Friday, December 26, 2014

Ever the Estate Sale

Almost every weekend here, as is appropriate in a senior community where some folks become death statistics every week, there is a well staged estate sale. I'll be toddling off to a massage or shopping, and seeing the sign, clamp on my brakes. Half the time I convince myself that I need to accelerate once again for after all, I'm trying to get rid of accumulated trivia, not gather more. But sometimes, like last week, I can't resist the impulse.... What the other shoppers don't realize, I think, is that I'm more interested in learning about the mystery of who lived in the house and their life story, than I am in purchasing their treasured possessions. Of course, there is the eerie feeling, "Someday it will be me and my treasures they are pouring over; who will buy them and what will they think of me?"
A couple of weeks ago I stopped on impulse at a sign about a mile away. It was only about half an hour after the sale opening, and I could see many shoppers exiting the front door, arms laden with treasures, their faces half masked, half smiling, clutching their special finds. It took me five minutes to latch onto a large hand blown glass bowl with exquisite colors and designs (later Catherine and Mary's Christmas gift) and two very old Chinese Foo dogs that seemed to be calling my name. Not that I couldn't easily have spent $5,000 in five minutes, such were the art objects there, many from Bali and Asia. But what I really wanted was to learn was who had lived here, and what were the stories behind their treasures?
I brought the dogs home and put them on my kitchen table. Later I learned
from friend Elaine who has travelled to China many times that the Foo dogs I bought were male; a female dog has her paw raised with the ball in her paw. Hmm. I might have been less interested had I known. Or maybe not. Anyway, I already knew that they are supposed to guard the throne. So now they sit contentedly in front of my  fireplace, assuming their new role. I feel safer already.

 What I learned subsequently from Bonnie-type sleuthing was that the former owner had been placed in a care facility and died the day after the sale, and that in an earlier life she had worked for the CIA. I hope she passed on some of her luck and intrigue to me for I could surely use some going into this new year.


Tamara said...

How interesting! I wonder the same sorts of things--seeing through the eyes of an historian. Wonderful finds! And a lively chapter in the story of making your new house a home.

Sandy Delehanty said...

I love this story, and of course she would be an interesting woman who worked for the CIA! Bonnie you are a sleuth extraordinaire!