Allen's Garage SaleIt all started innocently enough.

“What’s that orange sign Daddy?”

“That’s a yard sale sign son.”

“I wanna go! Can we go? Please!”

“Yeah, I wanna go too!”

And so began my sons’ and my habit / mild adiction of driving around on Saturday mornings to peruse the local neighborhood yard sales. It gets us all out of the house giving Mommy a little space and creates some excitement through seeking out that mythical ‘treasure trove’ of good finds. It also helps satisfy my inner bargain hunter by discovering things on the cheap.

I’ll admit that our little jaunts are a fine line between pleasure and pain. Sometimes we hit the mother lode – that house with boys who’ve grown into Jr. High and no longer care about their Power Ranger action figures and Rescue Hero sets. Or some have a stash of lightly used sporting equipment that they no longer fit into. The mom sees us walking up her driveway and gets all misty eyed, remembering when her boys were little. I don’t want to say that we take advantage, but often she’ll suddenly start trying to give us everything her boys ever enjoyed for next to nothing. Those are the good houses.

But for every one of those houses there are five that are filled with cobweb covered cookie jars, tacky wooden coat racks and plastic framed kitten posters. Or even worse to my crew’s taste, racks of pink princess costumes and boxes of My Little Ponies and dainty little tea sets.

“Eww, Barbies!” one will yell while the other starts trying to pry the doll’s clothes off.

“Look, she’s naked! Hahaha!”

What can I say, they’re boys!

I will admit that I’ve always enjoyed stopping at sales myself, even without the kids, but these days I’m mostly resigned to only keeping a lookout for kid stuff. If for no other reason, it lessens the pressure to go to Toys R Us every week to buy something new. I don’t mind spending a buck for a new knights’ castle when it probably would cost $30 in the store. With three boys, we’ll get use out of it for a long time, but I can see the day coming when we will have to return the favor and have the granddaddy of all yard sales ourselves. When we do, I’m sure I’ll be keeping my eyes open for that dad toting his young boys down the drive, with eyes aglow like Christmas morning at all the treasures we have waiting for them.

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