Monday, January 6, 2014

Estate Stories: I dug through what??

Sometimes an estate sale can be a digger, and then sometimes it is really a DIGGER.  This was one of those. I had some time to myself last week and ventured about an hour away to Greenville, TX, a tiny little town with a lot of personality.  The pictures from the sale were pretty typical for the inside of the house, but outside, there was a barn with boxes.  Unopened boxes.  That is an estate sale hunter's adrenaline.

I walked through the house and found a few things...a deck of these cards...which I found hilarious...and I could only find two more sets online.  Haha.  They crack me up.

And then a pad of time card slips you will see in a finds...but the barn awaits!  Here we go...are you ready for this? 

The barn was kind of a flower shape with each petal a bay window.  All gray wood and a steep step up to get inside.  And then the boxes.  There were tools, ceramics, and all kinds of books...and TONS of boxes full of just stuff.   I started moving things around as soon as I got in there.  It was freezing in there cold...but that didn't slow me down.  The first thing I found was this painting tool from Badger.  I almost bought it for the box.  Isn't that pink and red so cute? I believe these were used for painting model trains and cars.

Moving on to the next room...ahhhh...I bet this pink chair was beautiful in its prime.  See the pattern in the fabric?  The mousies had a great time nesting in it when it moved to the barn.  So sad.

A stove!!  I could load this up and have it fixed, right?  I bet the lady of the house got a new one and this one was moved outside.  There are still dishes in a strainer on top and little coffee cups perched there.

There were two trunks in one room stacked on each other, both lined in newspapers on the inside from 1940.  I opened the top one up and didn't find much, and just as I turned around, a little sweet lady came up and smiled and said, "Do you want to see what's in the one on the bottom?" "Of course I do!" I said.  "Me, too," she said, and then we giggled like school girls and lifted the top one together to the pink chair so we could open the other.

Sadly, only one toy jack and a receipt were in the bottom trunk.  Oh, the treasures I'm sure that were stored in these.  She found some table legs to try to match to a top in another room and ventured on.  So did I.  

That room of boxed pictured at the top was where I parked and spent most of my time.  I stayed in that one room for about an hour.  And dug...and moved boxes...and dug some more.  Through RAT POOP.  But I guess there was a silver lining (see below...).  Silver buried in old newspapers under some boxes.  

I unwrapped and opened and unwrapped and opened some more.  I hit the mother lode, one customer told me, when I happened upon a box that was covered with an old wool coat that had been chewed to pieces. Underneath were stacks of old letters and cards still in the envelopes and most were sealed again because of the moisture in the barn, I assume.  I found an envelope of old Christmas card samples that companies would send for you to chose your company or family card and have it printed....

The one with the doggy is my fav (and there are those time cards I told you about). 

You guys...I dug and dug and dug...through mounds of rat poop.  Mounds of it.  I stepped on layers of boxes and moved them around, and I picked up chairs and pushed them to the other side of the room to get to more.  I walked out of the barn with an arm full of old letters, envelope seals, and Christmas cards from the 1950s.  I told the guy to go easy on me...I had been digging for an hour and I was filthy and had rat poop dust up to my ears and probably didn't smell too nice either.  

He looked at my treasures and said..."You're going to kill me."  Huh?  He shook his head.  What?  Then he told me the family had specifically said that if anything was found that was hand written or addressed to the owners of the home, to keep it for them.  Ugh.  Ugh.  

We sorted through the cards and I still came out with about 10-15 cool cards with rather rad images to use. He asked how much I would give for them and I said to tell the family "You're welcome," and I'll give you a dollar.  He told me to come with him.  Head hung low but still smiling because it really is the thrill of the hunt, I checked out with my stuff and left happy.  They were really nice about the whole situation and I have shopped with this company before.  Now we know each other a little better.  :)  

So, two morals...if you are a family that is having a sure to dig before you start the sale.  If you don't find it, somebody else will.  And, second, if you are the shopper, be prepared for defeat every once in a while.  But there will always be another.  :)  

This sale was hosted by A-Z Estate Sales by Amanda (and her husband, Jason). They are really sweet people and we talked for quite some time about paper collections and things we have found and kept for ourselves.  Their sales are reasonably priced and they are always helpful.  Check them out sometime if you are in the DFW area! 

P.S.  A shop update is coming this week!  I'll post later with some photos.  Are you ready for Valentine's Day? 

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