Our Junk Bonanza vendors are always on the job! Our Portland vendors are excitedly picking to ready for our first show in the Pacific Northwest, Oct. 9-11!
Mrs. Parker at Parker & West shared this first-person story of what she’s been doing — and how it has affected her kitchen. Let’s call it “Grab a Hard Hat and a Flashlight and Let’s Go Junking” !
Friday, August 28
After a long, hot summer, Portland is finally going to get a break in the weather. Unfortunately, Saturday’s forecast is for heavy rain and high winds with the possibility of thunder and lightning thrown in just for fun. In this part of the world that equals slippery roads, flying branches, falling trees and power outages.
So, what’s a girl to do when the junk muse is calling?
Throw caution to the winds (literally), set the battery-operated alarm clock and prepare to venture forth. I have a good number at an estate sale and I’m not going to let a little wind and rain deter me.
Saturday, August 29, 6 a.m.
Ominous clouds and wind. It’s so windy I check the neighbor’s trees to make sure nothing has fallen overnight. Satisfied that all seems well, I bundle up, grab my junking gear (flashlight — check. I’m probably going to need it today) and hop in the car. (Note to self:Next time you buy a hard hat, don’t sell it!)
First stop. I have time to kill before the estate sale so I decide to stop in at my favorite thrift shop. Good choice; the weather is daunting enough that hardly anyone else is there. In less than half an hour, my cart is filled with industrial pick bins, horse show trophies, a piano shawl, a globe, hats, old wire baskets and a few other goodies.
Out on the road, things aren’t looking so bright. I’m heading to a suburb southeast of Portland. The wind has picked up and my little Toyota feels like a kite. Traffic lights are out for several miles and the road is practically empty.
Hmmm, I begin to wonder if the sale has been canceled. (Second note to self: I really should think about getting a computer or a phone to check on sales.)
I reach my destination, an older neighborhood with lots of big trees blowing in the wind. Luck is with me and I get the last parking space on the cul-de-sac. Even better: My parking space is not in the fall zone of branches and trees! It’s inconvenient to get your junk home if your car is squashed.
As advertised, this sale is packed with junk inside and out, plus two outbuildings. (Third note to self: I shouldn’t have told Sarah not to worry about driving across town to go to a sale in such bad weather. I could use another pair of hands!) The folks who had lived in this house were clearly garage sale and thrift shop junkies back in the day when picking was easy and cheap. “Why have one when you can have a hundred?” must have been their motto. It’s a wonderland of old junk, new junk, nice junk, tacky junk. Overwhelming…
Even though I’m on my own I’m able to load. Lots of quirky small items and best of all, a big box of old print blocks. The box of print blocks is so heavy I can barely lift it, but at least it’s not going to blow away. And no need for the flashlight, yet.
I load the car, it’s pretty full and that armload of easels keeps wanting to catch on the other junk. (Fourth note to self: I need a utility vehicle). I decide to pass on other sales and wind my way back home
Now it’s raining. The hard, driving, sideways rain you only see in the Pacific Northwest. Yuck. Lots of trips squishing through the muck between the car and my house.
The closest place to dump all this stuff is in the kitchen. (Fifth note to self: Don’t build an island of junk in the kitchen. Especially on a dreary wet day when I want coffee). I restack the island of junk. Fortunately, the power is still on at my house and I can sit back and relax with my coffee and wonder where I’m going to put all this stuff until the Junk Bonanza.
The end of the story: My power went off shortly after I got everything unloaded and I used the flashlight to navigate around the island of junk in the kitchen in the dark. Fortunately, I, my car, and most importantly, the junk, survived this adventure unscathed!
September 7
The junk remains. For safety’s sake, the island  is now marked with a “caution-keep-to-the-right” sign to remind unwary visitors to mind their toes. (Sixth and final note to self: I really need a barn).
See you at Junk Bonanza with lots of great junk and more good junking stories!
Thanks, Mrs. Parker! We look forward to seeing you and Sarah soon!

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