Marnie and I went to an estate sale today and found all sorts of goodies. I even missed some of the items for sale because there were so many things to look at! All the items for sale had been moved to the barns on the property and some items were very dirty. In fact, one of my items was marked $3 but the lady only charged me $1 because it was really filthy. Dirt for the win! Right now I’m going through some of the things I bought, hoping to find things I can sell in my Etsy store. I got a whole box of sewing notions – vintage patterns, thread, buttons, and zippers; a bag of game pieces; some Christmas decorations; a bowl made of English walnut that is worth far more than I paid for it; a concrete bear statue for the side yard; two wind chimes; some other things, and most interestingly a box of cards and letters originally owned by a Mennonite girl named Irene. I think this is her senior picture:
Right now I’m going through the box and wiping off all the dirt and spider webs from the cards and letters. They are mostly just letters from her friends with a few newspaper clippings, such as this one about some giant waves at the coast. I do wish there were more newspaper clippings, as I enjoy reading the ads and other little articles.
Irene was very detailed in noting on each envelope that she had answered the letter. I assume she would have gotten many more letters than this in her life and I’m not sure why these are the only ones left, but I imagine that her family had looked at these and didn’t feel they were important. There are no photos in the box except the senior photo. Plus, they are all dirty and webby and there was an actual spider in the box.
Of course, you don’t learn much about a person from reading the letters sent to them. I don’t know if the estate was hers or how she was related to the person who left the estate, but I found her obituary online and she indeed passed away in the last few months. It sounds like she was a wonderful and generous woman who loved to help people. But she had no children of her own, and some letters from her teenage years would have meant little to her nephews and niece, I think.
Anyway, I always find it very interesting to read old letters and postcards. I was hoping to find some postcards in the box, but only one has turned up so far. It is a photo of Giant Geyser in Yellowstone National Park, from 1961.