Visit a rummage sale, especially one held at a church, and you’ll see how a flea market giveth and taketh away.
Consider Bob Jones, 60, of Nanticoke who recently spent a mere $2 for a big wooden bread box, bedecked with fancy carving on the front. “It might be a present,” he said.
Surely, the annual fall rummage sale at Centenary United Methodist Church in Ashley gaveth Jones a bargain. Just try googling “bread boxes,” and you’ll see a new one might cost anything from $29.99 to $99.95.
Then there are people like church volunteer Debbie Milford of Ashley, delighted that the church rummage sale hath taken away a bit of clutter from her home.
“Whenever my husband and I get the urge to clean, we put aside a big box and pack things up for the rummage sale,” she said with a smile.
Rummage-sale fans know they can find quality goods at very inexpensive rates — how about $2 for a full-size bedspread, $1 for a Trivial Pursuit game or 25 cents for some Christmas-tree ornaments?
At the Centenary sale, you could have found all that, along with salt-and-pepper shakers for 75 cents and a set of eight matching green coffee mugs for $1.50.
“I love to decorate my house with colored glass,” said Alice Alexander of Forty Fort, whose hands were full of vintage vases. “I found a lot of things for my daughter, too. She’s 22 and will be moving out to her own place soon.”
“I grew up in Ashley,” Alexander added, explaining she enjoyed returning to her hometown for the sale.
The camaraderie among visitors and the dedicated volunteers is the best part of the event, chairman Irene Drazba of Ashley said. “They give me 100 percent,” she said.
“The community knows the church is here for them,” Pastor Roger Noss said as shoppers checked out the homemade chocolate-dipped pretzels and took chances on gift baskets filled with everything from baking needs to Barbie dolls to a collection of coffee and tea.
“I bought this for an elderly friend, to give her a lift,” said Florence Belenski, 78, of Harveys Lake, showing off a decorative wreath she had bought.
“Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve been coming to things like this,” she said. “Auctions, too. Even if I don’t buy anything I enjoy it. It’s in my blood.”