June 27, 2009

Cruising the far reaches of Podunk in search of treasures

MECKLENBURG, New York, USA - The Admiral and I headed out Saturday morning in search of treasures to help furnish and decorate our guest cottage before our first renters arrive this week. After years of talking about it, we decided that the property taxes have gotten just high enough that we need to seek some extra revenue by renting the space out.

Two years ago, our amigo Brad Phillips (with his faithful dog Arnold) stayed there, painting the entire place inside and out, making it the shiny place it remains today.

Below is a link to some photos we posted to show what the joint looks like.

  • Valois guest house

  • The logical place to buy such treasures to make the inside look neat was at garage sales and auctions that are a great source of local entertainment here every weekend.

    And in our travels out and about we ran across the road of all roads.

    Podunk road sign
    Left or right to Podunk?

    It turns out there is a burg called Podunk (I am not making this up) not too far from our Valois house, but we didn't actually discover that fine town in our travels. We did run across several yards sales which were 'podunk' in their relative significance and an auction that was loud and well underway when we stopped by.

    The auction looks like it is a monthly affair, with a professional auctioneer hawking goods and entire families in attendance to buy or simply watch the fun. I saw tools, fishing gear, furniture, car parts and an occasional book.

    Tables were set up for potential buyers to see what was for sale and several people were busy cooking hamburgers and hot dogs and offering soft drinks for sale.

    No beer was available, though. :-(

    Food sign at auction
    Sign offering Hambergers for sale

    Guns for sale at the auction
    Need a gun for some hunting?

    The morning and early afternoon actitivity capped off a week of frantic activity to get the guest house ready for our first renters. After only four days of being listed on Craig's List, we have the place booked solid for the summer - with more people wanting to rent it well into September.

    But the Admiral and I expect we will be back in California in the classroom by then, unless the California budget continues its dismal freefall to insolvency and our university decides it can get along with do fewer professors.

    In that case, the guest house might stay open, and we might check out a few more auctions like the one we saw today. We could even have a few items to offer for sale ourselves.

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