A trip to the fire house yard sale

On the weekend I went to a big indoor yard sale with many sellers at the local firehouse. They’ve been holding these for a couple years and I’ve found nice things in the past. I am increasingly particular about what I buy, new or not. I try to stay focused on things I truly need or want not just buy “okay-this-will-do items” or buy something so I don’t come away empty-handed. My commitment to de-cluttering and having things thatĀ add to my life is genuine.

Some of the sellers were aggressive (at these sorts of things I find that men and women and alike can be pushy or even rude) but IĀ never let someone cajole or harass me into a purchase. I know they think if they can engage you in a conversation, even about an item you’ve shown no interest in, that you might feel obligated to buy it. (This technique may be geared more toward women buyers, I don’t know). If somebody rubs me wrong, I lose interest in ALL their merchandise and move on. There’s nothing I need that badly.

(One year in the fall, after I’d politely declined her baked goods for sale, an unpleasant woman waved some kind of brownie on a toothpick in my face and said snarkily and apropos of nothing to no one in particular, “she must not want to ruin her figure for the holidays.” I thought of many comebacks but it wasn’t worth the trouble. That said, I was ready for her this time when sheĀ snarked yet again in different circumstances.)

A word on the firehouse. It may seem an odd location for events but they have a large hall that is used for many functions. That said, I was carrying an item to the ladies’ room to try it on when the fire bell on the wall above my head went off. I jumped around like a sitcom character, then realized what the atrocious sound was, collected myself and moved on (but kind of hoped nobody had seen me).

I found this sweater, new with tags. Marked as $3, it fit me, but since I liked it but didn’t loooovvvve itĀ , I asked the nice woman if she’d take $2 and she readily agreed. It is hard for me to ask for things (I was going to say “like that” but in reality it’s anything – but I’m improving) and her easy reply surprised me.


I got this cookbook for a quarter. It has stunning photos and for that alone it was worth getting. I can always donate it later.


On getting it home, I noticed something a bit different in the writing like this recipe for Minestrone which calls for a “swede.”


Never saw THAT before. I hunted around and discovered the cookbook wasĀ Australian.

I happened upon the table of a pleasant woman I’d bought beautiful earrings from at a prior sale. She had many watches for $2 AND she’d put batteries in them too! I got this Milan one. I’m sorry the photo doesn’t quite show the detail. It even has the date, a feature I’ve never had. And I never know what the darn date is. My “system” typically involves figuring out the last time IĀ knew the date for certain and counting forward. This is a sucky system.


I made the rounds of the tables a second time in a more leisurely way as the first rush of shoppers thinned. The watch lady appeared with more watches from her car so I returned to take another look. I mean $2?! For a working watch? Splurge time! So glad I did. I found the most unusual watch I’ve ever seen. It’s like a little piece of art. The brand is Shiffon which meant nothing to me (a later Google search wasn’t very helpful, only suggestive of it being vintage – their word not mine). Look at this thing! The gray rectangle is metal and the small openings on two corners are cutouts. The right knob adjusts the time but the lower left one is decorative (I think).


The ladies said it could be a “conversation starter” Ā but I’m not trying to start conversations; this just suits me


I’m sorry it isn’t clearer but even the second hand is art – a bright yellow zig-zag line with an arrow on the end

As I wrote this I felt like I was forgetting something. I was – so I’m adding this after publishing the post. It’s a small metal wall shelf I got for a dollar. It’s about one foot across and 6″ deep. I’m not sure where I’m going to put it so I just stuck it on the wall to show it to you. Initially I figured I’d paint it but now I’m not sure.





As you can see it is hollow and has two places to attach screws.

20 thoughts on “A trip to the fire house yard sale

  1. Peg Stueber-Temp and Tea

    I got to learn what a swede was last summer when I was researching keto stuff. We Americans call this a rutabaga.

    It’s one of them root veggies that look horrifically ugly and really hard to peel & cut – but are absolutely delicious when sliced into thick sticks, coated with olive oil & garlic powder, and baked until brown & sizzly.

    The watch you went back for? Amazing. Love the cutouts!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. writerinsoul Post author

      Oh! Thank you Peg. I decided not to Google it and wondered if a reader would know. I like the root vegetables. I recently posted a roasted vegetable recipe with a turnip. On behalf of your amazing description, I think I must try that rutabaga recipe. And yes – isn’t the watch a find?! I don’t even understand it (cutouts??) but think good thoughts about whoever created it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. vanbytheriver

    The hunt is what it’s all about, isn’t it ? The watch was a great find…unique, but I also love that metal shelf…not sure I’d paint it either. And about those baked goods…yuck ! Unless I know the person selling them, and the relative cleanliness of their kitchen, I’m not buying…ever.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. writerinsoul Post author

      Oh yeah, there is that – I get a bit paranoid about eating random baked goods too. (Or food that’s been sitting around, or festering on a picnic table for hours, etc.) I’m delighted with my watch and still figuring out where to put the shelf – it kind of goes with the Snow White mirror https://writerinsoul.wordpress.com/2016/08/29/mirror-mirror/ which I had the sense to leave alone (unpainted). Yes, love the hunt!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Maggie Wilson

    I just boiled me up a big ol’ swede/turnip/rutabaga today – it was sitting in the fridge for so long it had begun to wither. In these parts, turnips are part of holiday meals, along with the roast beef or turkey, potatoes, carrots, and stuffing, of course. I mash ’em up, add margarine or butter. My ma-in-law would add brown sugar.

    I enjoy yard sales such are your fire hall event, (without the alarm, thank you!) especially if they are fundraisers. But there are some sales barns that are open every weekend and to me, the merchandise is just a degree above landfill. I feel uncomfortable and sad when I go, so I avoid those places.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. writerinsoul Post author

      Are the barn sales full of farm equipment?? Or just everything? Sad sales here are sometimes “estate sales” where you walk into someone’s home (maybe the person has died or been moved to a “care facility”) and everything is for sale. It feels too intimate and sad that you’re basically picking over someone’s life.

      Mashed turnips? Okay, now that’s a second recipe to try. I’ll skip the sugar! I’ve been looking at root vegetables more but sometimes they look bad in the store, all gnarled and wrinkly. I finally tried a shallot this winter. I had thought they were like green onions but I was way off.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Maggie Wilson

        Some buildings are literally barns, others just huge factories or warehouses – all are divided into booths that the vendor rents and oversees. You pay a minimum fee to enter. Usually there’s snack bar.
        Some of the vendors sell crafts, some sell their whaddyacallit, network marketing merchandise (scented candles, Avon, that sort of stuff) but mostly there is junk from attics and basements and garages. But there are enough mid-range goodies to entice me in at least once.
        I’ve never been to an estate sale – it might be a regional thing, because I do keep my eye open for these things. I can imagine that I would also feel like an intruder in the home of the deceased or departed.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. edgar62

    I very rarely attend these sales – not because I don’t want to but because most of them – including the markets are held on a Sunday morning. Same reason I have never attended Dog Training Classes because they too are held on a Sunday morning. But if I do get to attend to one, I like to look through the books area.


    1. writerinsoul Post author

      Ah yes, I understand. I try to stick to looking for things I need and try not to get too distracted. I’m glad you see the beauty of the watch! (I didn’t really expect readers to be as impressed as I was because I assume I’m behind the times on such things!)

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Finding a spot for the little metal shelf (finally) | WriterInSoul

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