Monday, July 10, 2006

Church Fairs

One of my favorite types of rummage sales are church fairs. The selection is usually large and varied - people emptying out the contents of their attic and basement to raise funds. The owners of these items are not usually present at the sale and therefore prices don't tend to reflect sentimental value.

I take my yearly pilgrimage to a church fair in a small town on the south shore of Massachusetts every July. They boast a huge variety of events and sales and fill a whole tent with treasures from books to glassware and other ephemera. However, the real treasures I believe are found in the basement sale they fondly call "Attic Treasures." I take my first tour on Friday afternoon, but the real deals can be found on Saturday afternoon when one can fill a bag (huge shopping bag) for $1! I start with the glassware and other knickknacks including old stationery and Christmas decorations and make my way over the tables piled with clothing. Some would have no interest in digging through others "trash" to find their treasures, but I consider it a challenge and am always rewarded. I fill my treasure bag until it is bursting at the seams and with a happy sigh leave my favorite basement until next year. (I should also mention that this was my first toddler toting year at the fair and while I have a delightful son, no toddler is all that interested in rummage sales. My wonderful husband donned our baby sling and entertained our tyke while I relished in my bargaining glory. Thank you Jason!)

This year, however the fun did not end in the basement. As we were leaving I noticed a sign on a tree reading "FREE". I tried to casually stroll toward the tree as there was no one around, but in actuality, that stroll was probably more of a dash. Okay, I dropped everything and ran... I looked down into the boxes as the base of the tree and couldn't believe my eyes, three beautiful glass punch bowl sets including, as I later would discover, 59 punch glasses! I have been mentally planning a SimplyJune shopping party for the Fall. I daydream about glasses of egg nog, funky jazz renditions of old Christmas carols and hostesses with vintage aprons and scrumptious hors d'oeuvres. Now I can serve punch! Further scouting through the "free" boxes revealed a set of plates marked "Rhythm by Homer Laughlin". The bowls are a bit worn and the platter has a small chip, but the design just drew me in. I did a little research and found that this pattern came out in 1955, but I think you will find its beauty transcends 50 years and could just as easily be sold today. I may have to search out some more of this set for my collection. As I sit here typing at the dining room table, I have it set with my new dinnerware. Jason, commented upon arriving home yesterday, "Are we having guests?". Though, I would gladly entertain guests, the table setting was merely for my own enjoyment.

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