Dreams left behind in Boxes

As the sun begins to set on our lives . . . “In a melody that rings Like the tunes we used to play, And our dreams are playing yet!” One of the most common items found in Estate Sales a…

Source: Dreams left behind in Boxes

Dreams left behind in Boxes

IMG_0099.jpgAs the sun begins to set on our lives . . .

“In a melody that rings

Like the tunes we used to play,

And our dreams are playing yet!”

One of the most common items found in Estate Sales are lovely things that have never been used and are still in the boxes they were bought in.  They are things the living don’t have the heart to part with or may have forgotten in a back closet as part of a dream that never quite made it off the back burner.

More common are the ‘good’ sets of silverware or china, reserved for company that rarely if ever arrives.  Those sets are usually found in their original boxes put away for the day they can be proudly displayed.

IMG_0241.jpgWhatever happened to those dreams of the person who made all those purchases and never quite fulfilled them in their lifetime will never be known, but new dreams are now being passed on to the living through the estate sale and repurposed by the ones who buy them at discount.  The items of these dreams may go into a collection and preserved for future generations to gaze at or worn and used by their new owners.

IMG_0576.jpg I too am guilty of boxed dreams and sometimes I find I need to downsize them.  I donated many new items I had bought over time at the sales and packed away in my own closet and gifted more to people I know will use them and appreciate them.  That may not be the reason I bought them at the time but it was still a success.  Everything and everybody has their destiny.

In the end, it’s the joy of living that counted.


A Passing Hail Let us rest ourselves a bit! Worry? -wave your hand to it- Kiss your finger-tips, and smile It farewell a little while Weary of the weary way We  have come from Yesterday, Let us fre…



A Passing Hail

Let us rest ourselves a bit!

Worry? -wave your hand to it-

Kiss your finger-tips, and smile

It farewell a little while

Weary of the weary way

We  have come from Yesterday,

Let us fret us not, instead,

Of the weary way ahead.

(Riley Songs O’Cheer)


It is always a good time to start searching and collecting gold.  Today treasure hunters move through estate sales, yard sales, flea markets, thrift shops, and anything and everything of the sort.  Laws have made the old fashioned digging for treasure hunts nearly obsolete, legally.  Diving to wrecks under the sea also has it’s legal limits and often prohibitive costs.  However, what you find in an old house is not limited.  Salvagers have become the new treasure hunters of the day, people who clean out homes for the banks and real estate companies and even estate sale agents who clean and organize the sales.  Treasure hunting has always been hard work and requires extensive travel.  However, the easiest way is to treasure hunt and still enjoy the comforts of home is to cruise the sales.


It can sometimes be work but it’s also fun to go out poking though a sale.  I quite enjoy walking though the mansions and beautiful homes of our grand country looking for a treasure I can use in my own home and sell for a few bucks more in eBay.  Of course, knowing you stuff is very helpful but if you don’t know your stuff you learn along the way.  Everybody has their trials and errors.  Cruising the sales are usually the least expensive way to learn your lessons and with everything on the internet these days and mobile technology, many mistakes can be avoided.  If you get fooled anyway, well, look at it this way, “You Win Some, You Lose Some.”


Don’t let what you think is a bad sale put you off.  Agents are all different, some set their prices too high, and some price it to go.  People don’t always know if what they have is real or paste or what the price should be. Agents are not  experts in everything and if one doesn’t want to talk to you when you do know something and flat out refuse to come down in price, don’t fret, just walk away.  From their point of view they think you’re just trying to low-ball them.  They get people everyday trying to squeeze a deal and who’ll tell them anything to get it. You can always make an offer and if they still say no, you can come back at the end of the day to ask one more time. Remember though, there is always another day and another sale.  S0,dig through those piles of jewelry in clumps on the tables, you never know what has been passed up as junk.  And most of all, don’t give up because sometimes if it is too good to be true, look again, it just might be!


9465378.jpgThis chair is probably more comfortable than it’s original, probably cane, seat and back.  The repair was done using a simple technique known as Macrame.  The Victorians used Macrame for numerous everyday uses including curtains and shades for windows, room dividers, bedspreads, and tablecloths.  Patterns were often the creation of the weaver, but patterns in books or online can be found and modified if one wants something more unique.

IMG_0569During the 1970’s Macrame was popular for hanging plants.  There were some elaborate designs then too.  Could the days of hanging gardens be making a comeback?  As the Mobile generations living in lofts and sleek apartments without yards, hanging plants add an attractive warmth to the cityscape view windows.

I remember the collections of painted Mexican pots that sat on the ledges of windows, balconies and walls in Southern California during the 1970’s.  The pots were decorated with lovely scenes of desert landscapes, animals and the daily lives of people.  These pots are hard to find now and few have managed to make it through the decades.  I see one or two on eBay sometimes and even bought one once, but the damp Minnesota weather ruined the painting even though I did keep it indoors.  This reminds me that some things are regional.  What works in one place doesn’t always work in another, but then again, travel is never anything to regret.



IMG_0560.jpgThe 2016 June issue of National Geographic features a story about the Antiquities Trade.  It is a reminder of the ancient treasure that may still be found in the common flea markets, yards sales, auctions and estate sales.  It is also a reminder that even reputable auction houses and museums are not immune to the trade in looted artifacts, some even fakes. Often we don’t know we have a treasure and sometimes even the experts can’t tell.

Israel Armenian pottery 048This Mayan mask was found in a yard sale and bought very cheap and then resold on eBay at a profit.  The eBay buyer may have made a profit too if they sold it to a museum or high paying collector.  Who knows?  IMG_0562.jpgI have seen replicas of this replicated ancient oil burning lamp in museums.  This was bought at an estate sale.  Lost treasure can still be found: a scrap dealer in 2014 had bought a rare Faberge Egg that turned out to be one of the missing eight imperial eggs in a midwest flea market.  That sold for millions!  There was a couple out walking their dog one day when the dog dug up a couple of canisters of gold coins that had been buried under a tree.

When treasure is looted there is a part of the human story that is lost in the loss of it’s provenance.  However, some will argue that the object was a rescue from an unstable country, such as during the time of war or the deliberate destruction by the terrorist group ISIS in 2015 during their systematic cultural degradations.

“Collectors, like museums, safeguard the cultural property of humankind, which source countries often fail to protect.”  (NG June 2016)


Harper Lee, David Bowie and Prince

IMG_0538With the recent deaths of some well known artists original works and items related to them go up in price.  Prince’s movie Purple Rain sold out all over the nation, as did everything David Bowie and Harper Lee.  Yet, the finds are still out there.  This 1st edition of To Kill a Mockingbird is selling on eBay for an average of $40, though I’d seen some trying to fetch thousands.  This one I found at an estate sale that I just happen to see passing by.  $1.00!  Of course I’m going to list it on eBay and get what I can for it.  I have a modern, less valuable copy I can read too.  As with everything eBay, it what actually gets bids and sells that sets the price, those guys asking $12,000?  Maybe someday?

The yard sale bonanzas are on folks.   Get on out there and join the fun!

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