Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Where's The Barn?!

Last week, having seen a notice for a barn sale on Craigslist, my friend, Robin, and I decided to take a ride. Robin copied the directions, and we set out at 8am, after the husbands and kids were off to work and school. We figured it would take about 40 minutes to get there.

Two hours later, we still hadn't found it.

Now here's the difference between men and women -- our husbands would have given up after 45 minutes. But this was a sale. We spent two hours looking for it. Two hours driving back and forth down the same five-mile stretch of road, past the same county road crew (who must have thought we were nuts!), occasionally detouring down side roads, seeing a whole lot of beautiful scenery but no barn sale. We found a thrift store in a nearby town, but it wasn't open.

Damn. We were ready to shop! Or at least browse.

Having armed ourselves with listings for nearby antique shops, we decided (finally) to give up and look elsewhere. That's how we ended up freezing our asses off in a barn. Yes, it is wonderfully ironic that we started the day looking for a barn, and managed to finish it, freezing in a barn. A really, really cold one.

We called first, to see if they were open, and to ask how big the selection was. We've gone to several big antiques "malls" lately, and are kind of spoiled for selection. After all, we are serious shoppers (wink, wink) and need some scope to test our mettle.

I won't tell you the name of the place, in case by some amazing karmic coincidence they happen to be reading this, but let me tell you about it. It was housed, as I have said, in a barn. At first, we couldn't find an open door. Then, a rather taciturn man came out of an adjoining building and opened it for us. We were his only customers. He told us to turn the lights on as we went, and admonished us to remember to turn them off again on our way out. Then, we entered.

Imagine the coldest place you've ever been, and multiply it by about five. That's how cold it was. Now imagine furniture that hasn't been dusted in, oh, a millenium or so. You get the picture. I bought a milk glass cup that had a dead bug in it, along with some suspicious small round brown things. Uggh.

The barn was a big, rambling place, with open stairways between levels, and holes in the floorboards. You could sometimes see 20 feet down to the floor below. As long as you kept your eyes on the merchandise, it wasn't too bad.

I found some vintage Christmas ornaments, in their original box. (See, Julie, you've got me in the mood!)

And five beautiful linen napkins with crocheted lace edging.

I also bought a small silver sauce boat to add to the collection, and a silver engraved cup. All the items were higher than thrift store prices, but not too bad.

They didn't charge extra for the bug.


  1. Well I'm glad that they didn't consider the suspicious brown things a collection and charge even more.

    So glad you're in the Christmas spirit. It's fun. Play along. Have some eggnog.


  2. You are a brave girl. Glad you had a friend along. Nice finds, my dear :-)

  3. LOL!!! What an adventure!! And yet perseverance once again pays off. I love your new treasures, especially the napkins...I have told you about my vintage linen obsession, right? It's bad:)


  4. Mary,
    That sounds like an adventure for sure. The taciturn man, I can just picture him, sounds like a curmudgeon (one of my favorite descriptive words) and I can feel that bone chilling damp seeping into my bones. But, a girl has to do what a girl has to do for some treasures. At least you didn't leave empty handed or worse yet do what my friend Martha does...make a pity buy. Not me, no pity for that guy!
    PS. Wonder if he has liability insurance on that place..guess you didn't tell him your husband is a lawyer!!

  5. Oh, you sound like me when I'm "on the hunt". I would have gone up and down that road 50 times for the sale of the century. LOL Glad you finally found a few treasures. Sounds like you have the "shopping bug".
    Have a great day!

  6. That sound like a setting for a Nancy Drew book - even the taciturn old man. How fun!

  7. Sounds like so much fun regardless of the cold! My sister and I do things like that, roaming around all day looking for antique shops or flea markets or whatever! Your purchases are lovely!
    Enjoy your day!

  8. OMG..what an experience. I've been there...done that many, MANY times. Good for you to stick it out and keep lookin' for a place to shop. And...glad you found these beautiful pieces...they are every one just lovely. And, my, how your silver collection is growing. How do you have it all displayed? Oh, guess that's good for another post, hu? :)
    Happy day, bj

  9. I love all your finds!! My first thought when you couldn't find the barn was "maybe they sold it"...I think I need more coffee!! I love the tour of your home in the previous post as well. Very very warm and welcoming.

  10. Your day sounds perfect, except for the part of Freeing your bu--ts off!!
    Nice to have a friend to treasure hunt with!!


  11. You are to funny. Sorry you had to freeze your butt off. I am glad you had a friend with you I often do things like this by myself. Can we say CRAZY!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog.


  12. What an adventure! You did manage to gather some really good treasures though (minus the bug of course). The scenery alone was worth the two hours from the looks of that picture!!!


  13. You are brave! I think I would have left when I could have seen 20 feet down between the floorboards! But, you did find some great things!

  14. Luckily they didn't charge extra for the bug, you may have had to whip out old faithful......Mr Visa. Great, and I do mean really great, treasures you unearthed in that frrrrrreezer, um, barn. A day well spent I do believe!
    Amanda (aka Cottage Contessa)

  15. What a fun day even just looking at the beautiful open fields. It sounds like a fun day and you even had good luck finding your beautiful things.

  16. Only a truly dedicated antiquer/barn sale addict would spend that kind of time looking for the sale! Glad it paid out for you! I love the milk glass and silver:>)

  17. You are a gal pal I would shop with!

  18. Well, all's well that ends well. You found some lovely items.

  19. That is to funny. What we will do to find a sale!

  20. You tell the best stories..thanks for sharing your adventure! It sounds like a lot of fun going on the hunt. Your ornaments are just beautiful.

  21. Hi Mary, enjoyed your story so much, if I don't go hunting for treasueres at least once a week I start feeling despressed! I'm totally addicted to garage sales, I think you call them yard sales. I loved what you found so there you go it was worth the effort

  22. I can feel the chill in the air...I have spent many a cold night watching my daughter take riding lessons in Canada in the coldest barns. Looks like you had so much fun...I love the Christmas ornaments.



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