We were walking away from an estate sale, carrying our newly-found treasures, on a hot Sunday afternoon in Boone when family members began stopping us to talk as they saw a few of their mother’s belongings being carried away.
It was the little train case that caught their eye, just as it had caught mine.
“That little case has been all over the country,” one of them told me, recalling days that, while long ago, sometimes seem like yesterday.
The train case, marked “ABC Luggage Milwaukee” perfectly matched two varying pieces of luggage that I had long ago carried away from my own parents’ home. I like the way they look stacked in a corner, as if I’m always ready to head out on an adventure. And they’re great places to store tiny things I don’t want to lose, like old Valentine’s Day cards and my favorite “what-nots.”
Perhaps there’s no better picture in to how we truly live than estate sales and garage sales.
Chris Rose and Kris Malone are neighbors who take turns helping each other with garage sales at their homes.
“It makes it more enjoyable together,” they say in near unison.
By sharing the work, they also expand their inventory and attract more shoppers. It’s also a chance to visit with each other and the folks who stop by to browse.
“You never know what you want until you see it,” says Rose.
“I usually look for things that are unique, nothing seasonal, but something that’s modern and unique,” adds Malone.
From experience, they say that the men’s stuff always disappears first at most garage sales.
“Put it out front and anything for men will be snapped up early,” they recommend.
Fortunately for this writer, a lot of good “girly stuff” was still left later in the afternoon. I found a collection of milk glass that tempted me, but I couldn’t bring myself to purchase the whole lot.
Perhaps it’s not where we live, but the things that surround us — things with history, character — that tell the stories that make up a lifetime.
As for that little train case, knowing it was well-traveled, well remembered, by one family, gives it a richer history — a better story — as I fill it with “treasures” of my own.