This Sunday there was an estate sale down the street and I stopped in. I have a love/hate relationship with estate sales. I love them because I'm a naturally curious person and I love to wander in a house room by room and look at their stuff and imagine how they lived. I hate them because it is sad to wander in a house room by room and look at their stuff and how they lived. Lived being the operative word here. Estate sales always mean someone died. They mean that someone died and nobody wants their stuff and that I'm getting the very last glimpse of their home the way it was. The way they carefully decorated it. I think about where the items came from and how the stories behind them are now lost. Now they are just things again. I guess they always were.
Still, I always wander carefully and usually don't touch much. Other people are madly digging through the cupboards, carelessly tossing stuff aside, making a chaotic mess and bargaining loudly. They are like rabid hyenas. I just can't do it that way. It is almost as if I wander through waiting for an object to tell me "it is okay for you to take me home" or something. I have to really love something, it has to really be meant for me. I need a sign.
At this particular sale the old man was there, sitting in a chair watching people dig through his home. His wife died and he was moving to a home. There were professional estate sale staff running the show and handling questions, he was merely watching.
I had a five dollar bill and that was all. Not that I expected to find anything for that amount, estate sales in Los Angeles are not known for being cheap and I almost never find anything at them anyway so I didn't come prepared. However, on the stove amidst all kinds of other junk was this happy yellow and aqua earthenware dish. Well worn, well loved. And it was five bucks.
Not only was it the exact amount I had...but look how it matches the color of our house and the bench on our front porch! Meant to be, I think. It was also the cheapest thing at the sale. The estate pricers must have thought it was a chippy piece of junk. Everything else in the house was pretty pristine and mostly Victorian in style so I can't help but thing there must be some reason they kept this old dish all those years. Only I don't know the reason. Maybe it made her just as happy to look at it as it now makes me. We'll go with that.
Do you go to in house estate sales? Are you sentimental at them like me?