Sale!

Do you have any idea how hard it is to resist a sale of knick-knacks that your neighbor has spent a year collecting, even though you have SWORN OFF accumulating any more stuff since a bunch of yours that you’ve almost forgotten after five months is still in storage?

Well, here’s the deal. Betty and Don down the street have been setting up for a week, putting tents over their driveway, layout out tables, piling on the stuff and blocking the driveway with their pick-up trucks for security. This morning, they finally opened up shop.

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Betty said she does this every year about the time the Round Top dealers roll through town. (Actually, the shows are twice a year.) The fall shows start tomorrow at Warrenton, and Blue Hills has been open since last weekend. (I went to Blue Hills and discovered the gardens, which I love love love, but I didn’t buy a thing. Not even the pillows from some High Point, N.C. ladies with pretty prints of bees, which I could have used. Progress!)

Traffic has been noticeably heavier in Brenham this week as everyone in the antiques and junking world descends for the twice-yearly stuff-fest.

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Betty puts up a wooden sign at the end of the block that says, simply, “Sale.” Not “Garage Sale” or “Estate Sale.” And no address. It’s like an exclusive club, kind of: If you have to know more, you probably don’t belong there.

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With their granddaughter-in-law Adie and a few other friends helping, Betty and Don held court and collected money as ladies in-the-know prowled through the goods, most of it glassware.

You must have a big storage room, I said to Betty.

She pointed a little sheepishly, grinning, toward the windows of a back room in her house, which might be a dining room or a glassed-in porch or both – I couldn’t tell for sure and didn’t want to seem too nosy. I’m still new around here. (Anybody whose family hasn’t been in this town for five generations is new, so we’re more like aliens although everybody’s been really nice.)

Clearly visible in the shafts of morning sun were three or four shelves on the back wall absolutely crammed with small glass goodies. “Sometimes it’s hard to let them go,” Betty said.

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I got out of there with just one painted metal basket, which I actually need to hold fruits and veggies. Yeah, need, that’s right. It was $5, and a teensy gold and black “Made in China” sticker is still on the bottom, but I love the clean, cheerful shape. It was satisfying enough that I didn’t need to purchase anything else.

We’ll see how the discipline holds up when I head out to Warrenton in a day or two.

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