My whole life, I’ve enjoyed garage sales. I can’t say the same about thrift stores as there was a time when I very much resented my mother dragging me around thrift stores in search of clothes. Garage sales are different. They are personal. It’s akin to rummaging through your friend’s medicine cabinet during a dinner party. It’s an opportunity to peak into the life of the sellers that you would else never have. Estate sales are the best; wandering through somebody’s house, room to room, and able to rummage through all the drawers. It’s like a sociological treasure hunt.

African Embroidered Cloth

Last weekend, we just went to a few garage sales, but one was particularly fulfilling. When we drove up, the first thing I noticed were books. They had boxes and boxes of books. Sometimes you think you’ve found a gem like that and they end up being all romance novels or something, but these were good books. It was as if they had tailored the selection to my tastes: classics, cookbooks, science, even a few math books! I came away with a nice selection and Boy got to laugh at me and my fetish.

African Embroidered Cloth              African Embroidered Cloth

Sorting through everything they had to offer, I was thinking about how easily we could be friends with these people, despite the decades that surely lie between us and them. Just when it couldn’t get any better, I found a table of textiles hidden inside the garage from the ill-foreboding skies. One of the women tending the sale explained that all of the textiles  had a story behind them, were bought during various adventures. A lot had been picked through, but when I saw this, I fell in love. This fabric was from Africa, country unknown, hand embroidered in swirling stitches of vibrant greens, pinks, oranges, and black, and quilted. It’s bunched up, by design or mishap, I don’t know, but I like it that way.

African Embroidered Cloth

It’s approximately 36″x48″ and surprisingly matches our green (hand me down) sofas. Someday, it will hang on the wall, but I haven’t yet decided how best to go about that. Oh, we payed $3 for it.

And the summer full of garage sales has just begun.