You probably had no idea, but last weekend was the Lincoln Highway Buy-Way series of garage sales stretching from PA to who knows where (somewhere out in Indiana no doubt). And it ran right through my little town.
I love garage saling to start with. I’m good at finding deals, I think, merely because I’ve been to so many growing up, with my parents. So I rejoice to have so many garage sales and church rummage sales going on for my enjoyment!
Except that they all occurred over the same very busy weekend which included a wedding to attend, two and a half hours away. Not that I’m complaining about the wedding at all! But I would rather have had my cake and eaten it too, ya know? So, at the same time that I was snapping pictures of the garage sales for the newspaper and planning the weekend’s wedding voyage, I perused the various cast-off articles for sale and tried to decide what I really needed and what would have been more of a “hey, this is cool and I’m bored” purchase.
In the end, I bought a few basket-fillers for my friend’s wedding gift, but I mostly purchased things for myself (as always, oh well).
My favorite find was this gloriously pied lightweight blanket. (Pied. Awesome word. You know the Pied Piper of Hamelin? He wore a multicolored coat!) It’s like a sarape, only bigger and more brightly colored—a rainbow on steroids. It was big enough to cover my long twin bed, and I had needed to toss the old fall-weather blanket a while ago because it got shredded somehow. I’d blame it on the wringer-washer but I’ve hardly seen one, much less owned one.
So here I was, at the church rummage sale staring at this fabulous blanket, and somebody mentions it’s probably wool. Do I really want to buy a blanket that requires special care? Could I just survive using the heavy comforter when it turns a bit chilly in September? Is this just something I’m buying on impulse because it’s pretty?
The blanket called to me. (It needs uss. We takeses good care of blanket, yess, we does.)
Its rainbow colors bored into my pupils and reached the deepest regions of the brain where reason can’t reach and emotion rules the roost. The oh-so-straight beams of color commanded my approach, like a Roman centurion standing tall. The apparent immensity of the blanket drew me in. This was no mere 54” by 60” lap blanket. It had the potential to be taller than I am.
And, by the decrees of fate, I touched the blanket and it held me fast. I tell you, this thing stuck like flypaper. I couldn’t put it down. I held it all the way up, raising my arms as high as I could to get the full effect of the color. I waved it around a bit, and draped it around my shoulders to gauge its potential for couch-potato warming. Oops, dragged it on the floor.
I ran through all the reasons I shouldn’t buy it. I already have a comforter, this pied blanket won’t be easy to clean, it won’t match the Hawai’ian curtains in my room at all, I’m not even sure how long this thing will last me. Dumb reasons, really.
In the end I purchased the mesmerizing blanket, along with a couple lamps. The lamps were purely functional, rational purchases—the clip lamp was destined either to be my bed lamp or the vanity lamp, and the desk-type lamp was, obviously, eminently fitted to light my desk area.
And what do you know? Five days later, the night-time weather turns chilly, and I ‘m sitting in my living room watching some movie or other when I realize I need a couch blanket. I fetched the couch blanket—a purple favorite my aunt knitted for me a couple years ago—and realized, “I’m actually going to need that pied blanket!”
I slept comfortably that night and every night since. But I still haven’t put light bulbs in the lamps yet…