From the Heart

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What is it about auctions that seem to lure one to them?  Just like the sirens of legend, enticing sailors with their enchanting music and singing voices to shipwreck onto the rocky coasts of their islands, I have been seduced by the auction chant. “One-dollar bid, now two, now two, will ya’ give me two? Two-dollar bid, now three, now three, will ya’ give me three.”

Now, in the ancient Greek myths, to stop sailors from succumbing to the deadly siren call, Odysseus, for example had his men block their ears with wax, while he himself was tightly tied to the mast of his ship, since he wanted to hear them singing. As for Odysseus, he heard the sirens sing, but lived to tell the tale, being bound to the mast. I don’t have ready access to a ship’s mast and although ear plugs would prevent me from hearing the well-known last words of “Going once, going twice, sold!” or “Going, going, gone!”, followed by announcing the winning bid, I choose to listen and bid!

There is an auction that is held every Thursday night, not far from us.  Several days before the auction, they post these alluring and often irresistible pictures of what will be on the block that week. Every week as my fingers are poised above the keys of the computer, waiting to type in the address, so I can view the pictures, I tell myself – “You don’t need to bring one more teacup, teapot, china set or anything that you think you can’t live without, into this house since you are supposed to be downsizing.” But it NEVER works. I always succumb and inevitably I find myself perusing the pictures and visualizing some of the soon to be auctioned items in my house. Each week it’s a dazzling array of delicious old furniture (of which we don’t need) and always an array of the weird and the unusual… cartons of old and tired Christmas decorations, boxes of tattered comic books, odd collections of all sorts (cuff links, lighters, stamps, coins, etc.), vintage clothing and jewelry, old coal buckets filled with tools, bags of baskets, and the list goes on and on and on.

Usually we are just looking for ANYTHING tea related, toys in good condition for the grand kids, interesting gardening items or something/anything I think I can’t live without. Some weeks, we have really lucked out, especially when there are no savvy dealers there (which is very unlikely).  For example, once we purchased a box of teacups and saucers for five dollars, only to come home and discover that several of them were worth quite a bit more than five dollars. I hate to admit to this, but one night, we came home with 19 teapots!!! I know I’m nuts.

Our latest acquisition, another tea cart!  Like we need another tea cart, but this one has a glass removable tea tray on top and except for one wobbly wheel it’s in perfect condition.  I admit I am addicted.  I’m sure I’ve spent more than lots of things are worth, but it’s more a question of what it’s worth to me. If it’s going to make me happy every time I look at it for the rest of my life, then that’s a treasure.

So, I guess I better admit it – yes, I am an auction junkie! But no rehab for me. I plan on continuing to scrutinize those online pictures every week and if there is ANYTHING even remotely related to tea, I’ll be there wildly waving my orange numbered card and waiting to hear those magical words,” Sold to the crazy tea lady.”

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