On a recent Saturday morning, I was walking the puppy the ten blocks between our house and the coffee shop when, winding our way among a narrowing aisle of hedge roses and yard sale trinkets, I spotted these...
Shining in the clear yellow of the morning sun, a glossy blue and red drumset that reminded me of some bright dream from my childhood, maybe re-runs of Josie and the Pussycats, or the Partridge Family, who knows.
I don't usually stop at yard sales because, I mean, let's face it: really we need less "things" in our home, not more! So Mathilda and I kept our heads straight and our noses high and walked on by.
All the way to the coffee shop, however, I kept seeing that drum set gleaming in the sun.
Here's the other thing: when Q came home, my husband specifically forbade me to bring home a drum set. Guitars were OK, all manner of flutes and whistles, even maracas, but not drums.
As Mattie and I headed home with our coffee, I spotted the drums again, still there on the grass. The young man, seated in a rickety chair next to a table full of dusty and well-loved horse figurines, mounted soldiers, remote control cars and the like, wore thick Harry Potter glasses and a faux-fur tophat with stars emblazoned on it. He looked up at me gravely as I passed. He was maybe nine years old.
"Cute dog," he said politely.
"Thank you," I said. "How much for the drums?"
I walked Mathilda home and, studiously avoiding eye contact with my husband, grabbed some spare bills and the car keys.
The drum set is well-loved, beaten like worked copper by the pitter-patter of so many little drumsticks. The high-hat is a little wonky, and one of the toms keeps falling off. But Q loves it. Talk about more bang for your buck! All in all I'd say it's about the best four bucks I ever spent.