Last updated: July 17. 2014 2:08PM - 229 Views
By Judith Victoria Hensley Plain Thoughts



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I love yard sales. Do I need to bring anything else home? No. Do I need to clear out my stash of bargains? Yes.


I got started stopping at yard sales when I was still in high school. People put the coolest things out for sale when I was still living in Illinois with my parents. Money was plentiful and work was good. It was a toss away economy for many. It was not uncommon to find items with brand new price tags still on them. Some things were just too good to pass up.


I love antiques. It was also a place where people didn’t seem too sentimental about their parents’ belongings once they were gone. I didn’t have a home to put them in, but I loved looking at the beautiful estate furniture that was often found at yard sales.


When I lived in Lexington while I was married, we often found needed items at estate sales or yard sales and found beautiful pieces of furniture that were far superior to the modern things we couldn’t afford at that time.


Yard sales are a good clean form of entertainment. I have found some lovely things that I didn’t need, some things that I did need and some things that I passed on to others. The best thing I ever bought was a bracelet for thirty cents that turned out to be real gold and real diamonds. It was on an out of town visit and I couldn’t have returned it when I found out the value months later because I didn’t remember where it came from.


Because of yard sale bargains, I always have little treasure troves stashed away to try to help other people in need. It is a joy to have something set back that can be a blessing to someone else. Last summer I was happy to clean out a huge chunk of the attic to help a young person attend a leadership trip abroad.


This summer I’ve been working on ideas to raise money for a long anticipated trip to Scotland. Of course, one of the obvious ideas was to have a yard sale.


When I started going through the house looking for things, I was amazed at how many things I could actually live without. I thought last summer’s purge pretty well cleaned out the attic. I was wrong.


Usually if I stop at a yard sale it is an accident. See a sign. Stop. In the Illinois days, we would have a map, the Classified section of the newspaper, and a plan. I still think it is fun to randomly luck up on a yard sale. I may or may not buy something, but I do enjoy looking.


I am very appreciative of people who have donated toward my trip. When I go, I’m taking Harlan County with me. I wouldn’t be going without the generosity of others. Still, I think we all need to do our part to help ourselves. Having a yard sale is just one of several projects I’m working on.


Another great thing about yard sales is seeing neighbors, friends and family whom we may not have seen in a while. I also enjoy talking to people about old items they have for sale. Sometimes the story behind an item will make it worth buying. Buy the item, and remember the story for as long as the item is in sight.


Looking for something to do this summer? Try scoping out a yard sale of your own – either having one or visiting one. The results may be surprising.

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