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Treasure hunting a spring ritual

Elaine Marshall

Spring is here and it seems Truckee residents are clearing their homes of unwanted stuff, just to make room for their neighbor’s unwanted stuff.

About 40 garage and rummage sales are happening this holiday weekend in Truckee. Last weekend there were five.

A Glenshire classified ad in this week’s paper is the most honest, advertising “Odds and ends.” A few sellers are reluctant to let go, calling their castoffs “good stuff,” and even “treasures” as a Tahoe Donner ad read. An Alder Creek ad went so far as to boast “No junk!”

An endearing testament to the occasional folly of human faith, exercise equipment makes a strong show in the ads, although the most popular unwanted stuff is clothes, toys, household items and baby items.

Success at sleeping late is dubious for one Sierra Meadows resident, who put “no early birds” in an ad. First picks are the art of the game and Garage-o-philes are a competitive bunch, as anyone who’s ever awakened at 7 a.m. to discover a group of them waiting in the front yard knows.

With so many garage sales to choose from, early birds may first hit the houses selling solar panels, an electric canoe, fly fishing gear and tools. Perhaps the antique ski pole at Donner Lake will be a quick sale, too.

A separate breed of garage-sale hunter and gatherers will shop late Sunday afternoon, haggling outrageous deals from weary sellers, more for the pleasure of a good deal than out of any real need.

For sellers, few joys compare to the twisted one of converting hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars worth of stuff into a modest fistful of dollar bills.

Nevertheless, residents are encouraged to avoid early birds, ten-cent haggles and possible sunburn by donating their stuff to one of the charity rummage sales in town, as listed under Garage Sales in the classified section. Charity rummage sales are being held by the Humane Society of Truckee, Lions Club, and Campfire Kids.

Donating will also leave the weekend free to shop. One withdrawal at the ATM can lead to an hours-long hunt for the big score – an old full-length mirror with a crack in the corner, a box of last year’s best-selling books, a warmer winter coat-orat least a car-load of stuff the neighbor’s might want to buy next spring.


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