Garage sales hold hidden memories

The real enjoyment is not actually finding the treasures – but walking among another’s treasures and musing.

Dawn Humpfreys

Zig Zag Girl

I love garage sales. Finding a treasure or two, some little something I really don’t need but, it’s only $2 … so I buy it and add to my future garage sale items.

The real enjoyment for me is not actually finding the treasures – but walking among another’s treasures and musing.

Feeling that, at some point in time, a certain item in some small or large way has been important to them.

Sometimes I’ll stumble upon a memory. A  familiar lamp just like my grandma used to have, or a plaque: “God bless this kitchen” like my mom has or,  a pair of rainbow suspenders that I insisted upon wearing when I was a teenager. (That phase thankfully,

only lasted through my Grade 7 year). Ah, the memories: the ones that make you cringe and the ones that make you smile.

I find garage sales and the division of items interesting: utensils, furniture, clothes, dishes and the toys.

The toys often are missing pieces and dented, nicked, and in need of cleaning or refurbishing. They aren’t worth much compared to a new toy. Some might argue that they should go in the garbage, having been so thoroughly “used.” But they do not go in the garbage – they are for sale.

Toys. It’s where my mind muses most.

When I see a battered teddy bear or a truck, scuffed with the markings of intense play, I start to make up stories in my head.

I think of the fond memories a parents’ or grandparents’ have – knowing what others might see and think as junk, but to them, the item has value and just can’t be thrown away.

I imagine a little Emily playing with her teddy bear, and serving it “afternoon tea.” The table set, and cups and saucers set out in order. “Molly” the bear, sitting up in a chair gazing happily as Emily pours the imaginary elixir of ladies of finery, evenly and carefully. The chit chat is simple with an elegant innocence that comes: “Why yes, Molly, it is delightful to see you too!”, “Oh, yes! It has been lovely this year!” “Want a cookie, they are freshly made and yummy?” Emily carries the conversation until it is jointly decided to go in and try to give the cat a bath.

Or, maybe the memories of little Jimmy. Playing and making a mini map of roads going here and there with his cars, trucks, and dump truck. Moving the earth with an excavator so that he, the contractor, and land developer, can put up his mini suburbia of log and Lego homes where his GI Joes can stay when on leave.

It’s the parents or grand ones that hear about the whispered beach landings, fort takings, tea parties and imagined fashion shows because they listened, and they loved.

Perhaps …when it comes to the toys, there is no mere item for sale.

After all a memory is more precious than just stuff.

•••

Dawn Humphreys is an East Sooke resident and author of the upcoming book Straight Talk from a Zig Zag Girl.

 

Just Posted

Alex Fiset and Cooper Oakes, both Grade 4, running to the finish, raising money for the ALS Society of B.C. (Zoe Ducklow - Sooke News Mirror)
John Muir students rally for ALS support

‘Hey ALS. Nobody likes you!’ the students yelled

Greater father involvement in the home leads to improved childhood development and increased marital satisfaction, says expert. (Black Press Media file photo)
University of Victoria researcher finds lack of father involvement a drag on gender equality

Working women still taking on most child and household duties in Canada

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of June 6-12. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
New COVID-19 cases up on Island, but health officials say trends going right way

There were 22 new COVID-19 cases in Greater Victoria last week after just four the week before

Eric White’s roadside farm stand in Metchosin sits stocked with produce. (Photo courtesy of Eric White)
Fledgling Metchosin farmer frustrated by thefts from stand

Eric White said every dollar made at the roadside helps sustain his farm

Helicopter crew members onboard HMCS Halifax conduct inflight refueling during Operation Reassurance in the Mediterranean Sea in 2020. Some of the military choppers flying around Greater Victoria recently are taking part in a special ops training exercise. (Photo by Cpl. Braden Trudeau/Trinity-Formation Imaging Services)
Special Ops exercise brings influx of helicopters to Victoria

Ontario-based air force unit comes to Victoria to train over ocean

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

The Co-op gas station at Whiskey Creek is burning after a camper van exploded while refueling just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Exploding camper van torches Highway 4 gas station between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni

Highway traffic blocked after Whiskey Creek gas station erupts into flames

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

B.C. Premier John Horgan leaves his office for a news conference in the legislature rose garden, June 3, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. premier roasted for office budget, taxing COVID-19 benefits

Youth addiction law that triggered election hasn’t appeared

Most Read