Friday, October 21, 2011

Mini-Vacation Weekend

This past weekend Ben and I had our first entire day by ourselves, with no schedule or responsibilities since about three children ago.  We took a weekend trip up North because we found a great online deal for a two night stay at a hotel suite. 

The first night, we dropped the children off at Ben's parents house.  This was the first time we left Veronica overnight.  I had been concerned, but she did beautifully.  I think it was a huge help having her brothers and sister with her.

The next day, Ben and I had hours upon hours to do with as we chose.  We decided to take a car trip and just stop at whatever struck our fancy.  We ended up passing an auction house that had a sale that day.  I had never been to an auction before, but Ben was an old pro.

I'm ready to bid on something.  Anything.

The auction took several hours, so we stayed to watch them auction off boats and ATVs.  Then we left during the gun and bear trap sales.  Seriously, these bear traps were scary!  Huge, rusted metal death traps.  The one we saw auctioned off before we left sold for $350.

After a leisurely lunch in which I cut up only my own food and didn't wipe up a single spill, we returned to the auction.  I was giddy with the thrill of bidding on something.  I had been eying up a box of cookbooks.  I am a sucker for cookbooks, the older, the better.  This box had some old church cookbooks and some newer glossy color books.

By the time the cookbooks were ready to sell, all the big ticket items had gone.  These giant carts with boxed items (like my cookbooks) were being sold.  The auctioneer asked if anyone wanted anything on the cart and he started the bidding at $2.50.  Feeling flush with vacation money, I told Ben I was willing to go up to $5.  Maybe $7.50.  I was so eager to make eye contact with the auctioneer and casually raise my hand, thus dashing the hopes of the other wannabe cookbook buyers.  I handed my box to the auctioneers helper.  In a blur of words I don't quite know if I understood, I realized that I was the only  one there who wanted the cookbooks.  Yay that I didn't have to pay more than $2.50.  Bummer that I couldn't actually raise a bid.  I was content with my purchase, but a little disappointed by the lack of others' enthusiasm for my treasure.

Why yes, there is a Chinese cookbook included in the bunch.

A second auctioneer was outside the warehouse auctioning off piles of junk on a cart.    Amid the unidentifiable rusted tools and parts, I spotted it.  I had to have it.  I didn't know what I would use it for, but it called to me.  "Kristin.  Buy us.  Love us.  Make us useful again."  It was a couple of large plastic containers full of keys.  No, not decorative and pricey skeleton keys, but run-of-the-mill house keys, car keys and misc. who-knows-what keys.  I needed them.  And they needed me.

Ben was skeptical, but as he had found his own box of useless stuff (I mean treasure) he guiltily supported my decision on the keys.  Once again, I was shocked that nobody else wanted them.  I spent my $2.50 and didn't get to outbid anyone else.

Lots and lots of useless keys.

I am still convinced that I will be able to find a craft use for these keys.  If any of you brilliant readers has a suggestion, I would love to hear it. I'm thinking maybe of decorating a picture frame.

Included in the key box was an old combination lock with no combination.  You may be thinking that is a useless item, but you would be wrong.  A creative Momma can figure out lots of brilliant, but cheap ways to entertain her children.

I told my kids that I would put $5 (An absolute fortune for them) in their collection boxes for church if they could show me that they were able to open the lock.  Yes, I require proof.  If they are able to open it and tell me what combination they used, I would give $10 to their church collection box.

They have been busy with that thing for hours.  It was well worth the $2.50 I spent for the keys.

A plastic tote full of pristine, hard-cover children's book rounded out our purchases.  That, was $3.00. We got to outbid the $2.50 bid of the guy next to us who just wanted the plastic tub, not the books.  Score!  I felt the thrill of victory that only raising somebody 50 cents a bid can bring to a person.

That evening, we picked up the kids again and spent the rest of the evening and next morning before check-out time playing in the pool.





Ben and Veronica

In the "warm" tub


Alyson and Ford said...

Good buys! Since we have some old keys you motivated me to search on the web.... how about wind chimes, Christmas ornaments (painting a Christmas symbol on each one), add a couple nice ones to a silver necklace with links, a charm "key" bracelet (engrave initials on it too)... etc. Lots of ideas!
Great family photos too!

Alyzabeth's Mommy

Mike and Katie said...

My grandpa collected keys and locks because he occasionally would find a key that would fit with the old locks. Once he let the boys look at the keys but he was very protective and asked us to put them away quickly and make sure none were lost.

I can't wait to see what you do with them.

Football and Fried Rice said...

You're hilarious! Im so excited you and Ben got AWAY!!

Do a search on Pinterest for something to do with the keys - I'm sure there's tons of stuff!

Lulu said...

How about a lamp shade for the keys?