August 7, 2013 | LXXIII, No. 19

Shopping and junking in the coulee

Holy Toledo! Holy Moly! Holy Whatever! As the old saying goes, Come Rain or Shine,” the freaky t-storm that blew through the Coulee on Thursday last week didn’t put a damper on the yard sales starting early Friday morning in Grand Coulee and near Elmer City. The stampede was on.

At the Liz and Felix sale on Granger in Grand Coulee, a dining table and chairs set, living room end tables and bedroom furniture sold fast, followed closely by piles of tools of all kinds, including a complete set of tools for working with concrete. The prices on those tools were more than reasonable -- in other words, cheap -- starting at 25 cents. Guess what? The tools completely sold out in the first go-around with only a few items of clothing, household goods and puzzles left for Saturday’s sale.

Have you seen that home with log siding and a green roof and trim located above the Lower River Road near the old time community called Lone Pine? The landscaping at the log house has a profusion of old-time rose bushes that just keep on blooming in the summer heat. So the pretty roses made the walk up the driveway to access the yard sale an OK trip.

It’s true, you’d never guess what will be put out at a yard sale until you get there and get a good look at the stuff, like the huge collection of Avon products at this sale. This collection dated as far back as the 1970s, with many bottles and creams still in the original boxes. Detective Frankie D. spotted a 70s Avon lady’s sales case, in perfect condition except for dust, for 75 cents. And hopefully, some lucky buyer took home the Dr. Zhivago-style rabbit fur hat, lined in brown satin, and looking fine. I’m sure I saw Omar Sharif wearing that same hat in his long-ago starring role as a Russian doctor, and, of course, he was looking fine in it.

So, the stampede was pretty much over by mid-day on Saturday, and the droves of Coulee Country shoppers had headed back to their abodes, except for the bargain hunters.

Let me explain. Bargain hunters are a special breed of shoppers, and most of us who frequent yard and junk sales fit into this category, one time or another. What we do is wait — wait until the crowds are gone, wait until the sales, or at least one or two sales we’ve scoped out, are about ready to shut down. It’s all a matter of timing and if we, bargain hunters, time it right, we can take home last-minute deals for next to nothing, or better yet, load up on free stuff. Nothing beats free stuff.

Talk about good luck! Here’s a true account of a yard sale that got mixed up and never took place last weekend but the outcome was great for Chris anyway. Her sale, planned for Saturday, was postponed, but she had some signs up around her neighborhood in Electric City. Much to her surprise, a guy saw one of her signs, so he stopped by and cut a deal with her for the van that she had planned to feature in that yard sale. Such a deal.

So, I’ll sign off with these words: instead of Happy Trails, I was told that I should say, Happy Sales. I’ll be back with more junky news later this month.

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