Honey has been busy planning our campaign for the Hopewell, Pennsylvania, Township Yard Crawl this coming Saturday. Every weekend, she searches Facebook for the hottest community garage sales within an hour’s drive.
This morning she showed me her secret plans for Hopewell.
“I got the list of garage sale addresses from the township website and downloaded a street map from Google Maps,” she said. “It’s massive. There are more than 150 participating garage sales. I’ve marked the individual locations and color coded them to show the main groups we need to focus on.
“Wow, you really planned this, like Eisenhower did during the Normandy invasion. I see they list 16 lined up on Bradbury Avenue. Maybe we should go there first, I suggest.
My wife gave me one “Are you serious?” looks.
“It’s exactly what they expect” she says. “No, we’re going to drive up Route 151 from the freeway and launch a three-pronged attack on three neighborhoods, which I call the blue, red, and purple groups. Then we will turn around and sweep Group Yellow, Bradbury Avenue. It will have been softened by then.
I complimented Honey on her plans. When she pointed out that streets in the purple group had patriotic names like Lexington, Layfayette, Concord and Independence, I suggested we
name the target neighborhoods for Normandy beaches: Gold, Sword, Juno, Utah, and Omaha.
“When you start planning garage sale trips, you have to choose the names. It’s blue, red, purple and yellow.
Community garage sales are the name of the game now. Stand-alone yard and yard sales don’t stand much of a chance.
I play racquetball on Friday mornings, so Honey usually goes to sales on her own Fridays. We go together on Saturday. I drive and she navigates, using GPS on our SUVs and cell phones.
His daughter Shark does garage sales when she can, as does his son Seed and his family. Seed, whose main target is video games and gamers, is almost as good as her mother at locating good ones on social media. When we attack the same community sale as our offspring, we do not travel in tandem but we often cross paths and share information by mobile phone in real time.
“Don’t bother with selling on First Street,” The seed will say, or, “Main St in the 2500 block has two good ones that weren’t on the list.”
Honey searches for Legos and clothes for the grandsons. I am looking for tools and materials.
People know we do garage sales and sometimes ask us to shop for them. Such and such needs a toaster oven and does not want to pay more than $5, for example.
Other garage sale junkies know my wife is adept at finding good community sales. They call Wednesday or Thursday for advice. It evaluates available community sales like a bookmaker giving odds.
Community sales do not always live up to our expectations. Last weekend we drove to Munhall, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Pittsburgh. We had a few good buys, but the sales were scattered in an unfamiliar town. I dig to get a heavy lumberjack chain for $5, and Honey scored a baseball backpack for two bucks to bless a kid in need with on a future team with the Shark boys.
When we find a good community sale, we go back next year. Sales in cities like Toronto and developments like Hooverson Heights in Follansbee take place on the same dates each year. Surprisingly, the residents never seem to run out of things to sell.
“What time does Hopewell start?” I asked Cherie.
“It starts at 8:00 a.m. and ends at 2:00 p.m., but we must be in the field no later than 7:30 a.m. We cannot hope to reach 150. This could put us in a situation of “selling too far”. We’ll mop up what time and resources allow, then head back to base to consolidate our gains.
“Eisenhower would approve” I told my wife.