Last weekend of the summer. I had all these elaborate plans to haul a bunch of kids up to Vermont, but things started falling apart one person at the time (and Big Red 2.0 is all f'ed up - more on that later). On the Thursday before the weekend started we called the Vermont Labor Day Fieldtrip a bust - planning on just sucking it up and staying in the city instead.
Late Friday afternoon, JJ told me of his secret plans to escape the city on the Amtrak and head to the cape to hang out with Mom and Dad. I decided last minute to tag along (last minute = 10 mins before he left for Penn Station).
We caught the 7:30p train out of the city. The plan was to get off at Providence where Mom and Dad had left a car for us and then we'd drive the extra hour-and-a-half to the cape. The train ride was almost uneventful. We had baby Jaia tio play with most of the ride (we sat in one of those four-seats-facing-each-other setups... the train was *packed*) and the conductor scolded me ("Don't do that!") when I placed the ticket in my mouth so I could grab my cellphone. Stoopid.
Fast forward four hours later. We're in the Providence train station. We locate Jay's jeep (which Mom and Dad stashed in the garage for us). Problem is: it's full of shit from our garage. Like chock full of shit. As in: nowhere for a 3rd person to sit.
See, our house at home is full of old crap. The garage is packed, the loft is packed, grandma's room is packed. With old stuff that really should just be thrown out, but forrrreeeeever my Dad has had this master plan that he is going to make a fortune by selling all this old stuff. At a yard sale. And that is how the garage (and the rest of the house) is magically going to clean itself out. And that yard sale is going to be this weekend. And it's going to be awesome. I didn't really realize this when I signed up for the weekend trip, but whatever.
So, anyway, here we are in the parking lot with the jeep stuffed with crap. We did our best to re-org, making just enough room of the three of us to squeeze in.
The biggest offender was this dusty old sled (which I was *sure* was one of my Mom's prized garage possessions). Jonathan took it for a test drive down the parking lot steps to determine whether it was worth keeping. [video, 9.5mb]
(And, yes Mom and Dad, that's how the handle broke. Sorry.)
Yup, it's a keeper.
So we crammed the sled in the backseat with a not-so-happy Jackie.
Next morning. We get up around 9am or so and the house is empty. Mom and Dad (and weekend guests Mr. and Mrs. Donahue) have already packed up and headed down to the flea market. So, me and JJ and Jackie head on down.
So "yard sale" is the wrong word for this thing... is a full blown flea market held at a drive-in down in Eastham, MA. I guess the rule is $20 per table (Mom and Dad had two cars full of crap = $40) and $2 per carload (read: us) to get in and browse around.
It took us a few minutes to find them, but once we did, hoo-boy, it was like we had uncovered a treasure chest full of shit from years ago. Here, let me walk you through some of the junk...
Old baseball gloves. Three of them. Maybe $3 bucks each? Neither of them were The Baseball Glove That Jonathan I Feuded About a few years back.
Superman birthday candles. From my 2nd birthday cake! My childhood memories! On sale! $1.00.
ps: I bet Little Sister Katie is weeping as she reads this, her busted-up Little Mermaid game up for grabs.
Old pyramid fishtank. Also known as the Site of Death of "Tuna II" (Katie's 2nd fish). Rumor has it that Katie left the light on for a few days straight which "boiled" the water and cooked the fish... to death!. Nice one, Shoops.
Bag of old tapes. Naughty By Nature? Hit cassingles by Nirvana? Richard Marx's "Right Here Waiting"? Come'on!
Dad said he didn't even sell one tape.
Katie's first keychain. $0.50!
These two dudes bought this sign after I told them the story of how it used to hang in our kitchen and this one time when me + J + Katie were all eating oatmeal at the counter watching the news (before catching the schoolbus?), Jonathan heard about a Red Sox loss and slammed his fist on the counter (he was prob like 6 years old?), which accidentially hit the spoon and then catapulted oatmeal all over the wall and this sign.
Despite my heartwarming tale, they managed to talk my Dad down from $5 to $3.
Flip book where you can dress up different astronauts and chickens and stuff. $0.50. I'm sure we found someway to tease / beat up Katie with this book (though I'm not sure how).
Dukes of Hazard party hats (from my 6th bday party or something???). $1.00.
My Mom sold a box of old jars to some woman for like $2.00. The woman opened up the box (which has to be like 15 years old?) and found one jar full of 15-year-old homemade jelly! (Seriously, I am not making this up).
I wouldn't believe it myself if it wasn't for this one time, waaaaayy back, I remember my Mom cleaning out the pantry / food closet thing and in doing so, she found a jar of homemade pickles from something like 1976 - like 10 years old at the time! I saw it with my own eyes!!!
Ah, our old friend the sled. Marked down from $12 to $10 (presumably because of the busted handle).
A margarita glass with Katie's name etched into it? College! $1.00.
And perhaps the biggest treasure in the lot, a book entitled "What's Happening to Me" that explains (via graphic illustration) what happens when boys and girls turn into men and women (and then DO IT). Here's a great illustration of how one's man-parts grow over the years.
ps1: I think Jackie threw down $1.00 for this one).
ps2: I can't belive I just found this on Amazon. Save money on shipping and be sure to pick up "What's Going on Down There" at the same time.
Okay, I lied. *This* is the biggest treasure of the lot - Katie's old Star Stage. It's a microphone with working disco lights and all these voice over effects. Seriously, just last weekend I was trying to explain this thing to Kevin and - pow - here it is! The commercial was the best - the little girl you see on the front would hold a concert for her friends and then for the finale, step in the "echo" pedal and say: "Rock and Roll is here to staaaaaaayy aaayyy aaayyy aaayyy aaayyy aaayyy aaayyy aaayyy!". Excellent! $2.00.
ps: A trained eye would note both Big Red 1.0 and Big Dig counting one hundred $1 dollar bills in the background.
A box of pinecones! Of course! $0.25 each! (or, er, free if you walk through the woods)
Whew, so that's about it. Me + J + Jackie got bored eventually and went to stuff our faces with fried seafood (@ Arnolds). We met Mom + Dad + The Donahue's back at the house. We anxiously awaited the official count on the day... which I think came out to be like $180 profit (maybe a little less?). I think The Dig was a wee bit disappointed (though that didn't stop him from going back on Sunday for Round II).
My hope is that my parents will figure out that a much better use of their time to would be to just toss this trash out rather than try to sell it. (Seriously, you you guys want help moving all the stuff in the garage into a dumpster, just let me know.)
Fast forward to that night. Me + J + Jackie crashing a non-even-a-party at a friend of one of Joanthan's old roommate's place in Orleans. We hit the townie bar right after. I came out on top on the crappy Ms. Pac Man machine.
Sunday was lazy. I sat on the beach from 10am - 3pm. Burned the shit out of my arms and read Steve Squyres' book on the Mars Rovers (which is super good, btw).
... with Mom and Dad hustling to get a better view.
Monday was another lazy day. I slept all afternoon. Before we took off, we rounded up ten 1 1/4 lobsters.
Here, Jackie apologizing to the little guy before ripping his little-guy-claws off.
What are you looking at? You're next!
Delicious. (corn on the cob too!)
And so that's it. Some post dinner fun with a magnifying glass (flea market, $0.50!) and then a 5 hour drive back to the city. And that's it for summer 2005 (sniffle).