…SOLD! To the sucker in back who’s obviously never been to an auction before!
The week before we moved, we took a little overnight trip to the farm. We needed to get away from the chaos and we had a dog to deliver, so it was a great excuse to get out of here. When I woke up on Saturday morning, Craig casually mentioned to me that there was an auction being held that very day at the Purple Martin Capital of the World, and maybe I could find a thing or two for the new house. It’s not everyday I’m given the opportunity to go somewhere to find a thing or two for any house, so I said I was game. Let’s go!
We loaded up the girls and headed to town. I had no idea what to expect, as I’d never been to an auction before. Inside, there were actual wagons loaded up with all kinds of random stuff. It was a pretty fascinating study in both people and culture, as we all walked around poking our noses into the sum of someone’s life dumped in a big warehouse for the rest of us to bid on. There were some definite treasures mixed in with the trash, and it took some time before I had the nerve to actually bid on something. There wasn’t much I was interested in among the knick-knacks and doodads and gizmos like wooden elephants and player piano scrolls. There was a cool jar of old buttons that went for too much and a great set of little matching Spode tea cups. I decided the tea cups would be the first thing I’d try.
It took an hour for the tea cups to be offered. This was my big chance. I knew they were worth some big bucks, and I was willing to go up to $15 for them. I figured that was generous. They started the bidding, and before I could find the goofy card with my number on it, the tea cups had shot up to $65. I never had a chance. They closed at $120, about $105 more than my own generous mental offer of $15.
Oh well. I didn’t need tea cups anyway. It was at this point Craig decided to take the girls into Pittsfield for “Pig Days.” They were picking up the cousins on their way in and if I went there wouldn’t be enough seat belts, so he asked me if I wanted to stay at the auction. Seriously?
Absolutely! And then he did the totally unexpected: he took the girls and left me alone at my first auction, completely unattended and with a registered bid card. What was the man thinking?
I found a few other things I was interested in and set my mental maximum on them. I never got a chance to bid on those items either because by the time I was ready to bid, someone else had already bid my max. I decided to go a little faster next time.
The next time came – old fashioned red pyrex mixing bowls. This is the one I consider to be my true learning curve. I got in fast and stayed in until my mental max ($10) had been reached. When the bidding closed, I won. It was a piece auction which meant I could choose as many pieces as I wanted for the price I bid per piece. That meant that when I carried my racing heart to the wagon to look at the bowls and picked out two pieces, I ended up paying $20 for two mixing bowls.
Granted, they are pretty fabulous mixing bowls, but $20 for two of them? Not such a great deal.
Still, I learned how to bid, and this information came in useful because by the end of the day, I ended up with the two mixing bowls, a small china hutch for the kitchen, a cool square wooden table for the deck, an old-fashioned mail slot thing (see below), a nice set of 8 glasses with matching pitcher, an electronic calculator, and a whole stash of groovy 1960’s wrapping paper. The total for all of that was $74.
My favorite find of the day was the old-fashioned mail slot thing. When we were walking around looking at all the furniture when we first got there, Maddie and I saw it at the same time. I mentioned I liked it, but that I didn’t know what I’d use it for. She said it would make a great CD holder. I looked at it again and realized she was right – it would make an amazing CD holder. It was missing the top shelf which meant that not only would it make a great CD holder, but that it would also make a great magazine rack. And for $15, it is serving that exact purpose right now:
It’s double-sided, too! And yes, that’s a stack of Jeanette Oak books on the floor, so sue me. I’m saving them for my girls to read “some day.” And because I know everyone is just aching to see the peach walls with early 1980’s country blue and white floral border, I’m going to show you an entire wall:
Taking the photo at night with the lamp on and the camera flash off really helped soften the look, but it’s 1980’s, trust me. And while we enjoy the 1980’s on occasion, it’s not a look we care for in our house. Another reason to show that wall now is that this time next week, those stacks of books you can see on the floor behind the rocking chair and all around will be spending their time on a full wall, built-in bookshelf in that very space above the radiator. It will look cool. It will also get the books off the floor, off the trunk-turned-coffee-table, out of boxes in the attic, and so on and so forth.
So there you go, the first photos of the inside of our house. Now that we’ve shown the peach walls, it might be time to give you a peek of the granny-style window treatments. Maybe.