. Junking and, wish I lived closer! And I so looove old postcards and letters....congratulations! :)


laoi gaul~williams said...

how wonderful-especially the letters and photos, the idea of the man asking if death would be quick gave me the shivers-i always wonder if it was this way for my great granddad.

hart said...

Those letters sound like they have the makings of at least a short story in them. I miss yard sales. I am working every Saturday so I can have Fridays to teach my class, by the time I'm finished all the good ones will be over.--Jane

Granny Sue said...

Susan, sounds like you did all right yourself at the sales! I think the best part is wondering where people got the weird stuff they put out for sale--and occasionally wondering why they are selling something obviously precious or handmade.

I don't get too many real opportunities to go to yard sales, Robbyn, so when I do I make it count. I have a one-in-one-out rule that I break pretty often but this morning I sorted t-shirts and shoes and have a bag ready for Goodwill. From whence most of it came in the first place, probably.

laoi, we lost some family in the Great War too--my mother lost two uncles I believe. The letter writer that wondered how death came for his friend was expecting to be called up soon himself. His feelings much have been all over the place.

I am wondering about a story, hart, that can be developed from the letters. Some are kind of funny--like the one where the girl sent a picture of herself with a guy who had his arm around her to her long-time boyfriend. He fairly chewed her out over it!

Janet, said...

I love your finds! Yes, there were many yard sales in our area this weekend. I went to a few of them, but not as much as I would have liked to, I'm kind of cutting back a little. I was going to post a few of my finds later when I get the time.

Angela said...

I love your new snack plates! I use those for birthday parties for my daughter. The girls love using them. I've not been to a yard sale in years. I've never found a good one so I don't even bother anymore. Plus I don't want to drag the kids in and out of the car.

Granny Sue said...

I figured you would be out Saturday, Janet; I'm surprised we didn't cross paths! I'll be interested to see what you found.

Angela, I go off and on, when I have the time. Often there's nothing but what I call "Wal-Mart junk" that's not worth messing with. I've gotten pretty good at eyeballing sales from the road and deciding if they're worth a stop. The best ones, I think, are those way out in the country because they often have the old things I'm interested in.

Mary said...

It sounds as if you used your time well and got many treasures! Hugs!

Jai Joshi said...

My uncle and you would get on like a house on fire. He used to spend every Saturday at yard sales until his kids moved him into an apartment complex. There were sighs of relief all round.

Now I like yard sales but only if I need something specific. I'm not the kind of person to shop for the heck of it. Come to think of it I do need a chest of drawers for the bedroom upstairs...

Great, now look what you've done, Sue.


Anonymous said...

You definitely have a gift for "junk" finds! What treasures!!
I am envious. Would love to tag along with you someday to see just how you find this stuff!!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...