We spent this last weekend based at Gi-gi's, helping my cousin-once-removed with my Grandpa's house.
Bless his heart, the man spent his retirement (possibly his life) shopping garage sales looking for a bargain. The good news? He found several. The bad news? He found several.
Chain Saws? 5
Bench Grinders? 4
Coffee Makers? Hard to count. In the dozens.
Same for Bread machines. And pressure cookers, though I never matched a lid with a pot with a weighted top-thingy.
Sadly, sewing machines weren't one of his fetishes. The one that was there was tagged and bagged by his late wife's family. Which is probably just as well.
Hubby spent most of his time helping sort through the garage -- his own personal nirvana, I think! Cousin was so grateful for our help, and mostly let us have anything we might have use for. Which, with Hubby and the garage, proved to be a very dangerous freedom, I fear.
I chose the last room in the house that hadn't been inventoried and sorted, and cleared out cupboards and drawers in the overstuffed kitchen. "Sorting" was a trick, as he didn't always keep like things with like. I found an adorable saucer in the mug cupboard, and much later found the matching teacup somewhere else entirely. Along with the small-appliance fetish, he apparently collected knives. They were in drawers, cupboards, knife blocks, boxes in the garage and elsewhere... I sorted through piles (a hundred, maybe?) of mostly junk, but came away with a handful of gems. I also cleaned the place out of pyrex and corning ware, though there was no duplicate for my favorite pyrex bowl I broke last month. :(
While 'stuff acquisition' is a two-edged sword, we came away very blessed. Hubby had been asking for a bench grinder for Christmas (and was able to pick a nice one), and hoping to replace his skil saw (he estimated there were 30, and found a treasure of a one with a 'worm drive' and the blade on the left side). I'd been waiting for my Costco coupon to become current to go buy a set of pyrex pans/bowls. I'd also spent years glancing lovingly at Corelle dishes (they're nice-looking, and stack so thinly, and not made in China), Cutco knives, and immersion blenders... But "nice" and "necessary" were (and are) always two different things. I came away with most of a set-for-12 of Corelle, four Cutco knives, and selected one of three stick blenders I came across!
I brought home a few sheets - some stained and destined to become the liner in a diaper bag or somesuch, and two twin-size felted wool blankets for the girls' beds. And while I don't know if it's useable yet or not, I found an (ok, I found several, but I only grabbed one) old 35mm SLR and a big zoom lens. It's an old cheap brand I don't recognize, but it might meet my need for a shallow depth-of-field while I pine away for a Nikon D80. :) Sorry, I won't be able to post any photos from it here.
We're going back up again this weekend - Hubby to tote home the table saw he's been given, and a loveseat hideabed (to replace the @$)*&%^@! hideabed couch in our family room that throws my hip out of alignment just by looking at it). And, I've been given a big, beautiful framed print from the living room, if I can transport it home safely.
So - it's been an exercise in perspective yet again, realizing God pays attention to my silly little wants, and finds ways to bless me with some of those, even in the midst of our grief. He is good.