Our home town (Williamsburg Ohio) has a twice a year tradition - community garage sales. This is also a family tradition for Beth, Tom (our youngest) and me.
The sales occur in May and September. This weekend was the May sale. The weather was terrible. It was cold - temperatures in the low 50s with a brisk wind. It was raining in the morning, so sales opened late.
The weather worked to our advantage. In a normal year - the sales open around 7, and the professional dealers drive by and scoop up the things they can re-sell easily, like golf clubs.
The other advantage of the weather was it limited the number of sellers to those who REALLY wanted to get rid of stuff. There are two types of garage sales: One where the people are trying to see how much money they can get, and one where they are seeing how much crap they can get rid of. I can generally spot the difference within 5 seconds.
Since the weather seemed to limit the money sales, we hit several gold mines.
The limited sales also meant we could cover the neighboring town of Batavia - they were also having their sale this weekend.
It was in Batavia where we found a couple of gold mines. The Presbyterian church had a huge one (church rummage sales are always great). Even better was a house where they wanted to get rid of things - in this case a set of golf clubs for Tommy ($15). The same house had a 46 inch flat screen TV for $25 but I wasn't fast enough.
For the whole day we probably spent less than $40 (if you don't count lunch at McDonald's). We got a stein, some cool pottery (a vase and goblet), a talking Donkey from Shrek, some books, and of course - the golf clubs.
And for less than $40 that's not bad.
In reality we got a day of memories - three of us together, hunting bargains, meeting people and having fun together as a family. We made memories that will last forever.
And for less than $40 that's an incredible deal.