Last year I was a derelict blogger and didn’t talk at all about Rummage.
Oh Rummage. What can I even say.
First, it’s (so I hear) the biggest Rummage sale in the country. It takes place in Winnetka at the Community House on Lincoln Ave, and the sale itself is Thursday May 8th from 7am to 3pm.
My grandma, the leggy wonder Mama Kitty, has been volunteering to help with the sale since 1989. Little by little, the women of the family have started to get involved along with her. Since moving to Chicago 5 years ago, I’ve been taking more and more days off work to help with the pre-sale work (and do some pre-sale shopping, of course). The first year, I just met the family for dinner (young fool! Hah.). The next year I wised up and took off 1 day from work to hang out. The following year, it was 2 days. This year I’m taking off 3 days from work–Tuesday through Thursday–and will be stacking sheets and pillowcases, shower curtains and napkins (etc) in the Linens department.
Here’s how it happens: aunts and cousins come in from Wisconsin, New York, Virginia, Indiana and Ohio. We get a row of hotel rooms for the week. We bust our butts helping to organize things for the sale–women’s clothes, baskets in the Garden department, Linens, etc. We shop. We eat together. We share our fantastic finds in the hotel every evening. We try on each other’s clothes. We keep an eye out for the things everyone else is looking for. It’s a fun, intense, collaborative, laughter-filled female family reunion.
Every year we keep thinking it will be Mama Kitty’s last year. Last year she herself said, “this will be my last Rummage.” But every year, she keeps coming back anyway. At 90 years old, she is a Rummage legend, and I can’t imagine the experience without her.
Last year Alice, who was 6 months old at the time, came with me. My Mom and sister Erica came for the first time. It was a blast, and even though Erica can’t make it this year (sniff sniff), it’s going to be a blast again. My mother-in-law is making this possible for me by coming to our place to help take care of Alice for a few days–thank you Sara!! Because while it was possible to tote around a 6-month old last year and still get down and dirty with the work, a wonderfully rambunctious 18-month-old . . . well, it just wouldn’t work out so well, bless her stair-obsessed, trotting little self.
I’ve been looking forward to Rummage ever since it was all over last year. So if you’re in Chicago or the surrounding areas and love to find good deals (on quality stuff too!), come check it out. It’s a thrift-lover’s dream–as long as you can put up with a little chaos. Anything and everything you can imagine is there: hampers. Dishes. Appliances. Furniture, rugs, lamps. Clothes of every kind. Bedding. Accessories, purses, hats, a basement full of books, a gymnasium full of toys.
You can check out my previous posts on Rummage to get an idea of what this looks like–a glorious madhouse.