The other day, during a random outing with with my mom and the kids, we
milked a cow
saw some chickens
played mini golf
jumped on the jumping pillow
saw the world’s largest garden gnome
and on the way home. . .
Stopped at a yard sale. I didn’t really want to stop. It looked like kind of a semi permanent set-up. It was in the front yard of the house next to a self storage place. . . I thought maybe the contents of the yard sale would be like, Storage Wars rejects. Or something.
I spied the wire basket before my car even stopped moving and I thought it couldn’t hurt to ask. My mother advised, “Don’t go right over to it. The price will go up.” I only had six dollars in cash. My mom forked over what cash she had (about $15?) and we parked and got out. From a distance I couldn’t tell if the basket was actually vintage or not, but I could see that it had a bright yellow price tag on it. No need to be cagey. I walked right up grabbed that basket with it’s $5 sticker and swung it by the handle. Mine! It is vintage – and it’s in nearly perfect condition.
You can see the maker’s name in the bottom. From what I’ve read, the Oakes Mfg. Co. in Tipton, Indiana made made products primarily to do with chickens and eggs. . . You probably already knew it was an egg basket? I didn’t. This basket would hold a LOT of eggs.
Let me digress for just a second to tell you a tiny story that will let you get to know me a little better. Real quick. Promise.
When Mr. Social Media and I were looking at houses to buy (in 1998), we went around with the realtor and saw 8 or 10 different houses before we came to this one. I don’t remember my first sight of the house when we pulled up, but I very distinctly remember walking through the front door and into the living room. I ran in and pointed to the Northeast corner of the empty room and shouted, “THE CHRISTMAS TREE GOES RIGHT HERE!!”
Mine is not a poker face.
Back to the yard sale. We walked around for a few more minutes – I was happy to leave with my vintage-wire-goodness find and be on my way home – so I wasn’t really looking too hard. My daughter was picking through costume jewelry and then I saw it.
I walked over, picked up the box and hugged it to my chest. Seriously. Wrapped both of my arms around it, turned my head to one side and rested my cheek on the top.
“They’re yellow”, I breathed.
I’m hoping someone will jump in and tell me they know what I’m talking about. These yellow Little House on the Prairie books are the ones that were published throughout the 1970′s. When I was a little girl and I was reading them for the first time (maybe the first 6 or 7 times), the yellow books were the ones I had. The yellow books are the ones I brought to show and tell at school. The yellow books are the ones I read late at night, lying on the floor outside the bathroom door (for the light). I did not have the whole set. But I had a few of them.
After I patted the box for a few minutes, I checked the price tag. I decided that $20 was more than I would spend and I set them back down on the table and walked away, mumbling about how my current set is staring to fall apart and how I really couldn’t buy the whole set new for less money. . .
A few minutes later the owner of the books came up to me and said, “I saw how much you love those. Do you want them for ten?”
yes. i want them for ten.
I know that I have mentioned the Little House books here before. Maybe more than once. I’m hoping that you are not one of those people who are deeply irritated by Little House. It’s okay if you are. I can understand that. Sort of. For me? These books are quite simply, a cornerstone of my life. I went on to college and got a degree literature and there has never been a book that affected me as profoundly – had a bigger impact - than these. I try not to read them too often – and I am always surprised by something when I do. The last time I read through them, start to finish, was with both of my kids. I found myself deeply moved by the scenes in which Laura moves away from her parents house – in particular the gesture, made by her mother, of the familiar red checkered table cloth as a wedding gift. A piece of home to take with her to begin her life as a married woman. And this, a scene that I had never even noticed as a child.
Sigh. . .
If you are not a fan, I lost you several paragraphs ago. And if you are a fan, you’re likely looking for your keys to head out to the book store. Maybe you’re lucky enough to have them already and you can just get one down from the shelf. Even just a few chapters. Innocence is cheap today. I found it for half price at a yard sale.