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MADORIN: Guilty pleasures await |

MADORIN: Guilty pleasures await

Native Kansan Karen Madorin is a local writer and retired teacher who loves sharing stories about places, people, critters, plants, food, and history of the High Plains.

Warmer weather means gardens, birds, spring cleaning, walks, fishing and more. For many, scores of garage sale ads make up for a long winter without a reuse or recycle fix. There’s a whole group of folks whose guilty pleasure involves sorting through unwanted belongings, hoping to score treasure.


As a kid, I attended church rummage sales with mom or gramma. These involved tables full of well-worn clothing or outmoded hats. Unlike our daughters and grands, I didn’t anticipate weekly scavenger hunts where I might find already broken-in jeans, cowboy boots, denim jackets, camo, hunting and fishing supplies (including a Herter’s crow call), a favorite game piece, a specialized cooking utensil, or funky décor to sizzle up outfits and rooms.

While garage sales potentially interest anyone, they’re perfect for dressing children. Considering kids outgrow clothing before it wears out, these weekend sprees offer a budget Godsend. Expect to find quality jeans, tops, shoes, and coats for pennies on the dollar. Of course, you have to factor in added expense for toys your kids latch onto while you upgrade their wardrobe.

As a result of these trips, our girls had more playthings than they needed. Ditto for the grands. Their moms find clever sandboxes, motorized bikes and cars, doll houses, and more for prices that don’t break the bank. Oftentimes, these items are in excellent condition and can be resold when the sprouts outgrow them. It makes financial sense to practice a reduce, reuse, recycle policy.

That said, my favorite part of garage sale-ing is discovering treasures I didn’t know I needed. Some shoppers hit the streets each Friday and Saturday with a specific list. Others count on serendipity to bless their adventure. With our kids are grown, I’ve joined the second group, which adds a new level of anticipation to the experience.

I’ve picked up clam shells big enough to serve as bathroom sinks and a conch larger than a basketball. One now showcases rocks, the other necklaces. This decades’ long addiction helped me build an extensive shell collection. These finds pushed it over the top.

In addition, cool kitchen gadgets and cookware from American history wait to be reused. I didn’t even know about springform pans for making cheese cake til I found one at a garage sale. Now, it’s a kitchen essential. Recently, I picked up a never-used ceramic tart pan for a dollar. While I use it only once or twice a year, it didn’t cost an arm and a leg so there’s no guilt.

This doesn’t cover vintage finds that include everything from Civil War letters to handcrafted lace doilies to WW II Ration books, stamps, and magazines. These discoveries make a history lover salivate. You never know when you’ll score the find that fills a hole in your collection. As a bonus, you often get the item’s background story.

I hesitated to share my love for this guilty pleasure for fear it might increase competition. However, the growing numbers of advertisements lead me to believe good deals await anyone willing to hit the road to find them.

Native Kansan Karen Madorin is a local writer and retired teacher who loves sharing stories about places, people, critters, plants, food, and history of the High Plains.

Category: Cookware Pans  Tags: ,  Comments off
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