I’ve mentioned before that I’m not exactly an optimist or a believer in positive thinking. But there is one area of my life where all I have to do is set something in my mind and I can be amazingly sure that serendipity will provide. I’m talking about garage sales.
I cannot believe the number of times I’ve fixed some item in my brain only to have it turn up at a garage sale within a few weeks — even if it’s an item I’ve never seen at a garage sale before. Really tough items might take six months or more. But If I need something and need to get it inexpensively … there it’ll be.
Case in point. This week I was working on my grab-n-go kit, and several people had made suggestions I wouldn’t otherwise have considered. Friday I spotted a SALE! sign, followed it and got:
- Wool blanket — $0.25
- Rain suit — $0.50
- Six bicycle hooks — $0.50 (for hanging the kit for earthquake stability)
- Bag of candles — $0.50 (mostly for home prep, but some for the kit)
- Rolling cart — $2.00 (not as good as the golf push-cart that was suggested; but hey, two bucks, and it’ll do to strap all my stuff together and make it mobile until some fabulous yuppie backpack turns up)
- 14 assorted bungee cords — $1.00
- Knee pads — $1.00 (not for the Bug-out bag, but I’ve wanted a set for household construction work)
I also scored this old sewing machine for $10, complete with all original accessories and case.
If you hunt garage sales you know that old sewing machines are plentiful and hard to move. Nobody’s much interested in them these days unless they’re really new, full-featured and dirt cheap. Or maybe antique, beautifully decorated Singers or something else with collector value. Even those often go for shamefully low prices. (I passed up a mint-condition beauty, complete with cabinet, for $75 a few months ago; had it been a treadle type I’d have bought it.)
But this is a Pfaff. And in my NSHO (that is, the opinion of somebody who rarely sews these days but who used to design and make all her own clothes), old metal Pfaffs and Whites (yes, made by the same people who built the big trucks, later made by Huskvarna) are the best electric sewing machines ever. (Here’s an eBay seller trying to get $300 for one, not in as good a condition or as complete as mine. Not likely to get anywhere near that.)
I brought it home, gave it a drink of oil, plugged it in, hit the foot control, and it purred like a satisfied tiger. Take a look inside. Is that a beautiful machine, or what? I think you can safely say, “They don’t make ’em like that any more.”