Our Cape Cod Estate Sale

Simon Hunton -

We’ve made another step in preparation for the renovation work at The Platinum Pebble Inn. As we would be totally refurbishing the décor and furnishings at the inn it was suggested to us that we hold an “Estate Sale”.

Our experiences back in England being limited to “Jumble Sales”, organized by Scout troops and held at the local church hall, or “Boot Sales”, turning up at a parking lot to sell items out of the boot (“trunk” for those on this side of the Atlantic) of your car, we had no idea what to expect at an American “Estate Sale”.

The newspaper notices had stated “Estate Sale 10am – 2.30pm” but people were already arriving at 8.30am and lining up to get in early like it was “Filene’s Basement” at a Thanksgiving Day sale.

I alternated manically from smile to frown to smile as two conflicting thoughts battled for control over my face.
“Wonderful – all these people” – more people, more sales!
“Yikes – all these people” – more people, more chaos!
“Wonderful – all these people” – more people, more potential future customers!
“Oh my goodness – all these people” – what will it say about us if nothing is purchased! Our rejects rejected!

However, once my wife had slapped me I was suitably refocused and ready to open the doors to the awaiting crowd.

The day whizzed past and my fears proved unfounded as most of the items on sale were found new homes, and some interesting homes at that………

(Names changed below to protect the innocent, and me)
The one Queen bed went to Bob and Delores but logistically provided  a ship-in-a-bottle conundrum. Although the bed had somehow made its way into an upper floor bedroom (the Canterbury room), there seemed no way that we could navigate the doors, corridors and stairs to get it out of the house. As ever necessity bred invention and, as Canterbury is a suite with its own balcony, we were able to take the bed via the balcony out onto the roof. From there Bob and I slowly and gallantly lowered the bed down to Delores below. I have to say that Delores was a real trooper and managed to cushion the bed from any damage.

Hyannis Harry had a glint in his eye. Now in his late 60’s he was happy to share the news that he was a newly-wed and it was time to trade-up from his single bed. His luck was in, we had one double bed left, which was part of a wicker bedroom set including side tables and chairs, and without missing a beat Harry said he’d take the complete set. We managed to lug the box-spring down the stairs and out to his truck before Harry had to rest. Harry suffered from emphysema and was on Doctor’s advice not to over-exert. The outline of the Marlboro cigarette packet in his breast pocket however suggested that Harry had reserved a right of veto on Doctors’ advice.

The last people that I helped before we ended the sale were Bruce and Sheila from Brewster. They wanted one of the headboards, which required removing from the wall. I grabbed my tools and unscrewed all the fittings and dismantled the headboard. Bruce said his car was parked out back so we could take the headboard out the back door as a short-cut. I happily helped him and then waved him and Sheila on their way only to be told by my wife that they hadn’t paid! So as the sun went down on our sale I could be seen running down the road waving my screw-driver in the air chasing my headboard.

I will end by saying a big thank-you to our friends Barb and Rich, who graciously gave their time to help us handle the crowds, and the furniture, and played a big part in making the sale such a success. I also recommend that those seeking antiques and great deals on Cape Cod check out their store, “Back In Tyme” at 69E Main Street, Route 28 in West Harwich.

Safe travels,



  1. Karen says:

    Now that’s the way to celebrate Columbus Day! So glad you guys have found your nest. Sounds like hard but fun times ahead.


  2. Michelle says:

    Hoping the brass standard lamps went to a good home… and when is it time to go shopping again?

  3. Belle says:

    All the lamps went to a lovely home and the shopping list is getting longer day the day. When do you have time to help shop?

  4. Geoffry says:

    I’m so glad all the previous furnishings found a new home, but I can’t wait to see what they will be replaced with. Looking forward to visiting your lovely inn.