I saw her on the sidewalk as soon as I got out of the car. She was on her side, half buried by a stack of old Christmas lights and a moldy shower curtain. I think it was the glint of avocado tin that tipped me off. That was a color I had come to know and hate back in the 60's when they even made refrigerators in that deadly shade of green. I circled the box cautiously and in an attempt to seem disinterested, picked up the Christmas lights. I turned them over in my hand, as if giving them a serious appraisal, and stretched my neck around to get a better look at what was under them in the box. I could see the turquoise accents and little early space era dials all done up in Mrs. Robinson plastic facing up towards me. A furtive upward glance told me no one had noticed my interest in the box and it's mystery contents.
I made my way up the walkway towards the house, stopping to look at a row of grocery store dishes, a stack of Barney video tapes and several trashy paperbacks, all the while, using the hairs on the back of my head to monitor any movement behind me in the direction of that box. I kept reminding myself to remain cool, aloof and unconcerned.
I took a deep breath and feigned some mild curiosity while approaching the owner of the box. "How much do you want for the stuff in the box at the end of the drive?" I asked, while appearing to be enthralled by the Barney videos on the table in front of me.
Shopping at garage sales is tricky. You don't want to seem too eager or too rich. It's best to wear your blue jeans, shop with a take it or leave it attitude and hope for the best. With a little haggling, the owner and I came to an agreement and a price I could embrace. I headed down the driveway, saying thanks and reminding her what wonderful drop cloths old shower curtains make and saying you can never have enough Christmas lights.... then went straight home to clean my beautiful Topper, 1968 Suzy Homemaker Easy Bake Oven which would make a wonderful kitchen night light and perhaps some brownies in the process. She is in my shop, just waiting for the right kitchen to compliment. I love her, but after living through the 60's, I vowed I'd never have another avocado appliance in my home.