Garage Sailing

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Last night, Jo asked me "How long will it take you to get ready?" because we were getting up early to go garage sailing with her father. "Seven minutes," I replied and when I got up at 6:30, I timed myself. It was six minutes from eyes opened to clothes on, plus 90 seconds to make the bed. I took a few more minutes to have a coffee for a final touch to waking up.

Ray/Dad pulled up at the corner in his big blue station wagon with Grant in the front seat and Naomi in the back. We piled in and were on our way to the first garage sale, slated to start at 7:30.

Grant is the navigator and mans the well-marked newspaper ads. He and Ray have been going out to garage sales together for a long time, usually without Ray's wife, Naomi. Once Naomi observed the way people were interacting with the two and concluded that everyone thinks they are gay. They are cute together so I can see why people might make assumptions.

The first garage sale was not too far away and we were there before the stated time. So were the usual early morning garage sailors: the Bad Greek, Lego Man, the Dealer. We saw them and some of the other, unnamed regulars off and on throughout the morning.

The house was a beautiful one story brick and stone cottage decorated with iron lace around the wooden roof of the red tiled porch. The doors and windows had green, bronze and red Edwardian patterned stained glass sections. Peeking through the window, I saw fireplaces and high ceilings, though what interested everyone else were old wood furnishings and the few piles of "stuff" laying about.

The owner drove up at 7:25, let himself in while politely but firmly deferring a barrage of "How much do you want for...?" questions. A few minutes later, he opened the door and the crowd, no numbering a dozen or more, barged in, banging the door against something sitting behind it. A free-for-all ensued and I believe the major pieces were sold within 10 minutes.

Most of the other sales we attended were less frantic, but there was always a sense of urgency to get there quickly and avoid missing anything exceptional. There really wasn't much great today, apparently, though we all walked away with something. Dad & Naomi picked up an old cell phone and a keyboard for their foster child to play with. Grant, who is a painter, bought a few frames and a black Bakelite elephant pen holder that I wish I had seen first. Jo got some videos and a rattan corner stand for her apartment. I bought a paperback history of the Australian kitchen.

When we'd exhausted the list of interesting sales, we stopped for morning tea at Pat-a-Cake in Malvern. I had a slice of Apricot Jubilee, a homemade white cake with dried apricots and coconut frosting. We had a long talk about cakes and Grant suggested I try Australian classics Hummingbird (pineapple, banana, and coconut( and Lumberjack (apples and dates). Sounds like a terrible assignment, but I will choke them down before next Saturday when we go garage sailing again.

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