I can admit it now. I’m a former garage sale-snob. The thought of rummaging through items or buying something USED by someone else…well, let’s just say it wasn’t my idea of fun. Oh, I’ve always loved to shop. Back then, though, it was Rodeo Drive or a department store where I could buy items with the price tags still attached..thank you, very much! But things changed in 1992. I was visiting relatives in Salina, Kansas and was “dragged” along on a day of garage saling with my sister-in-law and her mom. We like to chat so, I knew I’d have fun even if I did have to endure the garage sale stops. Hey, I could just stay in the car, right?!
I remember it so well. It was a beautiful Spring day where the sky is blue, there’s not a cloud in sight and the cold winter air is giving way to warmer temperatures. We made a turn into an upscale neighborhood where a sign pointed us to a sale. Before the car stopped I saw it. Although it’s finish was dull, it glistened in the sunshine and beckoned me. “It” was a big, old copper boiler..the kind your Grandma might have used for cooking and cleaning. I could just picture it spicing up a bare spot in my kitchen. And that’s when it happened. I negotiated my first garage sale purchase.
The man wanted $50 but I talked him down to $30. I remember him saying he wasn’t sure why he was selling it. He told me it had been his Grandmother’s and that he’d always loved that copper boiler. I gave him the money and he reluctantly took it. Of course, I walked away excited I’d just purchased my first garage sale item..but also a little guilty that I’d taken his precious childhood memory. So, I walked faster!
We took it home and with a lot of elbow grease cleaned it up unveiling a beautiful patina–that nice copper color with a hint of green. I displayed it above my kitchen cabinets with flowers in my Kentucky home. In upstate New York it held the wood for our fireplace. In Indiana, it was on a high shelf in our bedroom with a blanket neatly displayed on it for a bit of flare. And now here in Arizona it’s on a shelf in our master bathroom. I treasure that copper boiler not just for its decorating purposes but for it’s symbol. That’s right, partly because of that old, copper boiler I’m no longer a garage sale-snob. I’m a garage sale fanatic! Happy garage-saling!