Last weekend we celebrated my brother and his wife's birthdays in Traverse City. We had a blast. During that time we heard of my brother's yard sale happening on May 11. We decided to check it out, as well as their almost-done-brand-new-kitchen rehab.
I love garage sales--going to them and having them. In California, my good friend Lisa and I would often hit Highway One for "saling" as we called it. First working our way north on the in-land side of the road from Half Moon Bay to Montara and then back down the coast side of the road. That made it an easy off / on travel route. If we were really ambitious, we would do the same going south on Highway One as far down as Pescadero, but that was not usually as fruitful for finding treasures.
Once a year (for many a year) we would have a big garage sale, usually at our house as it was closer to the Highway. Lisa would drag her stuff down from the hills of El Granada and we would set up camp for an all day Saturday and til noon Sunday sale. Once we were set up, Mike would keep us supplied (or was it plied) with morning mimosas and burritos from Three Amigos for lunch. Deals definitely got better as the day proceeded and we "loosen up."
We usually had some pretty good stuff and would make hundred dollars each. Some of that, however, was always spent purchasing each other's stuff!!! It is crazy what people buy--leftover swatches from a linoleum rehab, combination locks with out the combo, broken fishing tackle, nail polish, etc. Neither Lisa nor I had kids, but we could always find some little toy-ish thing for a kid to take for free, especially if their parents bought something.
Our friends would all stop by to say "Hi." Sometimes they bought stuff, but it was usually more of a visit. Jon and Lora always added to the fun. Above is Jon wearing a gladiator costume that I bought for a play at the This Side of the Hill Players Theatre. See a commode for sale in the background and IT SOLD! One time Mike shared an extra keg of his home brew named "Abigail Ale IPA." Sales were especially good that year.
Now that we live in downtown, we are not really set up for yard sales. We tried a group condo parking lot sale the first two years after we moved to Kalamazoo. Each condo owner used their assigned parking spot to display their treasures, but very little traffic rushed in. As we live adjacent to the city festival site, the next year we tried having the event on a festival date. We figured more folks would be in our "neighborhood" due to the festival, but not much luck there either. After that we gave up. A good visit with our neighbors, but few precious pennies to be made.
Back to today. We got to Laingsburg (northeast of Lansing, MI) about 1pm and my, oh, my, there was a lot of stuff. Their entire double-wide garage was loaded to the brim with goodies, plus outside tables and driveway were filled as well. There was everything from china tea cups to vintage comics, jewelry, art work, holiday decor, electronics, all those gadgets you buy but rarely use after the initial excitement wears off, pottery, old kitchen cabinets, you name it.
We didn't need much, but did spy one item I "stole" from my bro. It was a vintage Life Magazine from Bob's birthday week. I always said if someone saw something at one of my garage sales that they had given us, they could have it back for free. I was going with that "guideline" here for a gift I had given my bro years ago.
The other cool part about having a garage sale is the people watching. Here is a gramma-daughter-son trio checking out the wares. Gramma was dressed to the hilt in "red hat lady" attire and wicked witch of the west socks.
Quite a combo.
Bob and Lo showed off their new kitchen. It is fabulous. Dark wood cabinets, fanciest fridge I've ever seen with every imaginable option, sink overlooking the lake (instead of a blank wall), new stove top, half-wall counter seating between the kitchen and dining room, and other unique features. Verrrrry nice.
It started getting a little misty and traffic was less then impressive, so we closed up shop and headed to Lansing and the Coral Gables Restaurant. Our nephew Kendall (Bob and Lo's son) works there as a sous chef.
When I was a teen, Coral Gables was more of a nightclub atmosphere hot spot. Entertainers of our "yoot" played there, like Stevie Wonder and the Supremes. I always wanted to go there, but it was not on my parents' list of things I could do. Oh, well, here at last, but now it is a regular ol' restaurant / bar kind of place.
Kendall ducked out to say "Hi" and visit for a minute, but had to get back to work. We had a good meal and continued our great chit-chat. Went our separate ways after that, each to our own homes. It was a relaxing and fun day. Thanks, Bob and Lo.