There. Right there. The reason I don't play poker. (The winning hand is not mine.) Came across these while sorting and pricing items on Friday, and sat right down and played a few hands with wild abandon. I lost about $500 grand. But we sold the chips and decks of cards for $5, so my loss is only $499,995.
Patty Reed was 8 years old in 1846. She was a Donner Party survivor, and her doll was carried in her pocket on the long journey to California. It is on display in Sutter's Fort in Sacramento, California, but I used a replica in an antique handerkerchief box when I read the story to my fourth-graders. It now has a home, the doll, the box, and the book, with a happy little girl who came to the yard sale.
And speaking of teaching things...
That's a sad iron, on the left. (Google it, if you don't know.) The red-lidded jar is a Dazey butter churn from the early 1900s. My students made real butter in it during my pioneer immersion project. And that lard bucket? Pioneer kids had those as lunch pails way-back-when. The butter churn now lives in a new home with a grandma who is looking forward to making some butter with the grandkids.
My own grandmother's sweet, hand-stitched linens did not sell and secretly, I'm really grateful for that.
My beloved penguin. A martini shaker who made a lot of Cosmopolitans back in the era of Sex and The City will now shake drinks in a new home.
And the coolest part of the yard sale? Well, it's a town-wide one, and so lots of folks from our own town came by.
I met the appraiser-neighbor who appraised my home many years ago. He was eager to see what we are doing with renovation, and had marvelous ideas and suggestions for how to increase the monetary value without compromising the historical value.
I met the surveyor who has referrals for me for residential surveys. It's important for establishing boundaries because...well, random people follow the deer trails and end up on my property and in my yard.
I met Nancy, who has the absolute best haircut and the absolute coolest shades of pink in her hair - and I got the name and number of the artist who did it - a kitchen beautician - who is fabulous.
A lovely woman and her daughter thrilled to the sight of a herd of elk a few miles away early in the morning before the sale. They bought a number of things, but their story was what made me so happy that they stopped by.
A sweet offer came at lunchtime from a new friend who bought a number of things. Would you like me to bring you some hot dogs from the Veteran's Memorial hot dog sale? Seriously. Who makes that kind of thoughtful offer anymore?
And the local, hopping-at-lunchtime restaurant owners stopped by during a lull, and we had a fun visit on our gracious front porch. Lots of laughs and history exchanged - just interesting, pure fun.
A new friend stopped by and we made plans to walk the bridge together in the Veteran's Memorial Walk next weekend. She's a nurse with the Veteran's Administration, and a delightful person.
We were prepared with items displayed on borrowed tables, prepared with coin and bill change in our pockets, and we were prepared to bargain.
What we were not prepared for was the best part.
The interactions and laughter; the good-natured joking, interesting stories told, and the kind personalities making their way up the hill to us; happy people with marvelous history and connections to our own history. We ended the day with a strong sense of the identity and character of our community.
At the end of the day, we came away with more than some money in our pockets - we ended the day with a sense of place.