I was 22 just turning 23 when I had my son. I was not married to his father, I thought he would marry me because we had known each other for such a long time. This was not a fly by night affair of the heart. But when I got pregnant he dumped me. Then he left me to struggle in every way known to womanhood. As I grew up, my grandmother struggled to raise us girls so cutting the fat off was something I already knew how to do.I was very familiar with second hand stores, I was the original second hand Rose, kids sometimes laughed at me when I showed up at school with something they just got rid of. Plus when I was 12 someone gave me a bag of clothing but cut out the tags, I was chubby as a pre-teen. I wore those clothes and discovered to my dismay and humiliation she had given me her maternity clothing. I found out when a well meaning and loving teacher kept me after class to find out if I was expecting. Needless to say, I never wore them again and I had issues with used clothing after that. I didn't want to ever have anybodies hand me downs again.
My son's father was super critical if I wore something purchased at a bargain store, so most of my clothes and toiletries were better brands. When I discovered I could no longer afford to shop at the better stores, and I could not bring myself to second hand shop, I was lost as to how I was going to survive. This was in 1984 and yard sales was a really new concept, I couldn't get over how people would drag stuff out and put it in their yards. My first attempts of going to yard sales was driving around and around the block, staring at the goods and people. Then, came the day when I got brave enough to stop, so I sat and stared but did not get out. This lead to me getting out and walking around but I never touched and never bought a thing. Finally I made my first purchase, I can remember the house and if in the area I could take you there, I can remember the day, but I can't tell you what I bought . It was insignificant and cost only a dime. But the act of buying embedded itself in my mind and memory and I know it will be with me for the rest of my life. It was a turn in my life. After that day, I had to buy something,it didn't matter what when I stopped at a yard sale I always walked away with one item. I had a box filled with junk I didn't want.
Then my dearest friend Becky came with me, she had a little girl 6 months younger then my boy and she had to watch her money as closely as I had to watch mine. We looked for sales that specifically had baby clothes and I discovered the world of affordable designer clothing...Adidas, Nike, Oshkosh for under 1.00...I discovered I could do this...
I had known Rick my husband since I was 14, I consider him my childhood sweetheart. We had lost contact with each other for several years and then suddenly he was back in my life, hanging around just being a friend. During the seven years he just hung around I became a yard sale pro. I loved having them and going to them. So when he decided it would be okay to marry me, I asked him to yard sale with me.
Rick had grown up privileged. Second hand stores and yard sales were foreign to him, needless to say dumpster diving which is a different story altogether was something he would never have done to this point in his life. But I assured him that with my capable and seasoned hands I would guide him into the magical world of untold treasures.
From that day to this(twenty-one years later) our yard sale trips take us on day long adventures. We meet a myriad of unique people some nice some not, some that have good stuff, some not so good. I no longer have to buy at least one thing at each sale and I can walk away if a bargain can not be met. My children have been raised with a wonderful mixture of old and new clothing, toys and household goods and my home is early American yard sale motif. Today was my daughter's birthday and what she wanted for her birthday present was to get cash and go yard sale hunting with me. We had a wonderful time and I will post a little on some of our fantastic finds.