Friday, July 1, 2011

A Mailbox of Possibilities

My mailbox today held a single plain, white, non-descript envelope.  It was surprisingly stiff and heavy when I lifted it out of the box.  As I closed the mailbox lid, I pondered the envelope.  What was inside?  Why was it so heavy?    It was too flat for a credit card - even one of those fake ones they sometimes send to try to entice you into applying for a "pre-approved" card.  I turned the envelope over several times as I walked to the front door. 

Once inside, I looked closely at the return address:  WGBH, Canton, MA.  Hmmm... nothing I recognized.  The stamp was one of those pre-sorted ones with a golden eagle staring off to the left.  The only other marking was, "Address Services Requested", something I used to write on the mailings I sent to my clients when I was a Probation & Parole Officer.  It was supposed to ensure that if a person had moved, the Post Office would not forward the mail, but would return it with the person's new address listed on the front, thus keeping me informed of all my clients whereabouts, even if they were less than forthcoming about where they were living.  (Assuming, of course, that probationers and parolees actually filed change-of-address orders with the Post Office.)

I didn't remember sending off for any refunds, rebates, coupons, or the like, so what could this be?   I tore open the flap.  I pulled out a small flyer that read, "Test your appraisal skills with the new ANTIQUES ROADSHOW app!"  I made a mental note to check the app out later and set the paper aside.  Next out were a couple of brochures for a bank and an insurance company, if I recall correctly.  I threw those away.  Finally, I freed the folded cardstock from the envelope.  My name and address were in the lower left corner. At the top left corner it read, "Congratulations!  Here are your ANTIQUES ROADSHOW tickets..."  YES!! 

(That's a gold-foil treasure chest in the top middle of the ticket, in case you were wondering.)

Several months ago, I learned The Antiques Roadshow was coming to Tulsa.  Tickets were free, but you had to enter a lottery and apply to win a pair.  In April or May, I learned I had won two tickets.  I knew lots of people who had applied for tickets, but I don't know anyone else who actually got them.  You aren't supposed to be able to buy or sell the tickets, which I know frustrates some people.   I actually like that, though, as it is a more just system and rich or poor, you have exactly the same odds of getting into the show as everyone else.  (I did have someone offer to buy a ticket for quite a bit of money when they heard I had won a pair.  I turned them down, of course.)

I sent my sister a message telling her the tickets were here.  She has super mad garage sale and thrift store skills and is the queen of finding things of value amongst all the junk!  I am not lying when I tell you she once paid a nickel for a tiny little doll about an inch tall.  She thought it looked like a Liddle Kiddle, a series of teensy dolls that were very popular in the 1960's.  She called me to check, as I still have my Kiddles, as well as a book about their value.  Then she sent me a photo of the doll. I nearly fell out of my chair when I saw the exact same doll in the pages of the book with a note saying it was a never-released prototype.  (How the doll wound up in a garage sale in Noble, OK, is anyone's guess!)  I copied the pages and sent them to her.  She listed the doll on eBay and sold it for $105.00!!  I have never figured it up, but I'm pretty sure it was about a one hundred gazillion percent increase over her five-cent investment.  But she's lucky like that.  Way back when, she even won $100,000.00 in the McDonald's "Dick Tracy" promotion. 

Unfortunately, my sister isn't sure she can make the trip to Tulsa (she lives in Washington, OK), as her husband and one daughter will be on a mission trip and she will have the other daughter with her.  I suggested the girl stay at my house with my dog, but I'm not sure I sold it.  (For the record, both girls are teenagers, so don't call the authorities on me, please.  haha)  BUT, if my sister backs out, I will be looking for a placement.  Any takers?

Now if you will excuse me, I am off to sort through my priceless antiques... objets d' heirlooms... collectibles... junk for something to take.  If it isn't worth anything, maybe I'll get on the outtake reel at the end where everyone talks about how they brought Aunt Mildred's prized Ming vase that they were sure was worth millions, only to find out it was actually a Vacation Bible School paper-mache art project (but a REALLY, REALLY good one!)!!


Kristi Hazelrigg said...

Actually, I sold that doll for $195. :)

I think we'll make the trip; I just have to figure out a plan for the girlie. It will be too cool!

Shelley Parker Chandler said...

Too bad we can't get Ally in - they would love her wit and humor. She would be sure to get some air time! :)

I stand corrected as to the Kiddle. You made gabillion centillion percent profit.

Kristi Hazelrigg said...

True on all accounts.

Shelley Parker Chandler said...

That sounds pretty good. I will have to try it. Thanks!

A Snow White Sanctum said...

The Antiques Roadshow. Sounds like fun. Congrats on winning the tickets.