I don't remember if I've mentioned this on this particular blog or not, but I have to say that my favorite thing about spring isn't the warming weather, or greening trees, or blooming gardens or thunderstorms or end of school or start of Twins baseball (although that one's a close second).
By far, my most favorite part of spring is seeing, popping up in ditches along busy intersections and stapled to heavily acupunctured utility poles, the first of the garage sale signs.
Oh, how I love garage sales. Estate sales. Rummage sales. Yard sales. Call them what you want, I heart them, in an unhealthy way. I've been known to kill an entire sunny Thursday driving slowly through residential neighborhoods as if on mountain switchbacks.
Admittedly, it's a bizarre spring custom. The whole premise, really. Take everything out of your house or shed that you no longer want, and, instead of throwing it away like a normal person, affixing 10¢ and 3/$1.00 stickers to it and leaving it out on your driveway for your neighbors to sift through. Even if someone actually buys something, you've only earned a buck or two for your efforts. Crazy persons do this. And, bonus, now all your neighbors know that you, a crazy person, once collected Beanie Babies or ceramic M&M characters. On one hand, you no longer collect them (hence the sale), but apparently you still hold an entirely too high opinion of them with prices that would make Trump blush and labels like Vintidge collectables (sic) and you brake it you buy it.
And don't get me started about last spring's extremely elderly couple in a modest Roseville rambler pawning off an enormous lifetime collection of "vintidge" Penthouse magazines. That's why we have recycle bins, folks. (And if you're wondering, I didn't buy anything, but in fact left quickly and silently, refusing to make eye contact lest I burst out laughing, wondering who's idea it was to finally sell them - his or hers?)
Yesterday, the Boy and I hit up some garage sales in the NE suburbs of Fridley, Blaine and Coon Rapids.
I'll start by saying that I'm pretty sure I'm not one of those crazy dads that is trying to live his life vicariously through his Boy. I wanted to play baseball forever; I honestly won't care if he hates it after he tries T-ball this summer. I love swimming, he hates it. No mind. We'll find things he likes.
However, I admit I was nervous bringing him to garage sales. This is the One Thing that I want him to love as much as me. But what if he refuses to get out of the car? What if he doesn't even get the premise? What if he's done after one house? Oh, the humanity....
Thankfully, he's a chip off the old block sale (ba-dum-dum-ching). He couldn't get enough, running up each driveway to search for the toy section. Chatting up the old ladies (he calls them "grandfriends" thanks to pre-school). Toward the end, after seeing how things work, he was even bold enough to ask questions like How much do you want for this? and do you know if all the pieces are here?
I. could. not. be. happier.
I actually had to coax him back home after I had my fill (and it was getting close to rush hour traffic). He selected a new puzzle, a really cool marble race thingie (click on it to see it) and a toy truck, all total under 5 bucks, and was hungry for more.
Luckily, he was also hungry for food, so we worked our way home to enjoy our treasures over dinner.
There is a strong likelihood that this will become our regular Thursday activity. Take that, sports lessons.