What do you do when you wake up after a storm to a gorgeous Thursday morning in May? You go garage sale-ing, of course.
With SIX kids.
Four of them being boys, although Japper, as Felix calls Jasper (and sad to say, the nick name has stuck) hardly counts, being quite cute and cuddly and not quite 3 months of age.
I have to admit that at 11pm the night before, when the rain was coming down in what could only be referred to as a torrential downpour, I almost called my dear friend Beth to question the sanity of attempting such an outing, but I was too tired so instead I went to sleep. But not before watching one more episode of MI-5.
Ryan woke me up at the ungodly hour of 7am and I almost changed my mind again about going- after all, was it really sane to wake up my 4 boys, wrestle them sleepily into clothes, feed them a breakfast of cereal-in-a-baggie, and ask them to "be good" while I schlepped them 45 minutes away to Waunakee for the city-wide garage sales? Well, dear friends, whether it was sane or not, who can argue with the allure of 5 block radius of sales, chock full of $1 bargains?
I hit the jackpot at the very first sale we stopped at.
I mean, check these babies out! Vintage Red Wing Boots, the requisite shoe of all hipsters. If you don't believe me, check out the Sartorialist, band of outsiders and any guy walking out of Context in downtown Madison. Red Wings are no longer resigned to be content shodding the feet of tobacco chewing hunters kickin' back PBR while waiting for poor unsuspecting Bambi to meander out into the open. No, these babies have become the calling card for the under 30 crowd who would rather be caught dead than wearing something other than $250 selvedge denim (while also kicking back PBR, the new drink of choice for said hipsters). But I digress. These boots jumped out at me immediately, and so did the masking tape price tag. $1. I had to look twice to make sure I'd seen it correctly. The guy whose garage we were (a) saleing told me that they'd been his grandpa's and he didn't even want to think about what they had cost new. I didn't want to remind him. I'd just seen J. Crew trotting out a special edition for the meager amount of $225. Yeah, jackpot. Mr. Garage Sale Man thought they were a size 10 so I figured if they didn't fit Ryan, I could resell them on ebay and make back anything I spent. They happen to agree with Ryan's feet quite nicely, however, so I think they are here to stay.
I also scored two tennis rackets, a book (which Sam promptly mislaid while tying his shoes), lemonade from a cute little girl, bikes for Sam and Oliver, and Sperry Top Siders for Felix. If Felix were 22, he'd be the envy of all his friends. Somehow, Sperry Top Siders have joined forces with Red Wing Boots to become the come back kids of the shoe world. I mean, these things are ALL over the place. If you don't believe me, check out the sartorialist, band of outsiders (or the Proenza Schoeler boys- they may have single handedly made them uber cool), and any guy walking out of Context in downtown Madison. Are you noticeing a pattern here? Felix, being 2 and not 22, however, isn't too sure. He likes PBR though.
But the crowning joy was the bike for Ryan. It was the reason we stopped at the first sale. A barely used Mongoose mountain bike with an attached kid carrier and helmet to boot. $75. We've been looking for bikes so we can start taking advantage of all the bike trails in and around Madison and thanks to yesterday's coup, we're now only a bike away (for me) from realizing that dream. Ryan let me get a taste of that dream last night. It was date night at our house so once I got all 9 kids jammied up, Ryan told me to take a spin. It really is true what they say about riding a bike- you never forget. It's been at least a decade since I've hopped atop one, and I'll admit, I was a wee bit nervous, but it came back instanteously. I set off down Milwaukee St. and headed south onto a country road. Folks, it was a gorgeous ride. Sun setting on a beautiful old farmstead set in a field beginning to show the first seedlings of the season, the grass on the embankment the most verdant I've ever seen, and a full moon rising over head.
I'd say it was worth it, wouldn't you?