A Summer Punderland

Exploring the deer-infested wilds of New Jersey.

I was back in New Jersey this weekend to celebrate a few more family birthdays, and while our yardsale trip was cut short because 1) the sales weren’t biting much this morning, and 2) none of us were able to get out of bed before 9:30, we still managed to do our fair share of picking through other people’s garbage.

Some sales were a bit more garbagey than others.

Here are some of the highlights:

And you thought driving while texting was bad. A coffee maker for your car! Haven’t you ever wanted to brew some Joe on the Go?

…Man, that would’ve been a MUCH better slogan than the one they went with: “Just plug into your LIGHTER SOCKET!!!!!” And hey, if you decided to pick that up…

You could always grab some “genuine” second-hand coffee filters from 1984 to go with it.

At the same sale: Continue reading

THE MOOOOOOOST, WONDERRRRFUUUULLL TIIIMMEEE

This past weekend I was visiting my parents’ house for Birthdayfest—that traditional time of year when all the summer babies in my family gather together, and mourn the fact that we were all born so close to each other and therefore don’t get our own special celebrations. It’s a somber, subdued event where we play games like “Pin the Tear on Your Own Cheek,” and  (later) “Ow, My Cheek!” I look forward to it every year.

Now, I’m not the only one in my family who enjoys going to yardsales—as I stated in my very first post here, I’ve been going to them ever since I was a little kid with my mom, and I was cute enough to get free things with just a sad pout and a “my mommy said it’s too expensive…” Practically any weekend we’re together at the ol’ homestead, the whole family (or at least, anyone who can wake up early enough) piles into Mom’s minivan for a fun-filled morning of stimulating the American economy, one quarter at a time.

…Even if it’s pouring rain. Which, as it turns out, it was this weekend. Most of the sales this past Saturday that weren’t outright canceled looked like a post-apocalyptic version of Hoarderswith junk hastily packed shoulder-deep into garages, scattered contents spilling onto the tables outside—tables that were circled over again and again by we intrepid yardsalers, in hopes that something worthwhile would finally reveal itself, if only we stared hard enough.

Sad bedpan.

After about an hour of this, that orphaned plastic lid was looking mighty tempting.

But I did discover one benefit to rainy-day yardsales that I hadn’t previously realized: There’s almost no competition for the quality goods. Most of the regular salers stay home, because they assume that all the sales will just be canceled. And true—many of them were. But many of them weren’t, and we were able to find a lot of choice (and not-so-choice) merchandise. Continue reading