Yesterday I went to my first auction–as an adult–with my next-door neighbor; the one I like so much.
In this auction, there were several gardening items for bid including a glazed urn, three chimney pots, a very large concrete cherub, a large wire pig, many pieces of outdoor metal furniture, and some galvanized pails.
My neighbor’s been to the auction house in our town many times. This particular house receives large shipments from Europe containing lovely antiques, which explains how my neighbor obtained some pretty big pieces of furniture to go in her new old house. Her home is a two-story 130-year old Victorian, which she’s in the process of renovating.
As a kid, my mom went to auctions, and I remember a little about them—running around, as lively kids do–exploring every nook and cranny of a huge room with lots of people and interesting things. Of course, I wasn’t bidding at 8 years old.
Aside from a pot-bellied stove, antique tins, steamer trunks, and stained glass windows, Mom came home with several boxes of vintage Nancy Drew Mysteries and The Wind and the Willows, which I devoured. I think I went from being a non-reader to a reader that year sneaking Nancy Drew books inside my larger spelling book at school. (While I was supposed to be doing spelling exercises, I was reading Nancy Drew.)
Anyway, yesterday’s auction turned out to be an enjoyable outing, and I behaved myself. Well, sort of. I lost the bid on a small stained-glass window and on a table I didn’t need (but wow, it was beautiful). Instead, I came home with a $35.00 chimney pot for the garden.
The chimney pot needs a little work, but then again, it seems I’m the one who always rescues broken things—like buying falling down houses–to make them into something everyone wants.
(My former house when we purchased it. If you want to see how this house turned out, there are photos here and here.)
Hey, well, I could have worse habits!
My new chimney pot has a missing piece from its crown that I will repair and once repaired, I will repaint it.
My neighbor, for her part, purchased a ton (6 or 8?) of stained glass windows. She will re-frame some to install in her house, hang some on her porch, and one matching pair will be framed into our mutual wooden fence. (She’d previously ordered another stained-glass window for the fence on e-Bay only to return it because the “glass” was plastic.)
My neighbor also brought along a gardening book I lent her, Fran Sorin’s Digging Deep.
One of the best parts of this experience was sitting in the car with my neighbor’s husband going home. The vehicle was packed to the hilt.
I told the husband enthusiastically, “Your wife and I were talking, and we think it would be a great idea to convert your attic into a craft room to fit in the furniture she bought today.” His wife interjected, “Laura, you weren’t supposed to mention the furniture!” (She didn’t buy any furniture.)
I went on and said, “You know the contractor I used in Tyler built a new outdoor staircase to the room above the garage, and I know he’d be glad to give you some pointers on building an outdoor staircase to access your attic.”
The husband didn’t say a word. He didn’t smile. It was very quiet in the car for a full minute.
We waited for a response. Nothing.
Then, my neighbor and I both laughed and told him we were pulling his leg.
He told us, “You got me.”
All of this said, I need to stop these sort of shenanigans ‘cause I’m not sure my neighbor’s husband will EVER let me hang out with his wife again.