I love tag sales.  I especially love estate tag sales, ones where entire houses are being cleaned out. I think the sellers are more interested in cleaning out a house to ready it for sale than they are in making money and the deals are often better. I also have this picture of some elderly person, watching over her stuff and delighting in the good home found for her cherished sewing machine or cast iron skillet. I know when I pass on, I would hope my favorite things, purchased for durability and usefullness with grace another home. Anybody who throws my canner or my kerosene lanterns in the dump will have one ornery ghost to deal with.

Yesterday, my good friend, Leni, called with the unmistakable glee in her voice that signals either a find of fabulous mushrooms or a terrific junk sale. In this case it was the junk. Fortunately for both of us, my DH was home and not busy (the rain is putting a damper on many projects) and came along. There are times in you life when you really need a truck.

This was a wonderful tag sale. The woman who had passed away, a neighbor of ours, was really old and had never tossed out anything. I came away with some treasures. I got a covered roasting pan, a potato ricer, and the most beautiful pinking shears ever. The shears were still in the original box from Montgomery Ward with the tag still in the handle. There was a sharpener in the box and a lovely old cloth tape measure. The shears are razor sharp. I am not sure the had ever been used. I have long wanted pinking shears but could not find a pair that was sharp in my price range. Granted, my range is pretty low and the dollar I paid for these fit just right. I also got a magnificant pair of kerosene lanterns for ten dollars. These are huge. I have never seen any this large except in a Lehmans catalog. I don’t think these have ever been used. The oil reserves are still clean and the wicks fresh.  Bruce came away with a huge barrel, a bunch of wooden apple baskets with lids and a pile of berry baskets. My best deal was on a water bath canner for $1.00. I needed a pot for soap making and this will do just fine. Leni did as well as we did. She got 2 scythes, a gorgeous wind up clock, a pile of baskets and barrels and a whole lot of small things. She got a pile of small kerosene lamps for $.50 a piece. We are both scavengers of non-electric items and this place was full of them. We left behing a few things I might just go back for.There was a treadle sewing machine I really want and a huge crock. The crock was out of my price range at $50.oo. I would not dicker over the cost as the crock was well worth it and someone else might give them that much for it. There was a old wringer washing machine for $10.00 that was still used every day until old Esther died. I would have gotten that just because I loved it so but I have no place to put it. There was second one just like it that they plan to send to the dump as it doesn’t work. I might go back today and see if they will let me try to remove the wringer first. I could use that wringer. I also left behind a couple of Radio Flyer sleds and scads of kitchen equipment.

I have an honor code about tag saling. I don’t dicker over a fair price. I also don’t squabble if the family seems to be hard up for cash. If I found a treasure that the family did not know was a treasure, I would feel as though I was stealing to not inform them. On the other hand, if a seller seems mercenary and unpleasant, I will try to get my best deal and walk away rather than over pay, even if it’s for something I want. I have also learned to be reasonable, well, more reasonable. There is no point in buying something if you don’t need it just because the price is good. Useless clutter is the emeny of preparedness and self sufficiency.