There was another church rummage sale last weekend—smaller than the epic sale I recounted a few weeks ago, but no less exciting. Andrew, the girls, and I went last Saturday—Andrew rolled his eyes and suggested several times he stay home with Lucia, or with Greta, but ultimately agreed to come. We stopped first in the furniture area, where Andrew immediately chose and purchased an end table.
While he lugged it to the car, I headed to the toy area. And there, on the floor, was a gigantic zippered mattress-pad bag chock full of vintage Little People accessories—cars, chairs, tables, a chariot, desks, barber chairs, playground equipment; hundreds of pieces. I had Greta in the Ergo and was trying to keep one hand on Lucia in the crowded room; but I managed to lug that bag to the woman taking the money. “Well,” she said, smiling apologetically, “I’m going to have to charge you $4, since there’s a lot of stuff in there.” “That sounds fine,” I said.
It did sound fine. My heart was racing with the steal. But my heart was also broken—shattered—because walking out the door, visible for only a second as I paid, was a woman who, in her lucky, hateful arms, had a large bag full of actual vintage Little People.
If I’d been there one minute sooner—if I hadn’t stopped to look at a basket, or to examine some puzzles—I would have gotten that bag. The near-miss has seeped into my soul.
And so I am, of course, now on a mission to get some vintage Little People on eBay. They can easily be found there, for a price, but it is a price I will pay. Will Lucia and Greta care one whit about this enormous cache of Little People misc., whenever I decide to give it to them? Who knows. But I love these Little People—have always loved them; there’s something about them that’s so perfect, so simple, so timeless, that this may become a collection of my very own.
Right now, my bag of Little People misc. is in the attic, and I have to admit that I have a very, very strong urge to go up there now, into the lovely, spooky, wood-walled room, and set up all the accessories, maybe give the swing set a little push, arrange some little armchairs around a table.