Sunday, April 22, 2012

An Interesting Adventure...

Today was a day that I bet will never ever be repeated during the rest of my life! It all started innocently enough...leave from to pick up my sister-in-law and go to a flea market in Armada (which is about a half hour north west of her house)... spend a couple of hours sorting/digging through the booths of treasures...hopefully bring home some treasures...and grab a late lunch and come home.

Somehow it didn't turn out like that! While we were at church, Kevin decided he wanted to go too, so we left his car in the parking lot and took off in my bigger vehicle. We got to his sister's house and since I had texted them that Kevin was going, her husband decided he wanted to go too.

They just wanted to make one stop on the Caribou Coffee. Since today is Earth Day, if you bring your coffee mug to Caribou Coffee, you can get your mug filled up for free. That was the first turn in a crazy, mixed up roller coaster ride of a day!!

On the way to get the free coffee, we saw a sign that said "Estate Sale", and you KNOW we had to stop---right? We stopped, but it was all newer, high priced, high end stuff. It was at a home of an interior decorator, so it had a LOT of stuff, but not stuff I was interested in.

As we were leaving the sub, (to go get the free coffee), we came upon a house with an old cane rocker and some boxes of junk sitting in the front yard. I asked my sister-in-law if she would grab that rocker for me. She said "Sure" so fast, I think she had her seat belt off and was opening her door before I had totally stopped the car! Ha!!

As she got out, the woman who owned the house came out with more "junk", so she asked her if we could have the rocker, or if it was out there for another reason. The lady said that all the stuff was free, and to help ourselves!!! She said she was going to be bringing out a lot more stuff including 3 couches if we were interested.

We picked through the stuff, loaded my car and took off for the free coffee. We finally got the free coffee, stopped back at their house to unload my full car, and took off to find the flea market. It was a beautiful day-lots of blue skies and gorgeous sunshine. We didn't care that it was only 50 degrees outside, we were on a mission to find some good junk treasures!! As we drove, we talked, and talked and talked. We got all caught up on what's been going on the past couple of months since we've seen each other, and we blabbed away about our free trash treasures.

When we finally arrived at the flea market...they were all loading up!! BUMMER!!! How do I know they ALL were loading up? Because there were only about 4 or 5 vendors...not the 250 that several places on the internet bragged about! What a disappointment!! We drove all that way...for NOTHING! Well, not really nothing...we had great fun chatting and catching up. We passed a lot of old, beautifully restored homes, some interesting farms, and we went to a new part of the state that we'd never been to before.

As we were getting closer to my sister-in-law's house, she said she wanted to go back to that house with all of the junk outside to see if the lady brought more stuff out. Since Kevin sat in the car the first time, TOTALLY mortified, he refused to go. So just my SIL and I went. As we pulled up, there were 4 other cars there, and people all over the place digging through the stuff!

Some people were coming out of the house with bins of food! Even refrigerated and frozen food!! My SIL asked a lady if she was family there to help out, and the lady said no, she was just driving by and stopped and the lady of the house told them to come on in, because EVERYTHING in the house was free and had to go!!!

My SIL said "C'mon", and walked in the open front door!! I was very cautious, because this whole thing seemed kinda weird (don't you think so too??) so I kind of hung back, but she kept saying c'mon as she was walking, so I followed her in. She found the homeowner and told her what the lady outside said and asked if that was true, and the homeowner agreed that everything in the house had to go, it was all free except a couple little piles of stuff she was keeping.

The house was mostly empty. All of the big stuff was pretty much gone. The homeowner took us upstairs to the bedrooms and we found a black Crate and Barrel desk that was covered in stickers and had some scratches on it. So I asked if that was free, and she said yes! So, we started toward the stairs with it!! One of the men who was picking junk too helped me carry it down the stairs and to the car.

After that we went to the basement where one whole room had the center of it filled with boxes in a line that was about 15 feet long and about waist high. I started digging through the boxes and found a tripod for my camera and a few other little things, when I came across some boxes marked "Kitchen" and "Dishes". Everything was wrapped so my SIL said we should just take the whole box and sort through them all at her house, and whatever we didn't want, she would take to her church's rummage sale that was coming up.

We loaded her van with the desk, a ratty old chair (that will be perfect for a plant to sit on outside in the yard this summer), another old rocking chair, a few boxes full of stuff, and a tin hot dog sign! She called her husband to come over, because her van was so full-there wasn't any room for me to sit!!! He came over, but decided to make a couple of passes through the house. They found a computer in the basement (that is better than the one he currently has) and asked the homeowner and she said, yes, it's free!

