Saturday, August 04, 2007

Garage Sale Run

After checking Craig’s List for area garage sales, I picked a few within the same general area, mapped a route with Google Maps Pedometer and set out this morning to see what I could find for the house. I was carrying $70 cash, a check, ID, and business cards. My plan was that if I saw something cheap that I liked, I would buy it, leave a card and arrange pickup after my run. If the item was expensive, I would pay by check or give a cash down payment, leave a card and make the same arrangement for pickup.

It was a brilliant plan and I felt sooooo smart!

Too bad the sales mostly sucked.

The first one I went to wasn’t on my list—I was just trotting along and saw a sign. There wasn’t much there except clothes and dishes, both of which I’ve got plenty of.

The first sale from my list was deep in the Rice Village area. The lady had an intriguing selection old books, some free, some only one or two dollars apiece. I was tempted by the 1896 encyclopedia set, but I envisioned the look on Dan’s face if I told him I had acquired yet another large, heavy non-essential to lug to our new home, so I passed. I think I’m going to regret it, too. Since there was nothing else that caught my eye, I went on my way.

The next sale was in the Museum District. It had some nice stuff, but once again nothing of any real use for my house. There were lots of lace curtains still in their original packages, but I’m not a lace girl. The grill they were selling was of a sort I might’ve been interested in for myself, but I had a vision of Dan getting manly and informing me that now that we had a proper yard and deck he wasn’t messing with no wimpy girlie grill. I found a heavenly vintage black ‘50s dress with taffeta underskirt, but I’m on a clothes-buying moratorium and besides, I already have a couple of vintage ‘50s dresses with taffeta underskirts that I don’t wear. Getting another would give Dan an excuse to roll his eyes and point out that I’ve got enough clothes to outfit a small country, so why do I need yet another dress?

On to the next sale.

The last one had a few electronics that caught my eye, and some nice pictures. But I think I have enough pictures, and until I move in I won’t know what I really need. As for electronics, I really do have enough. And by now I was dripping sweat so I didn’t want to pick over the clothes. There was a floor lamp that was kind of cool, but it didn’t look like it would fit my décor. I did end up buying a small rug, though, which I think will look exactly right in my kitchen. And for $5, if it doesn’t work after all, who cares?

After I paid for my rug, I got into a chat with a member of the civic association for the neighborhood putting on the sale. He and his partner are active in the community, fighting the developers who are indiscriminately tearing down the nice older homes of the Montrose area and putting up cheap overpriced construction in their stead. Boy, did we have a lot to talk about! It’s heartening to see people fighting for weird, funky Montrose, where you can be whoever you want to be, and it’s all cool.

I ran back to the bayou trails via Montrose, which is something I’ve never done in all these years I’ve been running through the neighborhood. I thought about how I’ll miss living in this area I’ve called home for more than two decades. But a house like the one I’m buying would cost four times as much in Montrose or the Heights. Out of my league, on my university management pay. I won’t be far away, though. And my little university faculty neighborhood has that same Montrose/Heights feel that I love—a sense of appreciation for the past and a willingness to live and let live.

Just before I got to the bayou trails, I stopped at a favorite cemetery on Montrose. It’s old and tucked in a funny little urban corner, like the cemeteries of New England. There’s a grave I like to visit, of two teenage girls who were killed in the Galveston Hurricane of 1900. They were sisters, one almost sixteen, the other just turned thirteen. Their double stone has a poem on it about the storm that killed them, and how what was supposed to be a fun weekend holiday became an early death. I don’t know why I like this grave so much, but I’ve visited it off and on for as long as I’ve lived in the area, and I took flowers on the hundred-year anniversary of the storm.

I finished my run feeling like I was wrapping up a chapter in my life. I’ll still have close ties to Montrose and the Heights, and I’ll still do my shopping here and some of my running. But it’ll now be an area I visit, not the area I call home. The way it’s been trending toward cheap gentrification and phoniness over the last few years, there’s been less and less of what I moved here for in the first place. But people like the guy I talked to at the garage sale are fighting back, saving the old, the funky and the unique.

I hope they succeed. And it will be an interesting adventure to see where this next chapter in my life takes me.


Chairman Mao said...

Yur move sounds so ecksitin'! I wonder if Tidbit is ecksited, too? I bet she'll love the new housie when she gets good and settled and will do a great big Bunny Flop! hehe

Kittyhugs and purrs from MaoMao!

Thomma Lyn said...

Hi, bunnygirl! Sounds like an exciting time -- I'm so happy for you. And yes, I'd go for old, funky, and unique over cheap gentrification and phoniness any time.

That's so touching about you visiting the grave of those teenage girls who were killed in the Galveston Hurricane, and bringing them flowers.

I hope you're having a wonderful Sunday!

Crabby McSlacker said...

I love the idea of garage sales, but I never seem to have much luck finding stuff I need! I'm always envious of other people's finds, but don't seem to have good garage sale Karma myself.

You new house sounds great! And I'll be curious to see your father's Spain pictures. (And for the record, I love your avatar--the world needs more bunnies, as far as I'm concerned!)

bunnygirl said...

Thomma-- Yeah, I've got a sentimental streak. Don't tell on me, okay? I have to keep up my rep as a Cold-hearted Capricorn!

Crabby-- ITA. The world needs lots more bunnies!

txrunnergirl said...

Great idea to run the sales! I'll have to try it. BTW, where is that cemetary? I love stuff like that.

bunnygirl said...

The cemetary is on Montrose at Dallas, behind a wall. The girls' grave is a double headstone in the second or third large plot on the left, after making the first right.

Leslie said...

This entry reads like a page or two in a book that I'd really enjoy. The main character is such a likeable sort.

Spidey said...

Maybe you are the reincarnated soul of one of the sisters or a relative?

Mommymeepa said...

I found your blog through Siren's blog and loved this entry. I have a question, did you run with your rug? :-) I agree with Leslie this read just like a novel. Ever thought of writing?

Later, Melissa