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It’s yard sale season

  • Residents search for hidden treasure at the Dublin Community Church rummage sale. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

  • Rosemary James of Dublin sorts through clothing donations searching for good finds at the Dublin Community Church rummage sale. Staff photo by Ashley Saari

  • Residents search for hidden treasure at the Dublin Community Church rummage sale. Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 4/28/2021 4:29:06 PM

Rosemary James of Dublin was decked out in her rummage sale finest Saturday – a pair of jeans she picked up for the purpose of painting them with bright flowers, and a pair of UGG boots she got new at a previous Dublin Community Church rummage sale.

“Brand new,” she emphasized. “Still in the box, new.”

It was a windy enough April day to send the occasional box or piece of clothing flying, but that didn’t deter bargain hunters from attending the church’s rummage twice-annual sale looking for bargains – a tradition that’s been ongoing so long, no one knows for sure how long it’s been going on, said Pastor TraceyMay Kalvaitis.

Kalvaitis was also sporting a pair of UGGs she picked up at a previous sale. That’s something of a tradition for avid pickers, she said – often the service after the rummage sale is a chance for church members to show off the best outfit they’ve managed to salvage from the rummage pile.

It’s the thrill of a new outfit, for a fraction of the price.

Kalvaitis said the rummage sale is a huge hit among the community, and embodies both the spirit of the rummage sale as well as being a community service.

“It just makes sense,” she said. “People want to get rid of things they don’t want anymore, and we want people to be able to find gently used goods and give them a second chance before they end up in a landfill.”

Shoppers who turned out donned masks, as requested, but weren’t deterred by the threat of spreading COVID-19. Current advice from the Center for Disease Control suggests infections from touching surfaces or items is limited, with the largest threat being person-to-person transmission via the air and water droplets, making masking and social distancing the continued best way to combat spread.

Kalvaitis said outdoor yard sales, which already are traditionally outdoor events that encourage browsing, are easily able to avoid those pitfalls with masking and courtesy.

“COVID-19 has changed the way we do things, but not that much,” Kalvaitis said.

Phil Cayford, one of the organizers of the sale, said turnout and donations for the rummage sale this year were on par with previous year’s sales, with people undeterred and ready to seek out a good deal.

“We had people here at noon,” he said, referencing the fact that the first day of the two-day sale typically opens at 1 p.m. “Nobody seems to mind.”

Cayford said he’s been on the job for almost 15 years. He said he’s usually just helping to sort through the flood of donations that come in throughout the year for the twice-annual sale, and isn’t usually browsing himself – unless an irresistible find like a donated stamp collection comes through and catches his eye.

Last year, the spring rummage sale – like many traditional community yard sales – was delayed due to concerns over the spread of COVID-19 and limitations on public gatherings.

This year, many of those community events are back on schedule, and individual residents are also planning sales where there was a dearth last summer.

Susan Peterson of Jaffrey is preparing to hold a yard sale herself this weekend, at her home on 11 Libby Court, to sell the contents of a storage unit, which she rented after cleaning out an apartment last year. She said the items have sat mostly untouched after a year, and it’s time to move them on, and she feels its safe to do so.

“It just felt safe enough, though my advertisements all say, ‘mask required,’” Peterson said. “The timing was right.”

The Rindge Advent Lutheran Church agreed, hosting its annual town-wide yard sale event this June 5, as usual, after delaying last year’s sale until the fall due to COVID-19, Church Council President Julie Sementa said.

The Rindge sale allows residents to either buy a table for their yard sale items hosted at the church, or to host a sale at their own residence and be added to a town-wide yard sale map.

“There are people that come every year,” Sementa said. “It’s a hobby for them.”

Sementa said last year’s sale was delayed until August, when the church moved forward with the event as COVID-19 infection numbers dropped. She said with the same precautions used last year, the church felt it could be a successful event again during its usual time frame.

“We were able to do it safely and successfully. It’s an easy no-brainer to do it with the obvious precautions.”

Sementa herself said she’s been forbidden from bringing home any more “stuff.”

The Jaffrey Chamber of Commerce also typically holds a town-wide yard sale in June. This year, President Cyndy Burgess said, it was just not meant to be – but not because of COVID-19.

The Chamber canceled last year’s Townwide Yard Sale due to COVID-19 concerns, Burgess said, but this year, long-time committee members were ready to step down, and no volunteers were found who were willing to take on the project.

“This just doesn’t seem the year,” Burgess said.

Like Rindge’s event, Burgess said the Town-wide Yard Sale was a popular fundraiser, with 20 to 30 families signing up to be on the map, and Burgess said the Chamber would welcome the return of the event in a future year, if volunteers can be found to run it.

The Monadnock Park, located on Park Drive in Rindge, is holding its park-wide yard sale on May 8 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Rindge Town-Wide Yard Sale is scheduled for June 5. To register to participate as a seller, register with the Advent Lutheran Church by May 28.

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

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