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Shopping and junking in the Coulee


Last updated 5/29/2013 at 9:19am

If you were out and about in any coulee towns this past Memorial Weekend, you probably noticed the car caravans, driving slowly up and down the streets but sometimes stopping abruptly where the crowds were gathering for - gasp! - yard sales. Yes, the yard sale season is in full swing now. If the sales — some held both Friday and Saturday, but most underway by 8 a.m. on Saturday morning — are any indicator of this summer’s yard-sale-a-rama, we’re in for a heck of a ride.

What items will yard sale buyers spend their cash on? Well, here’s a great example. The one-day Saturday sale at the Comrie home on Snyder Hill outside Grand Coulee was a doozer with the cars parking along the quarter-mile driveway so buyers could carry off patio furniture, clocks, paintings, telescopes and a mountain bike that left early on. Dave said the sale met all of his and his wife’s expectations.

A nice lady on Walnut Street in Coulee Dam said they, meaning the men in her family, wanted their garage back, so that prompted the family to unload all kinds of stuff that had been in storage, plus household items. On Friday morning, the Walnut Street best sellers for awhile were baby clothes and paperback books. That same morning, at the two-day sale in front of Flo’s Cafe in Grand Coulee, Emily’s aunt said the sale was going well with baskets and yard stuff topping the best seller list.

Get this. On Saturday morning, people were rummaging, elbow to elbow, through the piles of household goodies set out on tables and wooden rounds at the sale held on Holly Street in Coulee Dam, where Mary Ann — a visitor from Libby, Mont. and the sale’s coordinator — was willing to dicker on prices. The sale, with local family and friends helping out, was a fundraiser for Mary Ann’s 19-year-old daughter, Brooklyn, who will be going on a “youth mission” to Australia this summer, where she will train and work with young people for a few weeks and then, go on to other missions in three other countries.

Best sellers included flower pots and garden tools. Mary Ann commented that the buyers in the Coulee were great and much like those in Libby where yard sales are also social gatherings for the townfolk there.

When the word gets out that a certain person or group will be holding an annual yard sale, the traffic comes to a stop in front of that sale’s location and buyers show up early to get the good stuff before it’s all sold. So, once again, lucky buyers made off with some great buys on clothing, furniture and home decor when they stopped at Electric City’s sale held across from the Bank’s Lake Pub. Up in the heights, another lucky buyer bought a brand new, still-in-the-wrapper, kayak for the low-ball price of $400. That neon pink kayak was what yardsalers call “a find.”

Is junk your calling? Well, we’ve established that calling; those of us who seek out stuff that is so-called junk will answer to names like junkies, junkettes, and junkers, so we can move on to what the world of junking is about next time. If you want to join the junk set, get yourself a bumper sticker that says it all: “I brake for junk.” Back with more in a couple of weeks.


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