Monday, July 5, 2010

the yard sale miracle

I'm in Vermont at the moment, at a bicycle-centric bed and breakfast in the middle of nowhere. Seriously, there is nothing remotely close. If I wanted a cup of coffee or something at a drugstore it would be a 30-40 minute drive to find anything remotely like civilization.

Jon found this place based on my new love of bike riding but let's be honest here. I've been riding on totally flat surfaces up and down the west side highway in Manhattan for 2 or so weeks. That's it. We get to this place (did I mention it's in the middle of nowhere?), with the owner suggesting rides of 40-60 miles. Dirt packed roads, not pristine pavement. Not a flat stretch in sight and after the 2 mile loop we did yesterday to the swimming hole it felt like almost the entire ride was uphill. The other guests we bumped into are serious cyclists. I'm feeling a little insecure about going to breakfast in my ad hoc riding clothes—yoga pants and a tank top and a pair of neon green Keens. My bike is the only hybrid in a rack of serious racers. If we survive 14 miles today I'll be amazed.

But, that's not what I was planning to write about. We experienced a true miracle on our drive up that's worthy of sharing.

On Saturday we spent much of the afternoon in Brattleboro, a town we all adore. Great, great vintage shop, fabulous gift stores, delicious food, amazing coffee, the best falafel's I've ever had (feta cheese makes all the difference), wonderful architecture, mountains and the river due east, more book stores than one can visit . . . all good. This is the first time we had time to linger, having decided to have dinner before we got to my mother in law's. Let's just say that's how we'll be doing things from now own.

We ate at Fireworks—everything was delicious—saving the used bookstore as our after dinner treat before we hopped back in the car.

Only in Brattleboro everything closes at 6. This was nothing short of shocking to NYC kids who are used to easy access all the time. One of us, a voracious reader who had been looking forward most of all to stocking up on books, was beyond consolation. 2 days stuck with nothing to read was a tragedy of epic proportions. Only there was nothing we could do.


Except drive while listening to nonstop moans and complaints.

I kept saying perhaps we'd find something. Somewhere (knowing of course this was just about impossible).

And then, we drove past an unmanned yard sale. Tables of stuff on a random front lawn.

I saw books.

"I SEE BOOKS!" and made Jon turn around.

He laughed at me but I suppose, being as desperate as I was, turned the car around, insisting all the while I had been seeing things that weren't there.

I was right. There were books. Not only that, but age appropriate books that appealed to my crazy reader. She picked three. We left $1.50 in the money box and got back on the road.

The yard sale angels were looking out for us.

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