A successful garage sale season

You know that going to garage sales is one of my favorite summer past times, and I’ve had a good season so far. Oh, I don’t go every weekend; just often enough. Several of my garage sale outings this summer have been with friends for most of a day, when it’s just as much about the socializing as it is about what we might find.

In fact, I’m tempted to go so far as to say you’ve never really lived fully until you’ve been with four adult sisters in a sub-compact car trolling the suburbs for good garage sales.

Last week I spent a day on the Highway 141 garage sales, which are becoming the grandmother of summer garage sales for all of Iowa. In case you don’t know, these are sales held in towns along Highway 141 for 100 miles, as well as at farms and acreages along the way. And I had a fine time locating treasures, watching people, seeing towns and territories where I don’t get very often.

To give you an idea of the scope of this sale, the owner of one garage sale where we stopped was keeping a tab on where his customers came from. And he said he’d had visitors from Michigan, Wisconsin, Missouri, and lots of other places.

My favorite garage sale location for the day was on a farm, which isn’t so unusual. This farm was an old-fashioned place with numerous white wooden buildings, a silo, expanses of concrete feeding floor all cleaned off but no longer in use. This was one big sale, so large that people were directing the cars where to park.

The sale itself was held in a big old barn that looked like it had once been home to a cattle operation, or maybe a dairy. But the best part was that the garage sale was being held as a benefit for the medical costs for the family of a young girl in treatment for cancer. There were plenty of adults helping inside the barn, and it was clear they had all given their time and effort to make a difference in the life of this family. I was glad to donate just a little to help the cause.

I decided on this garage sale day that it’s much more fun to be at a sale where the hosts-and usually a friend or relative-are having a good time being there. They joke and banter with each other and with their customers, and it makes it more pleasant to linger and probably find something you need to buy. I’m that retail store owners understand that concept very well.

The garage sale season is winding down, but it’s been a good one for me, I’m happy to report.