Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Sold!

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Must be the place!I am playing "catch up" with my postings about things that happened when we first moved here, before I started my blog. So this actually occurred in mid-September, not mid-November! One of the very fun things about moving to a small town has been perusing the local papers. I get three different papers delivered to my house, none of which I had to ask for, they just come. They are filled with local area events, small town festivals honoring place & community, places to shop and eat, local vendors peddling their services, and the best part, the classifieds. Having spent the last 20 or so odd years living in big cities, it is with a grin that I read through the local small-town classified ads. “Tractor for sale.” Now that’s not something I would have seen in my Burnsville classifieds! Hay. Horses. Goats. Sheep. Rabbits. Cattle. Even an alpaca or two. These “for sale” ads are all foreign to me, but so intriguing. And the business ads – my favorite is an ad that runs every week for “Porky’s Pooper Pumper” (no lie!). Also intriguing are all of the area auctions. Everything from campers to business equipment to farm equipment to estate items, auctions are a big thing in this area, and I can count on at least a half dozen or so ads enticing me out for a weekend of shopping and bidding. Horse Arena come Auction HouseSo last weekend, which dawned sunny and beautiful, I decided to do just that – visit my first auction. The one I picked happened to be an estate auction. It is easy to lure me with the possibility of antiques shopping. There was no address printed in the ad, just a description of which exit to take off of the freeway and which direction to head once on the exit (west). So I headed out somewhat blindly, counting on good signage to guide me there. I needn’t have worried. After a scenic two mile drive on a country road, a sign “Auction parking ahead” clued me that I was getting close, then a string of cars along both sides of the road indicated I had arrived. Since this auction was at a residence, not a warehouse, the only parking was along side the highway. But no mind, I maneuvered my Geo Prism in behind a white Ford pickup truck, put up my sunshade (my black car heats up like a kettle on a campfire) and got out of the car, checking first to make sure no one was roaring up behind me on the highway. What is this stuff?I walked a block or so past other parked vehicles and some beautiful horses in the pasture and then entered the driveway to the property. It was full of old equipment. I am not a farmer so I don’t pretend to know what any of it was. It was all intriguing though, some pieces looking like giant porcupines, and most with a coating of rust belying a lifetime of outdoor hard labor. There were vendors here, too, so we could all munch along on our hot dogs as we waved our numbers around. But the horse arena that housed the auction was an even more impressive sight – it was chock full of things old and interesting. Looms, antique cream separators, washing machines, horse equipment, cast iron. Just in time for ChristmasI wandered around for a long time, taking in the sights, smells and sounds. There was a lot to look at. I watched and listened to the cadence of the auctioneer - “Who’ll start the bidding at $20? How about five, who’s got five??” His assistance suddenly calls out “Yep” as she spies someone shaking their number. The bidding goes up, five (Yep!), six (Yep!), seven (Yep!) and so on, to ten… now it’s paused at ten as the auctioneer tries for 11. Nobody moves, and the item is sold for ten dollars. I learn real quick that items are grouped up in lots of similar items, so to get the piece you want, you have to be the first high bidder of the lot to get your pick and choice of items in the lot. If you get first pick, you can take as many items from the lot as you want for the price you won on it, so you could take the remaining items for $10/each. If you decline, then the same offer goes to the backup bidder (the one that made the last bid before you). They can then pick items out of the lot for the price you won. If they decline, the lot starts over for bidding. Welcome to my auction!There were a few items I was interested in possibly bidding on – quite a few old kerosene lamps in particular – but of course, they, too, were auctioned as a lot, and the high bid was $45, a price too steep for my blood, even for first pick. I watched the activity for another half an hour then decided it was time to head back home. I walked out to the car past the horses again, one of which wandered over to the fence for a photo op. He was stunningly beautiful. He seemed totally unconcerned about all of the activity in his driveway. But it was time to head out and on to our next big adventure – the Almelund Apple Festival. Stay tuned for that adventure, coming soon!

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