Something about garage sales, the opportunity to get something cheap, always has me bringing home something like a second blender missing a blade or two. Why? You might ask. And the answer would be, because I could afford it and it was there. Between me and my husband who is equally addicted to a bargain, we have a garage full of wobbly-legged stools, listing lamps, power tools that just need a little something, and of course that loveseat we couldn’t pass up. That now is a prime place for the rats to raise their families (see previous blog entry, A Better Rat Trap)

Yeah, more crap!

I have actually been more of a giver than receiver of garage sales, until a recent one we had to raise funds for our nonprofit, KeikiCupboard. We had to work so long and hard for that three hundred bucks I said, “Never again” and I’ve sworn it off no matter how tempting it might be to throw a sheet out in the driveway and decorate it with spare crap I need to get rid of anyway. Most of which I got at garage sales.

Garage saleing in Hawaii is almost an Olympic sport. The hard-core bargain hunters get the Saturday paper super early and wait in the dark in the parking lot at Foodland, circling the ads with a highlighter pen. Woe to you if you aren’t done setting up when they descend, right about when it’s beginning to be safe to turn off the headlights because the sun is coming up. These shameless sprinters love to catch you before you have your stickered items out and make offers in loud, hectic pidgin “What you like for dis?” when all you want to do is get that first cup of coffee and maybe something other than your bathrobe on.

Now that I’m no longer giving garage sales, I’m enjoying being a shopper, keeping my list in hand so I’m not tempted by that weedwhacker missing an on/off switch. When you go garage saling in Hawaii, it’s a opportunity to see how the other people in our ‘salad bowl’ live. I enjoy exploring neighborhoods I never knew existed, looking for those elusive fluorescent green signs with the wobbly arrow, or the rugged sides of cardboard boxes shouting, “MOVING SALE AHEAD!”

It’s kind of like a treasure hunt, and there’s a jostling eagerness about it as Tongans, haoles, Filipinos, Hawaiians, Gautemalans, Japanese and Micronesians rub elbows and haggle over the rump-spring couch with the recliner on one end at the fancy house in Kula none of us would have been able to look at, let alone tromp through, without the GARAGE SALE HERE sign on the front lawn.

It’s kind of like jury duty that way- brings out the whole demographic. Oh, and sometimes you really find a good bargain. I’m sure The Hubby can fix that weedwhacker…

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