So after a few more trips with a weight set, golf clubs, a gas can, a computer, and other treasures, we decided we were starving and went for pizza and headed back to the house to inhale some food for energy and sort through our pickings!

Most of the stuff in the boxes will be going to the church rummage sale. I think only about 1/8 of one box was worth saving once we unwrapped it all. It will be good stuff for the rummage sale though, and the church will appreciate the little bit of money it will bring in.

So...while the flea market turned out to be a bust...the curbside shopping was incredible and it was all FREE!!! I just got a text from my SIL, and they went back after we left and dug through the bags (that we helped her carry to the curb while we waited for the BIL to come so we could leave). She said they found Prada, Coach and Cash in the trash bags at the curb!!! Hopefully she will send me some pictures so I can see what the found!!

Is that CRAZY or WHAT!?!?!? One of the men there told me he does this kind of estate clean-out all the time and he had already done 3 today before that one!! He said he still had one more to go, but was too tired to do it, and was hinting to me that we could go there and that the stuff was all free, they just wanted someone to take it away. I've never heard of that before-have you?? I just smiled and nodded and didn't bite, but I'm sure he would have given me the address if I had asked.

It certainly turned into an adventure I never dreamed in a million years that we would have today-or any other day for that matter! How weird is that?!?!? The homeowner kept thanking me for helping her carry out the bags from the garage...I thought it was the least I could do since she was giving us all the junk stuff for free!!

Here is the rocker that grabbed my attention on the side of the road, and the thing that started this whole roller coaster ride of a day!!

Here are the other things I picked up...
 Hulk hands-so Kevin can be just like his hero Sheldon.

 A tool box full of stuff!

 A brand new Peter Rabbit set still in the Hudson's box with the receipt from 1997.

 Nativity set that all heads are attached and intact-unlike my current set.

 Starbucks City mug-Amsterdam.

 Cement mortar and pestle.

 Made in Ireland pewter mugs and shot glass.

 New, unused food scale.

 Metal basket.

 Vintage Martha Stewart weddings book.

 Ratty old chair for flowers in the yard!

 A folding blanket/multi-purpose thing in pouch.

 Old oak pressed back rocker.

 Metal sign-1991-still has plastic vacuum sealed on it.

 Tri pod and tire pump.

Three crocheted baby blankets.

 Boxes full of wrapped glassware and stuff.

I left the desk there to see if my nephew who is in the Coast Guard on the west side of the state might want it...otherwise, I'll go back out and pick it up.

What would you have done? Would you have stopped? If yes, would you have gone back? Or would you have gone in the house? Isn't that just crazy?!?!? What a day!!!


  1. I've never heard of such a thing. Of course, I would of done exactly what you did! But, I would of probably been hyper-ventilating!!

    Armada Flea Market... is an excellent market. I think you need to get there early... and if I understand they close around 1. Maybe because it was cold and windy... vendors packed up early? Go back in the summer... I think you'll be happy you did.

    Also, have you heard of Collette's in Burton? It's 60,000 sq. for antique/vintage mall. I have a double booth there. LMK, if you want details...

    Michele over at Smile, Wink, Nod.

    1. Hi Michele!
      Thanks for letting me know it's worth another trip! I read online that they closed at 3! I'm glad you told me they close at 1. That was what time it was when we finally got there!!

      I'll give it another try later in the summer.

      I've never heard of Collette's!!! I'd LOVE to go!! I'll Google it, and if I need more info, I'll send you an email.


  2. Heck yes I would have stopped and called in reinforcements! Use or repurpose what you can and donate the rest.

    1. I would have called reinforcements in if I knew anyone else who lived out that way!!! Everyone I know lives at least an hour away from there!! :)

  3. That is crazy! You sure got some great stuff! Hulk Hands! Awesome! (Reminds me of "Step Brothers"!

    1. Hi Chelsea!
      My husband loves Sheldon from Big Bang Theory-that's why I picked them up! :) Normally they wouldn't be something I'd go for, but I laughed all the way home thinking of seeing his face when I pulled them out of the box!

  4. That was INCREDIBLE! I wish I could have been there digging too! What is better that junk? Free Junk! Way to go.

  5. Wow, what a bizarre story! I would have gone nuts! You got some useful stuff, too.

    Thanks for your suggestion regarding my "Howdy" letters....I'm having fun with the whole situation!


  6. Why can't I find somewhere like that?! (Sorry, very late comment. New reader just skimming your archives!)