Well, last weekend was the much-anticipated Highway Buy-Way. We were supposed to have two full days of thrifting and sightseeing excitement, but an emergency came up at Hubby’s office, so our time was cut down to a solitary day. Of course, we made the best of it—though as always, I was so busy hunting and chatting up sellers that I didn’t really shoot a whole lot. I did manage to catch some interesting things, and have a few places I’d like to return to, though, so it’s not a complete loss. Still, that’s the reason for “partially”.
Besides: I scored some terrific goodies, and just as I did last year, today I’ll share them with you!
Our first stop, a barn sale, got the day off to a great start (actually, that it was pouring rain here at home but a perfect day up north on the Lincoln indicated
early success), because I found something I’ve been after for a while—a mid-century plant stand with a really neat shelving arrangement. It was tagged two bucks, but deciding to press my luck early, I offered one, and sold!
The seller was a nice gentleman thinking about having a Lincoln Highway logo painted onto the side of his barn. That would have been an irresistible photo op. Next year, maybe. He seemed tickled to see me pick up the old plant stand, noting that a fresh coat of spray paint would have it looking good as new, and he’s right—though I have to be honest: that barn-y patina is actually kind of attractive, and it’s growing on me. I might just leave it be for a while.
No wonder Mom thinks I’m crazy. Rusty stuff out of barns in the foyer…
Just up the road was a ranch boasting a garden full of nothing but 6-foot high gladiolas on its east side—and quite a few vintage goodies. Much as I lusted after a Jadeite stand mixer (with bowls!), I wasn’t really up to dropping quite that much—and I found some other lovelies as well! Such as this sleek bowl-and-teapot set:
All of my more, ah, vertically-challenged and round teapots are bound to be jealous of this relatively statuesque beauty. They’ll get over it.
The couple running this sale really loved my look—my hair was pinned into a curl fluff up in a snood, and I’d donned a favourite vintage skirt (mostly because it had pockets—much easier than lugging my purse from sale to sale). They gushed and gushed! I have to say, that though I always “dress vintage” (usually 1940s, but often 50s too—I blame this on early exposure to Back To The Future) and this draws remarks, it’s not something you ever get used to. Jessica at Chronically Vintage wrote a post about this, and she’s right—the best bet is always to smile and be polite (well, that goes for all interactions). It can be difficult for introverts to handle all of that attention, but life goes on—and Hubby is, happily, more talkative than I am, so he helps me get along. Somehow the conversation veered over to TCM and all was well—I’m shy, but can definitely talk classic movies!
Of course, seeing how I was dressed, they wasted no time in pointing me to the vintage handbags and scarves—but I made a beeline for some hats. And lo and behold…I found a matching set, a lovely green hat with matching velvet gloves! Oh, I was tickled. Excited to a disturbing degree. Hubby picked up a few things at this sale as well, but they were man things that would look odd amongst my nesting and wardrobe goodies. Fellas, you’ll have to talk to him.
Other sales offered a few interesting things to look at, though my only purchase for several miles was an enormous, 804-page 1963 copy of The Good Housekeeping
Cookbook. Yes, 804 pages…of which roughly the last 200 are dedicated to desserts and sweets! Tagged at a buck and picked up for two quarters (I’m so horrible…but the bargaining is a big part of the fun!), it was irresistible…particularly once I saw it had eight or nine gelatine mold recipes in it! Oh yes. Even appetizing photos like this one couldn’t keep me away.
I’ve not had the opportunity to sit down and really go through it yet, but the cookbook is very proud of its “Foreign Flavor” offerings, with dishes ranging across the globe from Armenia to Turkey. I do like the menu suggestions offered by the editors—I plan out our menus every two weeks, and sometimes it just makes me shake my head—though “We Love Meatloaf” will probably never be utilized (I hate meatloaf—who thought of that dry, catsup-y mess?!).
The book also features complimentary bit about MSG in the “When You Go Marketing” chapter. That was a new one, even for a vintage cookbook. That said, if I ever need to feed 50 people, there’s a menu complete with shopping list for that…including a fruit and nut gelatine mold for 50 people that uses three pounds of canned peaches and a quart of cream. God bless America!
Just up the Lincoln was another barn sale fairly effervescing with shoppers. After Hubby ran over one of the miniature orange cones meant to guide folks around the drive as I hid in the passenger seat, we popped inside to see a rack full of beautiful vintage dresses—but alas, only beautiful from a distance. Every single dress had a major issue—large stains even I was nervous about being able to remove, tears in threadbare fabric down the middle of a bodice or skirt. Seams, hems, buttons, and things of that nature I can handle, but not well-loved dresses like these. Alas! Some of them were very cute, particularly the one in the front—but not only was it badly stained, there was a diagonal tear in the back.
