Friday, March 16, 2018

The Silent Auction


Churches of Salmon Arm Thrift Store.

 For three days that thrift store is having their bag sale. All you can stuff into a plastic grocery bag for $2. Wyona and I should have gone there first instead of hitting the Dairy Queen for their $7 Cheeseburger Special.

Believing it is never too late to shop we separated paths, each going up and down isles alone so that we weren’t competing for the same used articles. I usually do a quick sweep of the store and then start on my isle of choice which was the kitchen ware. Bonnie needs some bread pans to begin with.

 Nothing there, not even a decent pie plate.

 I gave up the search and went to find utensils for the drawer that holds every small useful tool.

 I found a garlic press like the one I bought 30 years ago which I love and 2 lemon zesters, one of which I will share with Bonnie. I stuffed the bag with a leather belly pouch, a crotched black bag and a beige hand-woven rattan hippie looking bag.

 I found 5 crystals dishes that fit in the bag overlapping each other and a Barbie doll dressed up in an outfit as though she is graduating from college. Those clothes will be off of her when Alice or Betty sees that doll. I am hoping that for just a split second they might retain the image of a women in academic robes.

As well there is a purse shaped like a dog with a small handle on it. The zipper opening is so small that only the hand of a small child can get in the purse which I am going to stuff with every conceivable small toy I have to see if I can get Betty interested in the purse.

 I gave a purse to Alice a few months ago and I notice Betty likes to carry it. I should give this one to Alice again so that Betty will want it.

Two or three clerks in the store told me to go upstairs to the silent auction. Wyona and I cashed out – so that we didn’t have to carry our stuff and we came back in the store to go upstairs.

The way to get there is by going through the sorting area where customers are not allowed, around a corner and when we got to the stairs someone offered to let us go up the freight elevator.

One of us must have been limping. The manager of the thrift store was going into the elevator as well with a trolley of boxes. He warned us that we should bring a book for the elevator sometimes stops. That didn’t frighten us. He was charming and soon engaged in a conversation with Wyona. I was surprised at how long we chatted before the elevator doors opened. He told her that the rattan outdoor garden table and chairs were in the auction, the ones just outside the first floor door of the elevator. She had asked when will that 5 piece set go out on the main floor for sale. He told us about the silent auction bidding protocol, saying that some people come into the store, bid $1 on every item and then they do get something out of the auction. In a pause in the conversation he said to Wyona, one of you is going to have to hit the Second Floor button on the panel if we are to go anywhere.

Wyona and I have a long history of going into the elevator, being so engaged in conversation with one another that we forget to hit that button and it is not until someone else enters the elevator that we go anywhere. It is unintentional.

That second floor was a big surprise to us.

... camel dish from the thrift store boutique shop ...
... the middle becomes a dish ...
The books were pre-priced – one, two, or three dollars each. I began to fill my arms with books from the section that held Indigenous books and books specific to British Columbia.

There were books on native music and art that were beautiful.

Then I put the whole lot down, remembering that if I began with the books, I would never get out of the books. In another world, I should have taken the books over to the clerk and had her hold them.
Wyona had done that downstairs in the thrift-store boutique: taken her purchase and had the clerk hold it behind the till. There had been a change in clerks for coffee breaks, and the second clerk had taken her potential purchase and put it out back on the shelves for sale. I think Wyona laughed louder about that than I did.

For sale at the silent auction: a winter fur trimmed coat in Inuit beaded style for a 5 year old girl; an iron-triangle that hung from a farm house beam and used to all the farm hands in for supper; a 7-piece Irish Belleek tea set; a high backed rattan wooden rocking chair in perfect condition; 3 very-long Samuri swords on a black display stand (Wyona comment that there is no way she would take those home – someone might use them as a toy); 2-quart canning jars with metal and glass lids (no way I am going to take those home; they remind me of long hours of canning); an antique toy baby buggy (I think there were even springs on the wheels); an unused 18 piece set of Paderno cookware; and a child’s wooden logging truck (at least 18” long) complete with logs and 2 other pieces of forest equipment that I don’t have names for among other things.

Again, Wyona and I parted company.

When we passed each other on the isles and made comments, she always would say, if you are going to bid on that, I am not going to compete with you. That is how she is.

To reinforce that idea, when we had first enter the boutique Wyona was in a conversation about a small end table that she was thinking of buying. Wyona asked the clerk the price. Then Wyona got in a conversation showing the clerk showing her excellent the piece was, how the legs could move and the two sides collapse, making it a convenient piece to have in any small apartment. The clerk said to Wyona, I was thinking about buying this in the morning but couldn’t commit myself. Wyona said, well, you saw it first, you have it. Yes.

I saw a dish like this in Malaysia being sold by a street venor.
I didn't buy it because I was afraid my suitcase
would be too heavy with everything I bought.
 Make the world a better place and think in any situation, what would Wyona do.


At 4:30 pm a crew was there to clean up, put away the books and begin to count the lottery tickets.

Wyona and I didn’t clear out until 5 pm. The last customers out of the building.  As I walked with her to the car I said, “Well, that just felt like a wonderful day trip off of a cruise liner and into a charming rural town.”

Now I am afraid to pick up my telephone, wondering if I truly bought anything at the silent auction. I will be horrified if I get the small wooden puzzle box that is shaped like an eagle. I want the box but not the two foot wooden eagle that hangs on the wall and is included in the purchase.


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