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In search of the perfect Victorian nutmeg grinder



Technically speaking, spring has sprung although the snow and the chilly temperatures this week could convince you otherwise.

It's that time of year again, when people shed their old winter skins and break out their flip-flops and sunscreen in preparation for the coming months.

It's the magical season of rebirth and regeneration.

Along those same lines, spring is also traditionally the season of spring-cleaning, of purging homes of unwanted clutter and chaos and making things fresh again.

That can mean only one thing - it's garage sales galore time.

As garage sales have been the bane of my existence for as far back as I can remember, I never thought I would find myself shuffling through clothes, sifting through paperbacks and board games and examining kitchenware last weekend.

But there I was at Base II at the 24-hour Garage Sale Relay, revelling in the bargains that were up for grabs. Golf shirts and shorts, jigsaw puzzles and books, there was something there for everyone.

And it was with an ever-so-slight sense of exhilaration when I handed over my $10 in return for the handful of goodies in my arms.

Not only that, all the proceeds from this sale went to the Easter Seal camp in Squamish for children with disabilities.

Garage sales have been popping up everywhere in the last few weeks.

One of my friends in Vancouver just had a garage sale and made $600. She had two years of collected stuff tucked away into various nooks and crannies in her apartment.

She was only hoping to make about $300 so it was unbelievable to her to make so much on stuff that was on its way to the dump - hundreds of dollars on old paperbacks and ancient CDs going for a buck each.

She was shocked that people were actually paying money to take away her garbage.

It just goes to show that one man's crap is another man's gold.

I found it so strange that I had such a good time delving into someone else's disregarded stuff this weekend, when years before I had vowed to never own anything second-hand when I grew up.

I guess that was before I had ever thought about paying for phone bills, power bills, cable bills, rent, food, etc.

And there I was thinking for all those years that it just grew on trees.

Garage sales and auctions have been a part of my life from my early days. Every book I ever owned had someone else's name scrawled into the flip side of the front cover.

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