One man’s junk is my treasure

There are two more things that I now know for sure. Drinking too many margaritas is stupid and buying a “Weber” barbecue in excellent condition for $2.50 is not.
Last weekend was our annual garage sale trek to the small lakeside community in Minnesota where my brother and his family spends the summer.
On the second weekend in June each year, this little hideaway becomes a hubbub for the garage sale junkie. It’s quite simply my best-kept secret (except, of course, for the 10 people I told at work).
Incoming on Friday afternoon were the wallets of Peter and I, #3 daughter, and two #1 couples.
Of course, Mother Nature was invited but declined due to a run in with Murphy’s Law. So we went with it, spending our downtime shuttling the party back and forth from underneath the RV canopy to the campfire.
Bright and early Saturday morning, after two Tylenol and a glass of water to mask the margarita headache, I pulled out my cash, pocketed a walkie-talkie (compliments of the credit card company that sucked thousands of dollars from me in interest), and headed out for a day of glorious spending until I ran out of money—and the money I would soon bum off my husband.
The Olympic champion of frugal that I am, my $65 (U.S.) went a long way. Then I put on a long face and weaseled $10 more from Pete.
With a 13-km radius, the walkie-talkies were all the rage. Men in one truck, the real shoppers in the other.
“Eagle One to Eagle Two” kept us in touch as we headed in opposite directions—the women to the goods, the men to the roadside bar (where, strangely enough, the “waves of communication” mysteriously faded out).
Six hours later, the women had sore feet and treasures that only the smarter sex could find having “smoked” 20 out of the 21 garage sales on the map.
The men, on the other hand, sported sore behinds from lounging too long in lawn chairs back at the campsite.
Then again, those who don’t spend money have more to give to those of us who do.
Combined, three women and a teenage girl had hauled in volumes of great stuff.
As tradition would have it, we shared our finds with our husbands, who understood little the value of our treasures.
(With all due respect, honey, I did need the candle holder. It will round out my collection to 60, I think).
By the time Sunday afternoon had arrived, the women had made another trip ’round the circuit to make sure we hadn’t missed anything.
Where’s your wallet, Pete? Good job we brought the trailer along. Was that my idea?
Today, all of my garage sale bargains are still sitting atop my dining room table and on the floor waiting for placement while Peter draws up blueprints for the addition.
Except for the magazine rack, which quickly made its way to the bathroom for the stash of “Men’s Health” magazines read by the family thinker.
Oh, and the “Weber” barbecue, which mastered a rib eye steak over charcoal like an Olympic champion.
Meanwhile, he who turns on walkie-talkie and places it under my pillow in bed is cruising for payback.

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