Joyce and I have been known to attend a garage sale or two and often I just find a shady spot to park and wait her out. If it is an “intentional” event and we have a map or newspaper listing I’ll occasionally browse along with her if something in the list gets my attention. Often, however these stops are merely spur-of-the-moment and I’ll only get out with her if something I see looks interesting. Such was the case one Saturday morning last fall in Hutchinson.
It was a nice day and we happened to be in town so Joyce’s radar was actively seeking garage sale signs as we headed through town. We followed signs to a garage sale in a nice neighborhood a little off the beaten path and in the yard sat one of those “u” shaped ladders used to get in and out of a raised swimming pool. It had my attention and for the four dollar price tag I reasoned that certainly we could use it for something (you know how that goes; you never know when you might need it!) Evidently the owner was having a difficult time getting rid of it, so when she saw my interest, she immediately made her way over to me. A couple minutes later she told us “we’re selling it because we built a deck around our pool and have no need of that ladder now, so if you want it, just take it;” our kind of deal.
Fast forward to last week; even though conditions are far from ideal with frozen ground most mornings and mud by evening, I want to try setting a few coyote traps again. One spot I have near town is at the far edge of a pasture/hay field and is easy to drive to. When scouting that spot, it appeared the coyotes were coming from the adjoining wheat field, still owned by the same farmer, but getting in three was going to be a slight problem. The wheat field is a couple feet higher than the hayfield and fence surrounds the entire field. Now I encounter lots of electric fence and barbwire also for that matter. But this was four strands of new barbwire stretched tighter than grandma’s purse strings and fastened onto new “T” posts, the top strand catching my six foot three frame across the top of my chest. In short, I wasn’t climbing that fence!
As I pondered how this was ever going to work, guess what popped into my mind… the pool ladder from the garage sale. I hauled it out there and lifted one end over onto the other side of the fence and viola; I could now scale the fence without permanent physical damage to certain anatomical extremities. The top wire on the fence is just high enough that it makes the ladder a little tipsy but it will still work just fine.
I’m sure some of us have sheds full of stuff we cabbaged-onto because “You just never know when you might need it,” and usually it turns out that you never do. This was one time however that one of those treasures actually filled a need, and to think it was free! It just doesn’t get much better than that….Continue to Explore Kansas Outdoors.
Steve can be contacted by email at email@example.com.