Sometimes. If I'm not in a big hurry and there's a decent place to park and what I can see from the road looks promising.
I almost always stop for estate sales. That's how I wound up buying a sewing machine on the way to my sister's baby shower a couple of weeks ago.
We were headed to the casino for lunch yesterday when Alex and I saw another sign for the same house. Bill doubled back and parked in some loose gravel I never would've had the guts to take the van into, and hiked up the road with four kids in tow.
They hadn't unearthed any more sewing stuff, but Alex found half a dozen pairs of old screw back earrings, and I found some pairs for myself. (Did I post that we found my missing diamond earrings? And that I re pierced my own ears so I can wear them again?)
And I found a nifty pair of scissors --
Maybe it's the homeschooling mom in me, but what's with the "official school system design for smooth safe cutting" -- is that supposed to be a selling point?
We went and had a fantastic lunch and on the way home I saw the barn sale sign. We don't brake for barn sales. We drive five miles farther down the highway to find a safe place to turn around and then double back and drive as long as it takes to find the barn in question.
From the road, there was nothing to see, just a huge piece of orange fleece that had been spray painted BARN SALE and nailed to the side of the barn. Inside, there was all kinds of stuff.
I found a little wooden loom, and a pretty sparkly candy dish, and a prettier sparklier fairy light candle holder, and some very very old school books for twenty five cents each --
The one with the mermaid is copyright 1915, and the speller in the corner is copyright 1907 by the people of the state of California (huh?) I've got a science workbook from 1933 and another reader from 1911...and none of them smell a bit musty. I didn't realize how old they were until we got home last night -- now I'm wishing I would've dug a little deeper into those boxes.
I also found this one from 1948, "Covering the gamut of personal relationships from first date to last baby"
And there was a huge rubbermaid tub of sheets for five dollars, which I told Bill he had to buy for me and I'd explain later. I'd rummaged through just enough to see that there were lots of white sheets and quite a few vintage sheets, more than enough to be worth the five bucks. Surprisingly, Bill didn't ask questions.
When we got it home, I did an inventory. Eight white sheets, some of them with rips I'll have to work around, but it looks like I've got a ton of white squares-to-be here. Ten vintage sheets. Nine more newer sheets.
And what I thought was a set of lavender sheets was yardage -- twelve yards of nice cotton -- that's like a bolt of Kona! I have no clue what I'm going to do with that much lavender, but I'll figure it out.
I should not have been at all surprised that when I put the first batch of sheets into the washer, it gushed water on them and then refused to lock. What does suprise me is my newfound knowledge that Whirlpool was, according to the repair guy I talked to last night "handing out replacement washers like they were candy" two years ago. Wish I'd known that while they were stringing me along until my warranty ran out!
Turns out that if you unplug it for an hour, it resets something and tricks the door latch into working. Please cross your fingers that this trick will work long enough for me to get caught up on laundry!