My late father, Graham Taylor, loved a good garage sale. He would drive miles to pick through odds and ends. Never did a sale go by that he didn’t return with a treasure chest (actually it was his red truck) bursting with gidgets and gadgets. Sometimes he would even return with the odd live animal perhaps a dishwasher for a cool $5.00 or a much needed tea set. You never knew what would accompany him on his return.
He loved garage sales and would often marvel at what people would sell. He would giggle away as he shared stories about buying a crystal water jug for $2.00. He would tell us how he was sure the seller had no idea it was crystal and what a steal he got. Then of course there were the old books, that now line the shelves of my mothers home. My father was a man who loved the written word. He knew his grandchildren loved to read as well and for him, finding a box of classics on a table for $10.00 was hard to pass up. I must admit, just last night my daughter cracked the cover of one of his book buys. She loves to read them and is reminded of him with every page she turns. Every once in awhile the kids are surprised with a hand written note on the inside. Grandpa always made sure he documented things, even down to the smallest of events and here my kids are treated with yet another memory of a great man.
Whilst we were living in Wolseley (a few years ago) there was a garage sale in town. Dad was up and wanted to get there early because he knew it was going to be a good sale. The lady hosting it had three children, so my father new that there would kids toys and more. He wanted to dive in and make a few purchases that would put smiles on his grandchildren’s faces.
My mum and I stayed home and let my dad have his fun. After about 30 minutes of being away we heard the kitchen door open. There was laughter and the kids were anxious to see what grandpa had bought. He pulled out toys and trinkets and of course, books. There was one purchase that seemed a little odd, almost like the saying ‘one of those things is not like the other’. He had bought a pair of Mukluks for $1.00. He pulled the Mukluks out and with perfect form created an impromtu presentation ceremony and presented them to my daughter Sophia. You see, my father knew how much Sophia loved fashion. He saw something in these used Mukluks that said ‘Sophia’.
To my surprise my daughter squealed with excitement, wrapped her arms around grandpa’s neck and thanked him over and over. Now, fast forward 3 years and these well used Mukluks have been, since the first day of receiving them, her everyday shoes. She has been stopped by the most fashionable women in shops and on the streets of many cities to ask where she purchased them. Mother’s at school comment on her style and how much they like them and girlfriends ask to borrow them. Who would have guessed that a pair of $1.00 Mukluks bought from a garage sale could create such conversation and in some cases even coveting.
This past weekend our family was in Edmonton attending our son’s soccer tournament. Between games we braved the West Edmonton Mall for some retail therapy. Whilst shopping my daughter was (once again) stopped in her tracks by a fellow female shopper and was asked where she got her Mukluks. She responded by saying, “My grandfather bought them for me for $1.00 at a garage sale.” The girls face flashed with shock and responded by saying, “I’ll buy them from you for $50.00.” To which Sophia replied by saying, “No thank you, I really like them.” We parted ways and as we did, we marvelled at the lure of these Mukluks.
We carried on shopping and an hour later bumped into the same girl again. This time she greeted Sophia with, “Okay, I really want those Mukluks. Can I offer you $100.00 right now and you can go and buy any new shoe you want?” Sophia graciously replied, “Thank you but no thanks, these are really special to me.” We parted ways and again we marvelled at the conversation surrounding the hand-made footwear.
Who would have thought that my father’s $1.00 purchase at a garage sale would create so much conversation. As her mother I’m not sure that it’s the Mukluks that really shine, rather I believe it’s the beautiful girl that walks in them that gives them their lustre. These Mukluks are special because they were the last gift my father ever gave my daughter. The gift had almost no monetary value to them but it was a gift from the heart. My father SAW who my daughter really was, he took the time to know her and now through these $1.00 Mukluks and the attention they bring, she is reminded every time she wears them how much she was and is loved. How her grandfather saw her and that’s a gift that no one can buy, no one can ever take away or touch because it’s locked in the secret place in her heart.
One girls trash truly can be another girls treasure.
You can read more posts from Susan at getreallive.com