Imagine your perfect yard sale day. You wake, rested. It is a Saturday in early June. The air is warm and fragrant.
You start the morning with a delicious breakfast of dark roasted coffee and toast with honey. In the next room, your son says something remarkably witty for his age, making you smile.
He's watching Popular Mechanics for Kids and he begins telling you about magnetism. "Oh, I think I just heard Dad get up." Oh joy! You remember that your husband finally has a Saturday off work. He can watch your son as you hop on your trusty bike and head off looking for treasures.
You take off down the road, entering a dream-like trance on your bike. This doesn't look like the streets of your town. Where are you? You see a mysterious house with a tiny sign that reads, "Content Sale - All Items Must Be Sold." You lean your bike against a tree and wander in.
You can't decide if you've wandered onto a film set, or found yourself in the house of someone who died a long time ago. The first thing you see is a box filled with Art Deco rings and brooches - including a watch brooch. You've always wanted one of those. The sign says, $10.00, or your best offer. Feeling guilty, you pull out $20.00, but still, no one has appeared. A creaking sound comes from the second floor.
On another table lies an assortment of rare Pyrex items including an indigo-coloured vaporizer from the 1960s and a crimson casserole dish still in its original box. In another box, you find an assortment of black and white family photos. "Free to a Good Home." You are about to enter the kitchen, when a pale elderly woman appears. "Hello. Do I pay you?" She sits down on a coffee table. "If you wish. I just don't want to see any of this anymore. You're doing me a favour by taking it away." You want to ask her what her name is and find out about the house. Instead, you give her $40.00 and thank her. She smiles and shuts the door behind you.
You peddle down the road, still not sure where you are. At the end of the road, you see a stately white house on a hill. You've dreamt of living in a house like this. People are milling about at the back. The owners are selling off things like vintage glassware, sewing baskets, and handmade pottery. An umbrella stand catches your eye. "Hello. How much are you selling this for?" A man in grubby jeans and a trucker hat smiles. "Oh that old thing. My uncle bought that back in the fifties. It's probably worth a lot, but you can have it for five bucks." You squint at him. "Really?"
"Why, is that too much?"
"No. I thought you'd be asking more."
"Well, I'd buy it if you like it," he chuckles. "Or I might ask for more." You give him a fiver. Just on your way out, you spy the toy of your childhood - the Holy Grail of Fisher Price toys: Yes, it's the Fisher Price A-Frame with all the original accessories. A piece of masking tape is stuck to it. The price is $2.00. You give the scruffy man his money and as you get on your bike, you begin crying as all of your happy Fisher Price childhood memories come flooding back to you.
By this point, it's noon and you're hungry. A few blocks down the road, you spy the perfect sixties greasy spoon burger joint. You stop in for a Square Boy burger with onion rings and a Coke float. Bliss.
You realize that the sales will all be finished for the day, so you get on your bike to return home. Still not entirely sure where you are, you see a little log house down a side street.
Like Alice in Wonderland, you can't help but walk in the open door. Nothing is for sale, but an elderly potter sits by the window, reading a book. She should be calling the police, but instead, she invites you in to show you her sculptures. Her name is Vivian and she is in her eighties. She puts on the kettle and makes you a cup of tea. You talk for hours about art and nature. She shows you her garden and picks some vine roses for you to take home. After thanking her, you go outside and lie on the marshy grass trying to figure out where you are and how to return home. You pick up your bike, but it's laden with treasures and your heavy backpack makes peddling wobbly. You cycle down the muddy path behind the potter's cabin and a trail takes you into the woods. Dusk begins to fall.