Finding treasures, yard-sale style


Yard sales can be magical places where your needs can be addressed on a budget. And they can be downright fun family outings.

For the most part, that’s what took place for the Corcorans on Saturday.

We needed a few items for the new office of The Chatham Voice, and thought going to yard sales would be an excellent way to accomplish this on a budget.

Besides, I took my daughter yard sale hunting last summer we had a blast.

This time around, I suggested the idea to my wife (also our office manager) and daughter, and received thumbs up, but with a caveat.

“If you plan on going before 9 a.m., call me at that time and I’ll catch up,” my wife said.

She’s not exactly in favour of crawling out of bed before 8 a.m. on a Saturday.

So I awoke Saturday morning and hit Kijiji to map out our plan of yard-sale attack. By about 9 a.m., I had my route ready. Now all I had to do was mobilize the troops.

They surprised me by already being up and active.

Armed with a full stomach, we set off, looking for a small table and microwave for our lunchroom, among other wishes.

First stop: Carney Place in the north end of Chatham. First house: A table, and … snow sled?

Yep, snow sled. We picked up the sled, a Ski-Doo model, because our quest for sleds last year near Christmas was laughable as we encountered little more than empty shelves.

And to think I almost didn’t get out of the truck. As we pulled up, AC/DC’s Highway to Hell came on the radio.

“We should stay in the truck and crank it,” I joked.

My wife and daughter just rolled their eyes.

But I was only half joking. I don’t think many yard salers listen to Highway to Hell …

After checking out another couple of sales on Carney, we rolled down Victoria Avenue, heading towards a sale on Wiltshire. But, as is always the case when you go bargain hunting on a Saturday morning, we hit an unadvertised sale.

No luck.

On to Wiltshire, then McNaughton (no parking), followed by Cedarwoods, Valley Road, and then Michener. No microwave, but a sweet set of dishes for the lunchroom at a sale on Valley Road, which is one of the most confusing streets in Chatham.

I actually left Valley Road simply by driving straight at one point. Suddenly, I was on Windfield Crescent, and I had to turn around. And what street did I encounter just after the yard sale spot? Windfield Crescent again.


I think the folks who designed many of the subdivisions in Chatham spent too much time experimenting with chemicals as teenagers. Straight lines aren’t bad things, people!

But I digress. After Michener, my wife found it rather warm outside (I stupidly and sarcastically say that’s what happens when you get a late start yard-saling).

So began the Saturday edition of what my sister-in-law calls “The Bruce and Mary Show.” It’s basically the trade of some light sarcasm, with no real anger.

That’s generally the extent of our disagreements. Not bad after nearly 24 years of marriage, and quite entertaining to others, I’m told.

Except for our daughter.

“Will you two stop?”

She laid down the law somewhere near Doverdoon.

We were done, trading barbs and haggling over items, as it was nearing the noon hour.

We didn’t get our microwave, but as we considered sliding out to a thrift store to grab one, the problem vanished Sunday.  A couple of family friends stopped by the office for a tour. Next thing I know, I’m unloading a new microwave from the backseat of one of their cars.

The two also went in on a toaster, flatware and some paper towels (to clean up the mess of toast and reheated leftovers galore, I’m guessing).

Such kindness is yet another reminder we live, and now own a business, in the best place in Ontario. Good luck finding better people anywhere else.

Yard happens

Following the yard sales, we went straight to our yard. As our daughter headed across the road to hang out with friends, I broke out the mower and my wife the trimmer. We attacked what the recent monsoons delivered – long grass and fast-growing weeds.

In no time, we had the yard looking much better. And we’d worked up a sweat.

This rehydration moment brought to you by Sleeman’s.

Beer, and a couple of large glasses of water, plus a nice breeze and summer tunes on the radio equals Bruce having his customary weekend afternoon nap in the backyard.

I woke to my wife looking out the screen door at me with a big smile.

“Have a good sleep? I did!”

She’d done the same thing in the recliner in the living room, with a fan blowing on her, and awoke in similar fashion – with someone looking at her. It was our daughter and a friend looking through the front screen door.

Not a bad Saturday in Chatham, I must say.




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