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Published: Wednesday, June 6, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

At garage sales, the thrill is in the hunt

Forks, the home of “The Twilight Saga,” is not the only place in Washington where pale families hunt for things.

Our area boast some excellent garage sales for moms like me who are hoping to give new life to old objects. Since my children sometimes act like wolves, buying secondhand can mean the difference between watching a $500 or a $50 kitchen table be slowly destroyed with love.

My family loves garage sales so much that we have made yard sale shopping into a competition. We each pick new items to hunt for each summer, and then we work together as a pack to bring those treasures home. For this year's game, we are searching for cross-country skis, a chicken coop, a child's drum set and a tiara. Hopefully we never find that drum set!

Last summer our family scored 2-for-4. We were looking for a ski rack, a roasting pan, a bike trailer and walkie-talkies.

I found my own winning item at a garage sale in Lynnwood. When the 80-year-old woman sold me her blue roasting pan for $5, she told me, “I cooked a lot of good dinners in that.” So have I, although my daughter would beg to differ. (She's a vegetarian.)

A few weeks later, my son scored when he brought home a pair of used walkie-talkies at a garage sale in Edmonds. Unfortunately, one of the receivers makes a weird buzzing sound. Since none of us have extraordinary hearing, we have had to rely on other forms of communication instead, like yelling across the house.

My husband and daughter were 0-for-2 on their desired items, but I made up for that with the best find of all. At a sale on Sunset Avenue down by the water, I found a new pair of K2 children's skis and boots for $20. This was a major find because our son had spent the previous two winters on a pair of vintage Blitz skis; they were “Made in West Germany” and we found them at my uncle's house, lying next to his taxidermy collection. (What an interesting yard sale that would make.)

Our family tracks down garage sales all summer, but your family could have a lot of fun with our game in just one day. If your numbers include teens or anyone with a mischievous sense of humor, this competition could go in all sorts of twisted directions. For example, it would be especially amusing to draw names and choose the items that other family members had to find – the more bizarre, the better.

So let the hunt begin and remember: The best selections are to be found Saturday morning, but the best deals are usually offered around twilight on Sunday.

Jennifer Bardsley is an Edmonds mom of two and blogs at
Story tags » Family funFamily

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