Skip to content

Letter: Return of New Westminster garage sales means learning stories behind treasures

Are you ready to check out garage sales?
garage sale
New Westminster garage sales have returned. iStock photo


It’s finally happening, the Queen’s Park garage sale.

It’s been a very long three years. It felt like Christmas eve last night - I couldn’t sleep because I was so excited.

The neighbourhood, the treasures, the finds. I got my packsack in tow and a map in one hand highlighting where the most sales are taking place. Hey, wait a minute, it’s 9 a.m. - where are all the people? It’s May 7, isn’t it?

Wait, I see a few people coming with their bags hurriedly entering driveways with smile and intense looks. Yup, I am in the right place. To seek and find, this is my freedom to expel the toils of this world. Checking my map and I am on the right path. I see a garage sale on a side street that wasn’t on the list. I dance to the next venue. I dust off some objects that have been tucked away waiting to be found.

I look over to see a beautiful painting of children playing and reach for it. The cotton field sways in the summer’s air that brings a calm to my spirit.

“How much for this watercolour?” The beautiful lady smiles, “$2 - it needs a good home.”

Surprised by the cheap price for such a splendid piece of art, I reply, “It will be happy where I will hang it amongst my books and toys.”

I look down the lane, another garage sale. This one brings me back to an era of vintage and collectibles.

An old film camera sits alone. “Man, I would like to buy it but my pack sack is already heavy.” Looking around to find a street sign, there are none.

A guy walks pass me and then stops sensing that I am lost.

“What street is this?”

He takes a quick glance around.

“It’s 3rd Avenue and Fourth Street.”

He hesitates and turns again to look at the houses. “No, it’s 2nd Avenue and Fourth Street.”

His childlike smile addresses me with laughter. “Imagine that, I have lived in this neighbourhood for over 30 years and I can’t even remember where I am.”

The now-crowded sidewalks are filled with excitement. I walk with others carefully between slow-moving cars. A woman goes by holding her mother's arm greeting a friend. “She wanted to come to the sale to celebrate Mother's Day here.” A teenager talks on his mobile, “Yeah, it's in the original case, you got to come and see it."

This sale wasn’t only about the finds but the search for peace of mind. What I found was the precious memories and stories left behind in the treasures we all find.

Tabatha Visutskie, New Westminster

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks