Last week, having seen a notice for a barn sale on Craigslist, my friend, Robin, and I decided to take a ride. Robin copied the directions, and we set out at 8am, after the husbands and kids were off to work and school. We figured it would take about 40 minutes to get there.
Two hours later, we still hadn't found it.
Now here's the difference between men and women -- our husbands would have given up after 45 minutes. But this was a sale. We spent two hours looking for it. Two hours driving back and forth down the same five-mile stretch of road, past the same county road crew (who must have thought we were nuts!), occasionally detouring down side roads, seeing a whole lot of beautiful scenery but no barn sale. We found a thrift store in a nearby town, but it wasn't open.
Damn. We were ready to shop! Or at least browse.
Having armed ourselves with listings for nearby antique shops, we decided (finally) to give up and look elsewhere. That's how we ended up freezing our asses off in a barn. Yes, it is wonderfully ironic that we started the day looking for a barn, and managed to finish it, freezing in a barn. A really, really cold one.
We called first, to see if they were open, and to ask how big the selection was. We've gone to several big antiques "malls" lately, and are kind of spoiled for selection. After all, we are serious shoppers (wink, wink) and need some scope to test our mettle.
I won't tell you the name of the place, in case by some amazing karmic coincidence they happen to be reading this, but let me tell you about it. It was housed, as I have said, in a barn. At first, we couldn't find an open door. Then, a rather taciturn man came out of an adjoining building and opened it for us. We were his only customers. He told us to turn the lights on as we went, and admonished us to remember to turn them off again on our way out. Then, we entered.
Imagine the coldest place you've ever been, and multiply it by about five. That's how cold it was. Now imagine furniture that hasn't been dusted in, oh, a millenium or so. You get the picture. I bought a milk glass cup that had a dead bug in it, along with some suspicious small round brown things. Uggh.
The barn was a big, rambling place, with open stairways between levels, and holes in the floorboards. You could sometimes see 20 feet down to the floor below. As long as you kept your eyes on the merchandise, it wasn't too bad.
I found some vintage Christmas ornaments, in their original box. (See, Julie, you've got me in the mood!)
And five beautiful linen napkins with crocheted lace edging.
I also bought a small silver sauce boat to add to the collection, and a silver engraved cup. All the items were higher than thrift store prices, but not too bad.
They didn't charge extra for the bug.