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Tacitly Yours

Bit by the yard sale bug

I have recently picked up a bad habit. Well, maybe it's not a bad habit, but I suppose it depends on how you look at. I have started rousting myself out of bed at odd hours of the morning on Saturdays, pulling on my favorite pair of jeans, throwing my hair into a ponytail and setting out in our Jeep. The purpose of my early morning habit...to hit as many yard sales as I can before it gets too late and all of the good stuff is gone.

I have spent most of my life avoiding yard sales. I think my aversion came from the fact that you had to wake up at the crack of dawn on the weekend to ensure that you found any good treasures. Growing up, sleeping in on a Saturday morning seemed to win out over the thought of getting up early and rifling through stuff other people didn't want.

But then I found myself getting ready for my first college apartment. That summer, between my junior and senior years at Washington State University, my mother and I hauled ourselves out of bed at the crack of dawn with a thermos full of hot coffee to try to find those apartment essentials. We hunted for a bed frame, tables, chairs, a desk and, of course, a sofa or love seat.

Over the course of that summer, and after searching through piles of various odds and ends, I went to college that fall with furnishings for my entire one-bedroom apartment. That shows what a little dedication can do for you.

But it's now been about six years since I've been bitten by the yard sale bug. A lot has changed since that summer in college. I suddenly found myself with a job and learned just how precious those weekends can be. I went a long time thinking that sleeping in was a better use of my time Saturday morning.

However, I recently found myself in the same situation I was in that summer in college. My husband and I just bought our first house and although I have managed to fill it with furniture, there are still some pieces I think are missing. And those pieces are what have once again sparked my yard sale interest.

Call me crazy, but I don't want to go out and buy a brand new dresser for my guest room or new stools for my breakfast bar. I want something with a little more character. I want something I won't feel guilty painting and customizing.

So I start scanning the classified ads on Thursday, looking for sales that catch my eye. When the Friday paper hits the stands, I'm already putting together my plan of attack for the next morning. I carefully choose which yard sale I want to hit first and then prioritize the rest.

Even though I'm only looking for a few specific things, it's amazing what you can find at yard sales. So far this summer I have seen everything from an orchard ladder to a wooden rocking horse sitting in people's yards just waiting for the right person to come along.

So this Saturday I'll be at it again, looking for that perfect piece of furniture that will make my house feel more like home. Just remember that old adage, one person's junk is another person's treasure. I never would have guessed just how true that statement can be.

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