After waiting all week for the weather to cool off, I chose today to do my annual Extreme Biking Day, wherein after not riding a bike for months I abruptly decide that I'm going to haul myself about two or three miles up the road and into the next county, at which point the "fun biking" begins because there are ample, gorgeous parks and bike paths that go along woods and horse farms. I can generally go for hours the first time I try this, even though it will hurt later, and it's worth it. I got distracted by garage sales along the way, though. And I'm glad I did.
Randomly followed a sign to "Girl Scout Garage Sale," figuring it was being run by people just a little younger than me and therefore would have stuff that appealed to me rather than new mothers, children under 10, or retirees. Holy good g'damn, this was the best sale ever. It did have stuff I liked, yes, but half of it was also like walking into an antique thrift store. There was great old furniture, cute animal figurines and knick-knacks (not the tacky sort you usually find), 50's style framed retro prints (a fawn and a foal, aw)...man, this is the kind of stuff you always hear about other people finding, but I never see such great stuff. Note to Self: Good stuff does not exist within a 1-mile radius of your house; one must go further to find something truly worthwhile.
ANYWAY. I could probably have spent $30 in a heartbeat, but I reined myself in. My finds:
*Silver/rhinestoned star-shaped necklace (i.e. SPARKLY!) - 25 cents
*2 pairs of earrings - 25 cents each (One silver hoops with intricate designs, and the other upside-down kite-shaped metal with colored, shimmery/reflective geometric designs on them)
*2 blank hardcover journals - 50 cents each (I was going to buy some of these at the store anyway, and this price is better. I want to use the gutted covers for a couple of novel-length fanfics I have printed out in book format)
*The American Cowboy, by Harold McCracken - $1 (It's a lovely vintage hardcover, 1973, filled with illustrations of the history of the Old West, including several full-color plates. Plus, McCracken is a name I recognize from one of my reading lists - author of some really great wildlife novels)
*Gold-framed shadowbox decorated as a Victorian parlor room, with two miniature framed pictures on the wall inside, a white-and-gold chair and chaise-longue, pedestal with vase of pink roses, a lace curtain fringe, wallpaper and wooden floor - $2.50 (I didn't even know what a shadow box was when I found it; I just thought that 3-D wall art was the coolest thing I'd ever seen and thought it would look great in the living room of my apartment someday. It's like a dollhouse on the wall. Wish I could show you.)
*Tall wooden jewelry box with multiple drawers, and vertical space for necklaces - $1.50 (this looks older, in great condition, and would definitely sell for a lot more than 1.50 in a store. And it might actually have enough space to hold all my jewelry, what a concept)
[Edit: Oh! And I just found a little knob you can twist on the back which plays, in tinkling music-box notes, the theme from Dr. Zhivago.]
Those last two I fretted over for a good fifteen minutes, pacing back and forth really wanting them but also being unable to carry them away in my backpack on a bike. Even if I bought it and asked the people to put it aside, I didn't really want to waste time and energy biking all the way back home to get the car, especially since I'd then have to give up my trip for the day or waste another hour and considerably more energy biking back (uphill) to where I'd left off. Then I remembered that unlike last time I biked this far, I have a cell phone. And parents who are currently at home. "Hey, Dad, I found this really cool stuff at a garage sale, but it's too big for me to carry...can you come pick it up?" Woo!
I was out for nearly six hours today, although probably a good 90 minutes of that was spent in rest periods, journaling, and I did eventually make it onto one of the nice bike paths. I also hit up about five more garage sales, which yielded the following results:
*Roller Coaster Tycoon - $1 (I seem to be striking out on computer games so far - Dogz 4 immediately freezes and Africa Trail was not exciting enough to be worth $3 *hits self* - but maybe third time's the charm)
*On the Far Side of the Mountain, by Jean Craighead George - 25 cents (One of my favorite authors, so all her books are on my longterm "collect 'em when you can" list, namely when I find them in cheap paperback form)
*Petting a King Charles Spaniel - priceless (also free. Heh, no, this was the most adorable little dog ever. He was sitting all by himself like a little statue, but when I knelt down he jumped up and climbed all over my lap, bracing his paws on my thigh and straining to lick my face. (no-no) His entire body was wriggling with joy as his tail whapped back and forth. I love little dogs. I don't think I do, but then I meet one and they're so small and perfect, dainty paws but rotund little bellies (solid, like a horse, not the folds of a fat cat) and tiny little tongues...not to mention the silkiest, fluffy ears I have ever felt in my LIFE. After a few minutes I tried to let him go in case anyone else wanted to pet him, and he ran after me and pawed at my leg so I'd keep paying attention to him. By the way...is it sad if the first thing I thought is "Oh, he looks exactly like Charlotte's dog on Sex and the City!"?)
Total spent today: $7.25
And now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to see if my jelly-legs are ready to support my weight yet.