Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Excitement is Simple

At least it's simple for some of us. Being such a homebody, it doesn't always take much to excitement me. Little things ... mastering a recipe; finding a lost earring; getting mail (real mail, the kind that gets delivered to your mailbox), getting a delivery ... ah, and that's what happened today.  I have to go back a bit to explain it. For years I've been collecting pieces for my Christmas village ... back when I started they were small. Villages came as "sets" with 4 to 6 buildings and a string of lights that fit up inside the building to light them up.

As the years went by, different manufacturers came out with slightly larger buildings, and often they were purchased as individual pieces, not all at once in "sets".  As I started buying one or two of those every year, I began giving away my older, smaller and medium, buildings.

I think this year, I estimated about 40 large(ish) buildings in my collection (don't have room any more to put them all in the same spot - that's next year's project).  Probably one of my most prized pieces would be Toronto's Maple Leaf Gardens. My husband bought me that from the Bradford Exchange. It turns out to be a  pretty rare piece all things considered.

Every year I do an online search for it because I know a couple of people who are looking for one, but there have been none offered for sale - I found one as part of a set (this originally came as a series) and it had sold almost as quickly as it was published on the web. I've seen nothing since.

The other one that I'm particularly tickled with came last year - we bought it at a garage sale in Florida, for $8. It's a piece put out by Dept. 56, but it's also a piece whose circulation was limited to State Farm employees.

I don't very often purchase pieces from Dept. 56 - they tend to be pretty pricey, and I generally stick to Lemax these days. There are other well known brands, but they aren't as easy to find as they used to be. This year, Canadian Tire had only Dept. 56 and Lemax. They used to carry Dickensville, and a couple of other brands but apparently not any longer.

What excited me today was the arrival of a new piece, delivered by courier from Saskatchewan. I purchased it on ebay, which isn't a place I've shopped before. Oh, like most people I've looked at the odd thing here and there over the years, but really haven't taken time to buy anything.

A few weeks ago I set up an account and ordered an accessory piece for my village - a little car with the Craftsman logo. I may not have bought that a year ago, but this year, Sears is no more, and that's their brand. My husband's tools are mostly all Craftsman. I decided to order this piece for him, more than for myself.

But while I was doing that, I ran across something else ... a village building that I'd been wanting to get my hands on for a few year's now. This year, I managed to find one at a good price on ebay, while I buying the little Craftsman car. So ... yep, another purchase.  I tend to prefer the ones with a "buy now" option over the auction ones.

I've participated in a few auctions - one for the above building (Ron's Fish'n'Tackle <--- and my husband's name is Ron) but when the price got close enough to the buy now option, I realized the shipping for the auction item brought it's total above the cost of the buy now with it's free shipping. That was a no brainer ... just "buy now" and be done with it.

In between those transactions, I ran across another piece I knew my hubby would be willing to get. Even if the cost was more than I normally pay ... and the shipping being in Canada was very high. Still ... the building was from Dept. 56, and was a large one, and ... had a John Deere tractor in it. Yeah, my husband is a big fan of John Deere anything, and while we don't have a farm or a tractor ... he has owned lots of JD "things". My husband has always been a farmer in hiding ... I think if I'd let him buy a farm, we'd still be living on one.

Anyway, this lovely piece had a buy now option, and after some wrangling with my shipping address (I have one in the US and one in Canada) and a great of deal of awesome help from the seller, I got the purchase made. The vendor made it really easy for a newb like me - without his/her help, I would probably have given up before I completed it.  And today, the item arrived! Yeah. I was very excited.

Although I have to admit, the seller wanted to make sure it arrived safely ... I'm gonna go mail him and ask if he has any tape left, lol.  So much tape on the outer packing box it took me 15 minutes just to get the wrapping off!

So far, this vendor has been one of the best, though the others I've dealt with have described the items as they are, and shipped very quickly so I haven't (so far) had a bad experience, it's just that with people like "zemmer" you do feel like you matter a little to the vendors. I wouldn't hesitate to do business again with any of the ones I've dealt with so far ... but really, I've discovered something ...

I need to STAY AWAY from eBay or I'll need a new house just to hold my collection!

ummmm, maybe I better stay away from the stores altogether, hahahaha. My husband is off to Hamilton and is buying me one of these things from their Home Depot (ours is out of stock), and ordered me one of these things from Home Depot in Lakeland, Florida ... for some reason, Home Depot in Canada doesn't carry the Home Depot Village Building and yeah, although they have some on ebay, they are more than twice the price than if you buy them in the store.

Last week, at Canadian Tire he bought me two new Lemax pieces - the Happy Camper (about $49 CA, but on ebay I've seen them priced twice that) and the Hamilton Garage (the precursor to Canadian Tire itself).

What kind of girl could complain about such a generous guy?  It only took 42 years, but there does come a time when you realize how lucky you are to have such a giving person as a partner in your life!

I hope that whatever the reason, my friends and family all look at their spouse/significant other/partner and consider themselves lucky too.

Life is way too short to forget that!

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