Friday, February 26, 2016
One Man's Junk Is Another Man's Treasure
My father really liked auctions. During warm weather we often went on weekends.
Livestock auctions were common in this part of the country but we did not usually go to them. Even if we lived on a farm livestock was not thrilling.
If someone died or was selling their house or sometimes even moving to another town the best way to dispose of things was an auction. Those were the ones we went to. Sometimes the house itself was sold that day. But often it was simply items from inside the house.
Furniture was usually sold by the piece. If for instance you wanted the whole set of furniture from the bedroom you would have to buy the bed, any tables, and dressers separately. There might be a box of sheets and pillow cases and another box filled with blankets. Homemade quilts were always warm so they were good to find too.
Boxes of dishes could be had for a price. Tableware would be in another box. Knick-knacks and wall hangings might come together.
In some of these big old farmhouses there was a lot to sell. Some of the houses were three stories high and all the rooms were used.
The prices for all these family items were low. After all they were used. And the family had to either sell them that day or figure out what else to do with them.
Mom watched for Mason jars. Those are the jars used to can food. They come in several sizes and Mom would make use of all of them. Hopefully they would come with the rings used to hld the lids in place. And even better would be if there was a box or two of the lids. A quarter or fifty cents would usually buy a box holding a couple dozen jars.
What Daddy liked the most was the "junk" boxes. Junk boxes contained items that either did not have enough of the same type of thing to make up a whole box or did not fit into a box of like items because the box was full.
So for ten cents (or a quarter if the box was a really big one) Daddy would buy as many junk boxes as he could from the ones available. When we took them home was when the real fun began.
We would open the box and dig around for treasure. Here is a silver serving spoon. A box of lids for Mom's Mason jars. A penny. A set of salt and pepper shakers. A pot holder. A meat grinder that fastens onto the side of the table. A set of coasters to put under drinks. An old costume jewelry brooch. A handful of bobby pins. A ricer. Japanese fans. Wind-up toy cars. A couple of wooden blocks. A half finished embroidery piece. An old album of pictures of the family. A can of motor oil. A funnel. Paper dolls. One saucer. A used lipstick. A comic book.
You get the idea. Those boxes were full of goodies. The fun was rummaging through them. We had no idea what we would find. How many meat grinders can one family use? We had dozens of those things. We also had dozens of mismatches shower curtain rings. But we had such fun finding them.
Where else can a whole family find that much fun for a dime?