Driving ever eastward, I picked up a vintage scarf and jar of Amish-made black raspberry jam from Hines Family Farm, where beautiful Belgians are bred and shown (quite successfully, judging by the ribbons lining the barn walls), and a darling blue-and-white gingham apron with red trim that I could not resist—heaven knows I’ve enough aprons (well, almost) and can sew them up easily, but some are too cute to be left behind…particularly gingham ones, yes?
Eventually, we found ourselves driving through Amish country, and the Amish were out bargain-hunting in their buggies along with the rest of us. For some reason this surprised me—especially when one of the ladies would pick out some outrageously bright blanket for her little ones, for instance. I’m not sure why seeing them was unexpected—family vacations during my childhood often took us to Amish country in Ohio and Indiana, so I’m at least halfway familiar with the people. Seeing their houses as we zipped along made me smile; they’re always neat as a pin, with bountiful gardens. Much as we all like our electronic gadgets, I have to say that the homes of the Amish seem like the epitome of serenity to me.
At one point, we stumbled across an estate sale just off the Lincoln, heavily advertised with official Buy-Way signs. The railing at the home’s front door had little rings for flower pots on each side—what a great idea! Why don’t we see this anymore?
That said, we stepped into the house, and I was just hit with sadness. Based upon the contents, the owner must have passed away, and the family was trying to clear things out (which I understand, having lost Grandpa just in November)—but the house itself had an attitude of sadness. We wandered through anyhow, and I found a small, pretty rose brooch for which I only paid just under $2.50.
What broke my heart was seeing a pile of six or eight shoeboxes crammed with letters—letters to and from a military hospital from the World War II years. There they were, tagged like everything else. I considered buying them to share with others—they’re little slips of history—but did not. To be honest, I rather regret that decision; who knows what story they told? But the house itself was morose—clean, but clearly things of terrible sadness had happened here and it clung to the walls—and the realization of what the letters were so startling—I didn’t. Perhaps someone else could get over the sad sight of them sitting there, the couple’s children not interested in keeping this lovely piece of their family’s history.
Of course, at one point, the Magnum decided to act up. The vehicle has a special engine that, upon hitting 50 or 55MPH, switches off four of the eight cylinders (if it’s not a V8, what’s the point?) so as to use less fuel. We’ve never had any trouble with it—until she needs an oil change and we don’t get it done in a timely fashion (Friday, we were about 1500 miles overdue…whoops). Then she gets snarky with us until the oil is changed, after which point she runs beautifully again. Silly car. So, we made an unscheduled oil-change stop (though this did afford me the opportunity to flip through that cookbook!), zipping right through Wooster, which I must say is one of my favourite Ohio towns. For some reason (the thrill of the chase, no doubt) we didn’t stop for food at the Broken Rocks this time. Crazy people.
Still, while Hubby tried to figure out why the Magnum was being so crabby, we parked near this gorgeous, enormous old oak tree standing beside a country church. Its trunk is so big, were it hollowed out you could easily park a small car within!
On and on we went through Ohio’s farmland, stopping at various sales and even a Goodwill (the latter in the hope I could find a couple of fun Jell-O molds, but no luck).
Eventually, though, I sort of just wore out (thanks, health issues)—though not having eaten anything but a bit of cheese since breakfast probably wasn’t helping much. After checking out a big sale of mostly car stuff, we spotted the Dalton Dari-ette across the road. Hurrah! Of course, being celiac, about the only thing I trusted to be safe was the ice cream, so that’s what I had; my “small” mint chocolate-chip turned out to be three big scoops towering above my head! No, not the healthiest choice, but there’s a little protein and fat in there, to say nothing of the sugar, and I needed the boost, being at that point barely able to lift my head from the headrest. Of course, most of you can eat whatever you like; take a gander at this menu:
The stuff road-tripping eats are made of, am I right? Hubby ordered a burger and some mozzarella sticks; the latter, I must say, looked amazing, with a beautiful golden-brown batter coating the cheese. Confession: Not being able to have one was driving me nuts! These aren’t the nasty, pre-frozen crumb-coated mozza sticks, but the real thing. Really, I need to get on a celiac-friendly DIY for those; Hubby assured me they were amazing. We sat there eating our much-needed treats, watching the Dari-ette traffic—it was hopping with cars and horse-and-buggy teams! Next door, a young Amish woman was running a farm stand; though tempted to snap a photo, I couldn’t remember if that were verboten or not, so let it go.
Even after the refreshments, we were both fairly tired, and several hours away from home—the sun already nearing the horizon. Our day done, we headed back home, happy with our finds, but ready to enjoy a simple dinner and a movie back home with the pets.
Overall, though we did miss an entire day of hunting, I’d say we did pretty well! If there’s a similar miles-long sale near you, I encourage you to check it out, as much for the people and sightseeing as the deals. Events like the Lincoln Highway Buy-Way can be a great mini-road trip, and obviously great fun—just…maybe pack a lunch before heading out. 😉
I think I’ll share a few more photos from the trip Monday, especially since there are a few unexplained items on my finally-finished library table. Have a wonderful weekend!