From an auction, Part 1
We never know what we’re going to end up bringing home from an auction :) There’s always such a great variety of items. Of course we attend auctions based on the listings in the auction bill the week prior, but there’s so many items we discover “the day of” that we didn’t KNOW we wanted to bid on ! Example: I’m a sucker for sad and lonely objects; the doll someone has outgrown, that scratched but still usable little table, a lovely pressed-back chair with the blown-out wicker seat… They neeeed a new home. And they usually need cleaned up, refinished, repaired, restitched before getting re-homed. Sometimes items from an auction have quite a story to tell. It’s best to look them over well so you don’t miss anything.
This house and barn auction was held locally (Thank You, God !) so it only took a few minutes to arrive and find a place to park. We parked off-road in a rutted field, just across the road from the auction site. Rick found a spot to park very near the road so we wouldn’t have to bump through the field with a bed full of items later (just in case).
The day was HOT, temps in the mid 90s. By 9am, we were red-in-the-face HOT. Planning ahead, we had ice packs, a thermos of ice water and a few bottles of partially-frozen water to help us keep hydrated. By 11 our water supply was gone. Shortly before noon, we took a break from bidding to buy a lunch of grilled hot dog and chicken..and more water :) I wasn’t sure which would be more helpful, to drink the remaining water or to apply it directly to our scalps. I had a hand-held folding fan that was super great to help move some air in the stuffy tent I was in. Folks nearby looked at it longingly and I ‘whooshed’ some air to my neighbors a bit to share the breeze :) I could have sold a dozen or more fans~ As warm as I was, Rick was much worse off than I as he stood outside with no shade most of the time. He took a few short breaks to join me inside the tent but items of interest to him were set out in rows around the barn and outbuildings. There were at least two rings (auctioneers working) at the same time so Rick had to rotate to visit different areas (farm equipment and garden, hand tools and barn misc.). I stayed in the household tent until that was over-with. Rick also took several loads of boxes to the truck during the day when timing allowed.
Finally, the barn area was cleared, the tent items were all sold and all that was left was furniture :) This is our favorite part. Many people had already paid and left (not everyone is a furniture fan). With the crowd whittled down, there was more room to stand near the items and participate. Less bidders meant we had better chances to win :) We bid on some really lovely items. We won some, we lost out on a lot. That’s okay, though; we weren’t really here to buy for US. We were stocking up on items to sell in our Etsy shop and on our lawn locally.
I should have brought a camera to capture some of the action. It’s hard to get good shots with so many people around, but next time I will try ! The Amish don’t want to be included ‘face-on’ so you really have to do some gymnastics to work with that sometimes. The grounds were so pretty; green trees hanging down with some branches touching the grass beneath, flowers blooming in a variety of contrasting reds and yellows, Amish ladies in colorful plain dresses milling about, kids eating, friends and relatives discovering each other in attendance… Very much like a church picnic with lots going on; organized chaos :)
When it was over; the final bid taken, the auctioneer thanking us for attending, we looked around and saw many pockets of stacked goods and small groups of attendees chatting. Now the real work begins. Rick and I started moving our chairs and tables all in one place. Then I retrieved our truck when I saw a closer spot to park near the tent. Rick began tediously loading the truck while I paid our bill. I came back to see that we had bought more than would fit in the extended truck bed :( Sooo grateful this was only minutes from our house !
We shared another bottle of water and drove the first load home. Now it was 1pm and hotter than it had been all morning. No options; we had to unload everything Rick had painstakingly jigsaw-puzzled in the back of the truck. There was a fair amount in the cab as well, squeezed in between the two of us ! Pushing on, we unloaded items where we thought they should be; some into the garage awaiting repairs/refinishing. A few boxes/items went into the back porch, destined to be laundered or cleaned before entering the house. Some miscellaneous containers were stacked next to the garage to be sorted for their next destination. The few pieces of furniture from this load went onto the front porch to be inspected/cleaned before relocating to either the Parlor or another workshop area if they needed attention.
We grabbed more water and headed back to get the rest of our goodies :) Somehow, the final chairs, stools and containers seemed a lot heavier than the first load~ Still, everything fit. Rick is an expert in securing a load with tarp and bungee cords so the rockers don’t rock and the papers don’t fly ! And suddenly it was hotter still~ We treated ourselves to frozen custard before heading home. The truck drives differently when it’s loaded to the gills. It also looks like we’re refugees on a long journey :) Here’s the truck carting our second load, we’re ready to bring it to the porch….
**Do you see the dark chair at the far left ? It has curved slats under the armrests. There was an ancient raggedy seat on it. Rick peeled back layers to find pieces of a hand-stitched quilt ! Always a surprise to see what someone used for stuffing in the seat section ! These beautiful quilt sections were hand-pieced and hand quilted. The fabrics are small calicoes and shirtings with some (blue) indigo scraps. They were discolored to a sort of orange-y shade because of the filler used to add padding (maybe sawdust shavings?). They were the buried in the seat of this chair…..
We knew they had been under a great deal of stress, but were hoping some part might be cleaned and survive. Rick carefully/surgically removed them…… We’ll see what happens. For now, we’re tired and muscles are screaming for attention. I’ll post Part 2 of our auction adventure soon !