I never really saw myself as someone who "does" garage sales". Not because I think any less of those who do them or go to them - I was just not that interested in them. Okay, let me rephrase that statement - I was drive by gawker. I would make Kevin drive past garage sales in nice neighborhoods and gawk at what they had - I would usually pronounce the stuff "junk" and happily make my way to Target where that stuff is SO not junk!
Last year, we actually did a ton of drive bys because I was hoping to happen upon a few cool items that I really wanted for Matthew but was not going to pay any money for because I am a cheap bastard. I wanted one of those jog strollers - for all the jogging I do!!! I wanted some of that fun plastic outdoor stuff for kiddos, I wanted a gently used wagon and there were several other odds and ends that I was hoping to find but never did.
I am also fairly selective when it comes to garage sales. I usually only hit the ones in nice neighborhoods, not really sure why but I am. I am also learning that you have to hit 'em early - for me early is relative. I am talking 8:30-9:00a around the time I (we) roll out of the house at long last. Let's not go crazy here either - I am not saying I am doing this every weekend. This has mostly been a hit or miss thing - I am driving to do groceries and spot a sign in a nice neighborhood and do the gawking drive-by thing then if I see something I might stop. Only three have warranted a stop but I have bought stuff from two of the three!
Last weekend, I hit the mother load! I bought $35 worth of stuff. I bought a flip and fold Radio Flyer bike that looked like its tires had never even hit the concrete until the garage sale for $15!!! I bought another FP farm house that is way cooler then Matthew and every little person and add on there is out there it seems. This all went to Kelly's house for day care. We bought a toy fire truck and the whole set of Bob the Builder toy figures (which each go for $5.95 each) for Matthew.
Matthew has been so happy and excited about these finds and threats them all like gold. I talk with him about how I bought them used for less. I am not sure if this means anything to him but he sure holds those particular toys in high regard. Of course, he LOVES Bob and all his friends so who knows. It has been interesting to do this from my point of view - it reminds me that not every toy or item has to be store bought brand new and it is good to re-use other people's toys - you know the song by now, Reduce, Reuse Recycle... please dear lord stop me from reading all those green earth web sites before I lose my mind...
I am also hoping Matthew will take these lessons with him into the world. Oh and I think he will - when he yells for Roley first thing when we walk in the door or we put him down for nap and he curls up with Benny and Scoop one in each hand or when he puts all his little people in that $1.00 bus I bought for him - he will know in some small way that we should learn to reuse the perfectly good items that are available out there in the world!