I am 44 years old and my husband is 45. We hit the mid-life crisis with a bang and realized we didn’t spend enough time together, just the two of us. We have our children and their husbands and children living with us, so all of us have an escape route once in a while. Don’t get me wrong-we love each other. However, at this time in our lives, my husband and I realize just how short life is and we won’t live forever. Memories we make now will always be remembered, even when we are gone.
The question we asked ourselves was what should we do? I am one of the lucky ones who can say our sex life at this stage in the game after being together 28 years is nothing to sneeze at, but we needed something we could enjoy together. He is a football fan-me not so much. I love shows about murder and mayhem-he would rather watch The Dukes of Hazzard reruns. We do enjoy the NCIS series as well as watching anything to do with superheros (like Batman, Superman, and now The Flash and fell in love with the series “Arrow”) but that isn’t active activities. That is sitting on your butt getting old and fat activities!
So, one weekend, we had a bit of extra cash and knew there were a bunch of yard sales in our area. We like looking for stuff for our grandkids (which drive my kids crazy as they already have quite a few toys) but figure you never know what you may come upon. We hopped in the car with my phone for GPS tracking, had a list of addresses to go to, and set off on our journey.
It was a beautiful day that day. The sun was shining and it was warm and quickly getting hotter. My husband had put in a lot of overtime the previous weeks (hence the extra cash flow) and he had the next couple of days off. I asked him when he wanted to go back and he looked at me, saw me smiling, and said, “We don’t have a time limit, do we?” My husband wasn’t one for shopping, so this was music to my ears!
We got lost that day, I remember. We ended up way out miles and miles from home, completely and utterly lost. We almost ran out of gas, too! We ended up at a creepy gas station (that is featured in my book of short stories, “Twisted Tales”) and I was laughing so hard because of what images had come to my mind and how creeped out my husband was. That day was so memorable, because we had not only shed the worry of our kids (who were both married with kids) but learned to enjoy each other.
After that day, we have made a habit of going to yard sales each weekend. Even if he is working, we will start out either on a Friday or Saturday morning, looking for specifically Barbie dolls and Transformers. I loved Barbie dolls since childhood and am an avid collector and he always loved Transformers. He never got one as a toy until after we had married and I learned his parents could never afford the luxury of toys like that. I still feel strongly he deserves some fun and so do I after raising our kids and working so hard to give them a good life (even if we fell a bit short in that area).
I have found several things on my journeys with him Some I have kept, some I have sold for a profit to support our now addicting habit. My daughter, Michaela, chides us that if we aren’t careful we will become hoarders. Luckily, the very thought along with our limited pocketbook makes that pretty much impossible. I also love to find things and sell them to others when I realize I found a tiny treasure for little money. It enables me to share my passion with others, but also helps the family budget in the first place.
Some say if we didn’t do what we do then we would have more money. Well, we don’t drink and we don’t party. We don’t really go out to dinner as I hate eating in front of people (little know random fact about me, thanks to buck-teeth as a child) Plus, it is amazing when we get to a yard sale and find a bunch of Barbie dolls for so little-even after I explain sometimes to the people how much they are worth, they sometimes even give us a better price knowing they will be going to collectors.
THAT is extremely awesome!
Here are a few of our finds. Some aren’t worth much, but to me, they are a tiny treasure!
And that is just a small sample of a few things. Like I said, nothing major, but things I could add to my collection or stuff I could resell for a small profit to buy other cool stuff (or in some cases, groceries or pay a bill!). I am always adding to my collection, and lately, I am expanding it as well. I once didn’t even have a doll over 14″ (and even that, for me, was pushing it for size) and now, this is my collection that is growing thanks to finds in thrift stores or yard sales:
I am always hoping to find that one rare doll, that one Barbie, that has been sitting in someone’s attic and their children decide to put it out for sale. Would I tell them its value? Honestly, maybe, maybe not! As silly as it sounds, it’s like the American Pickers when they find something-you want to be fair but hope to go home with a little money in your pocket and a treasure you otherwise couldn’t afford!
Now I have made it my passion to start a side collection from the actual Barbie dolls. I love lingerie, and when I was a kid, I had only 1 nightgown for my dolls. Maybe this is why I have such joy when making it for collectors in some of my OOAK (one of a kind for those who don’t know) fashion lines. I know what it was like being poor as a child and not having what others had, or wishing so much to be able to get something to play with and couldn’t afford it. I have been lucky to be in a position to follow my passion as a collector and find these wonderful things.
I also have a ridiculous Barbie and doll shoes collection. Many women have a thing for shoes, and I remember my older sister Tammy having some fabulous clothes and shoes when I was little. She was 11 years older than me, and I always tried on her shoes and could never fit in them. When I got older, high heels were it and I wore them, then I started having back problems and was diagnosed with spinal arthritis and facet joint disease 2 years ago. I already loved finding different shoes to go with my OOAK fashions. After all, the right shoe can make or break the presentation of an outfit. It was last year when I realized just how many I had collected, and I decided to keep buying more. At one yard sale I happened to mention my….I guess you would say, fetish? for Barbie shoes since she had a couple dolls for sale. She brought me out some shoes and I was doing the little happy dance in my heart as they were ones I didn’t have. I hesitantly asked, “How much?” and she gauged me (i have learned how to have a poker face!) and said $1. That is my favorite number, it seems, as I have found plenty of treasures for just $1!
If you are sitting there, slightly drooling, or wishing there was a yard sale right now, GO FOR IT! Don’t be afraid of what your friends and family or neighbors think. Life is to be enjoyed and cherished each moment possible. Who cares if someone thinks you’re weird? Don’t we ALL have a little bit of eccentricity to us? Those who don’t are simply boorish and boring. Feel sorry for them and embrace your weirdness! I am lucky to have a husband who understands my love of toys and love of anything vintage. We want to buy vintage cars, as well, but that will be a long time coming thanks to finances. For now, we will stick to toys and finding ones for our grandkids in the process of reliving our childhood.
Life is short. Enjoy it. Embrace it. Before you know it, it will be gone and what will you have to leave behind for others to remember you by?
I am living my second childhood. Should you be living yours?
Want to see what I come up with in my travels that I get to pass on to others?
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