Pull up a Pew.

Welcome all :) It's a beautiful sunny day here on the far South Coast of N.S.W. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and it's school holidays in the Picket Fence household.
I had quite an exciting week, it all started with a little ad in the local paper. A garage sale ad with all the usual trimmings, household effects,white goods, antiques and collectibles . Now I love a garage sale :) it's no secret, but this ad had something heart stopping. Jammed in there in black and white newsprint were the words "antique church pew"  Oh be still my beating heart.

I have a major soft spot  for religious collectibles, Catholic, Protestant, Hindu ,Amish ...you name it , I want it ; and how good would a church pew look languishing next my oak rectory table ;)
 I clipped out the ad from the paper, whacked it on the fridge and, with a grand flourish, ceremoniously announced that this was our collective goal for the week. The younger Picket Fencers rolled their eyes, Mr Picket Fence stared with the glazed face that  could only be translated as "Here we go, my wife wants money" Baby Picket Fence clapped his hands, something big was happening :)

 Well as you can expect the week dragged on , 3 days and nights of visualising the said pew, converting every single conversation with others into the pros and cons of collecting religious antiques, worrying if I had the funds to support such a special buy, and, thoroughly planning my week to ensure I got to the sale on time. I admit I even took a pre-sale drive to locate the address of the said garage sale and plot out the best parking spot. Without a doubt, I was a complete and obsessive bore.

The morning of the sale arrived, sunny, bright and sparkling with promise, a fine day to buy a church pew, yes indeedy ;)
 I pulled up and parked in my pre planned spot, leaped out of my car and smiled. I was early, really early and I was the first one there. Adrenaline and sunshine fuelled my optimism, I text-ed my beloved Mr Picket Fence "game on"
 The sale was listed as starting at 8 am, and it was a recently sold house, the owner obviously didn't live there and the roller doors sat locked, silent waiting for the key holder to arrive and reveal the loot behind.
 Stealthily cars rolled up and parked up and down the street, and like animals of prey, people in faded jeans and sweatshirts that had seen better days, sat slouched down behind their steering wheels, hats pulled low, surreptitiously looking for signs of an owner, listening for the creak of a roller door lifting, limbs twitching they waited to attack.

  A few seasoned dealers and hard nose collectors congregated at the foot of the drive, making small talk, pleasant conversation, laughing, smiling, but, all the while looking past each other waiting for the opportunity to side step the crowds and swoop, seizing the treasure and paying before your average man even knew it was there. Make no mistake, collecting antiques is not a game for the faint hearted. It's a wholehearted blood sport. You would be naive if you thought otherwise.

  As the clock moved on I stood, talking with the professional kerb dwellers, smiling, laughing, outwardly care free but on the inside, feeling sick to the core, palms sweaty and eyes flicking over the shoulders of the people I was talking to.
 And then, in a heartbeat came the footsteps of a man with purpose, like a starting gun the jingling keys in his hand signalled a mass chorus of opening car doors. A surge of people, no longer talking pleasantries, rolled up to the opening doors.
 Dealer's moved panther like, gliding effortlessly through, grabbing silver, clocks, antique tools, china  while all the time looking ahead to the next row, planning their assault. Women shouldered each other out of the way and mothers shoved doughnuts in their children's mouths, ignoring their requests for grown out of bikes and twisted piles of PlayStation cords. This was front line stuff. This, my friends, was serious.
 I stood confused, I'd instantly noted the absent pew, but had done a run around anyway in case it was hidden beneath a pile of clothes or was perhaps supporting a box of 70's Lps. Alas none to be seen, "Ahhh" I thought, it must be inside, too precious to be with the other junk. I approached the owner, eyes hopeful, knees like jelly, and asked about the said item....it was the climax of the hunt, and I was ready.
 He turned briefly, grunted and said " I'm Sorry, it's gone, I sold it to a neighbour days ago" My face must have betrayed my broken heart, and shattered I could only utter a winded "oh". He countered  "Love...she made me an offer I couldn't refuse" and then without further ado, off he walked.
I was mortified, I sent a sad face text to my husband and friends (who had spent a week listening about my plans for the said pew) and shuffled back to the car.
 There were two other sales on that morning, I attended both, but it was tokenistic, I was wounded, I'd lost and I felt like the embodiment of sour grapes. I spent the day at home doing "housewifey" things, the Picket
Fence kids went out to play and Mr Picket Fence took himself to work, safely away from my thunderclouds.

The day passed and I felt better, I'd find another church pew, I'd moved on. I was making dinner, the Picket Fence children were bathed and quietly playing when Mr Picket Fence came in, he was holding an old pint cream bottle and kissing me on the cheek he said, "You can't have been looking properly because you missed this one"
 With that the day ended, I didn't have my dreamt about church pew and the children ate dinner on normal chairs, I still had a little cash in my garage sale fund for the next "must have - to die for" garage sale  item and in the middle of the table sat a faded chrysanthemum in a old cream bottle. Life was, as it should be, just so and lovely, and for now that is the way it's stayed.
 Friends, thanks for stopping by again it's  always lovely to see you :)  And time will tell, Wednesdays paper will have some more garage sale ads, and  who knows there may be a church pew, I'll let you know ;)  Be seeing you !
                                                                 With bells on    
                                                 ( Please feel free to post a comment )
                                                                     xx Ava


  1. oh! That gave me goosebumps! I will be sure to let you know instantly if I hear of a pew for sale :)

  2. ^ From Belle!

  3. Thanks Belle , It's so lovely to get feedback! Absolutely , please keep your ear to the ground :)