Going on Pickin’ trips is one of my favorite past times. The thrill of the hunt gets me up early in the morning and keeps me going all day. Then Covid-19 hit. Crickets. Yep, no more pickin’ trips for me or anyone else. All that great stuff is just sitting in people’s barns, and garages, and sheds with no one to love it and give it new life. It makes me very sad. Of course when we lose something we love, we still have the memories of the beloved, so I have been looking back through pictures at some of my favorite items and the pickin’ trips that took me to them.
My fearless pickin’ buddy and I drove over to Georgia on a Thursday afternoon to get up crazy early and hit a large mutli-state yard sale Friday morning. We did a little shopping the night before and went to bed early to be rested for the next day. Buzzing with excitement, we got up about 5 am and hit the road. Not much to see at first, so we kept driving. Surely it was just too early. There will be more in the next town we would say. Let’s just keep moving. Then we would see people set up ahead and get all excited. When we reached them, they would have nothing but Sponge Bob pajamas. AHHH! Then we saw a big tent with tables loaded with piles of stuff. We went flying in on two wheels all excited to have found a spot with lots of stuff. I hop out of the truck while she turns the truck and trailer around. Yeah, we were dragging a trailer because we came to do some serious shopping. All giddy and excited, I start scanning the tables. Nothing. But. Junk. Yes, we love junk, but this was useless, ugly junk. Crestfallen, I start walking back to the truck. It was so bad I had already breezed through it all before she could get the trailer turned around. About three feet from the truck, I saw this cute little chair. A ray of hope. It will be broken I think to myself, but I stop to pick it up anyway. Oh, my! It weighs a ton. I jiggle it and nothing is loose. The price is right and the day FINALLY has something decent to offer. Sadly, the yard sale we drove hours for was pretty worthless. Finally, in an attempt to recoup some of our lost time and expenses, we go in a couple of antique stores. While in one of the stores, we ask the salesclerk if the pickin’ is any better in the next few towns and lament how few sellers are set up. A couple behind us hears our sob story and tells us they have come from the direction we are heading and it isn’t good. AHHH!! BUT then they tell us they own two large malls on our way home and to tell the manager they sent us and to give us a discount. Feeling defeated, we head toward the malls thinking it is unlikely to find much we can resell from other dealers. Much to our surprise the prices were really good, and we came home with a decent amount of stuff. It was this little beauty that turned our luck around.
Chippy corbels, white English ironstone, and trophy cups are things I love that are not very easy to find in my area. I have looked for months and even years without finding a single piece, and just when I am about to give up, one pops up to keep me going. These chippy corbels suddenly appeared in one of my haunts after YEARS of searching. I see them and hold my breath while I look for the tag. No tag. Not a good sign. I ask the mall owner for the price. Of course, she doesn’t know and will have to contact the dealer. I keep shopping unable to take a deep breath until I get the price. Finally, she comes towards me, and I swear I winced. No, way! The price is 1/3 of what I expected! Poker face! Poker face! Poker face! I tell myself as I calmly pick them up and walk to the counter. SCORE!!! And in the place I least expect it.
White English ironstone makes my knees weak. I simply can not resist it. It catches my eye. It winks at me. It’s just ridiculous. But there is not a lot to be found near me, and what I do find is usually priced higher than I care to pay. My rule is this: If I will cry when x amount of dollars is lying in shards on the floor, then do not buy it. I found platters and pitchers but not any of the elusive sugar bowls or sugar jars. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Then one fine day I stroll into a favorite booth and spy this perfectly crazed little jewel for only $5. My heart sang! I have since found bigger, nicer sugar jars, but this little sweetie was my very first find.
I remember the first time I saw a vintage trophy cup. That’s a little sad. Isn’t it? Oh well, no use pretending that things like that don’t have an impact on me. It was in the Men’s section of Parisians. Do y’all remember Parisians? I was stunned. It was gorgeous. I had to have one. Nobody but me would want these, so they will be really cheap, I think to myself. I start looking on eBay. Holy crap! $100, $200 for an old, used trophy?! Champaign taste and a Kool-Aid budget as usual. I give up on that idea very quickly. And like a Sponge Bob episode…seven years later I find this darling in a junk shop in the middle of nowhere and it IS cheap because no one else in that neck of the woods wanted an old, used trophy. This one is not a big, high falutin trophy, but like all my other things, it has a story. And isn’t that what pickin’ is all about?
Got any good pickin’ stories to share?