Bunker Mentality: The Yard Sale Queen in bloom

For the past several weeks, the Yard Sale Queen has been putting on her dance moves in the form of a Happy Dance.

Spring, with its warming temperatures, not only turns everything green but also signals the beginning of (drum roll, please) yard sale season.

The Yard Sale Queen has a broad smile on her face and a joyous bounce in her step. She longs for this time of year. It simply doesnâ??t get any better than yard sales for her.

For those of us who donâ??t get excited about yard sales, Spring simply means time to cut grass, sneezing, watery eyes, sore throats and other manifestations of allergies.

But to the Yard Sale Queen Spring it means there are deals to be had.

The last few Saturdays, the Queen has crawled out of bed before the birds thought about chirping. She went to the bank Friday getting small bills and stuffing them in her favorite fanny pack. She picked out comfortable shoes and set aside clothing suitable for the day ahead. Some of the stuff she wears is almost like a yard sale uniform.

Yard sale shopping runs in her family, apparently. A few weeks ago, she loaded her mother, daughter and granddaughter in the car and off they went. Four generations off to sales.

Meanwhile, I was left to toil with my neighbors, cleaning up the neighborhood, picking up trash and stumbling in the mud up to my knees in the stormwater pond plucking trash tossed by people without trash cans.

The Yard Sale Queen and her carload were on a mission. Another family member was moving to a new house. They needed all kinds of furniture.

The Yard Sale Queen scored a huge deal – five beds, box springs, mattresses and a like-new recliner for about $72. Holy cow!

Tell me she canâ??t spot a deal.

She bought a stunning white dress at a yard sale. To say that she looked good would be an understatement. She received numerous compliments about the dress.

â??It cost me $3 at a yard sale,â? she told a stunned group of admirers.

She claims to be low maintenance. She is, indeed.

I can do a Happy Dance on that.

One recent Sunday, we drove to Double Toll Gate – a huge flea market near Stephens City. I was so busy talking that I missed my exit. With no place to turn around on I-66, I continued north on to I-81 and then off at Stephens City. A few more miles we were at Double Toll Gate, through the back way.

â??How did you do that?â? the Yard Sale Queen asked.

Luck, sheer luck. Not really.

We walked through the flea market, picked up a few items and left. She was not impressed with the selection and even less impressed with prices.

The Queen knows a good deal when she sees one, and she didnâ??t see many.

Two weeks ago, I had a very unhappy Yard Sale Queen. She had to work. It may be the first of many Saturdays her company will force her to work, similar to last summer.

Last year, she got to go to about six yard sales. Itâ??s not a good thing when she gets unhappy because she canâ??t yard sale. The pretty smile is replaced by an ugly frown.

Finding deals, clothes for grandkids and even her daughter is a passion with her.

Last Saturday, we headed to Hagerstown for our annual trek to see some of my old classmates from high school. It was our 49th class reunion, although I am not sure the significance of that other than it is after the 48th and before the 50th.

In the past, the Yard Sale Queen has found some really good neighborhood yard sales to occupy her time, while I listen to the radio or read a newspaper.

Even though it was cold and overcast, there were more yard sales than expected. She found all kinds of clothes for her grand kids.

Meanwhile, I listened to the radio and read newspapers.

Wally Bunker is a freelance contributor with the Culpeper Times. You may reach him at wallybunker@outlook.com