Silent auction

Through last week the preschool at the JCC was holding a silent auction. The items were on display in the lobby, where I walked to get to the locker room and pool area when I went swimming. One item was billed as a picnic – barbecue feast. It included a classy-looking picnic basket, packed with stuff, a backpack of some sort, folding tables, and a kid’s table and chair set. The picnic basket appealed to me. It looked about right for putting in a canoe and packing off to a deserted island for an elegant picnic. The bidding was up to $110, and I put myself down with a $120 bid. It looked as though the package was worth well over that, so I didn’t expect to be the high bidder. But, oops! Monday there was a phone message from the preschool saying that I had won the item, and should come in to pay and pick it up at my earliest convenience.

It was convenient on Tuesday morning. I found my way to what looked like the office of the preschool, over on the first floor of the old section of the JCC. That part of the building is a bit of a maze, left over from when it was the working boys’ school (the property was called “the novitiate” when we first moved to Newton, before the place turned into the JCC). The office is separated from the hallway by a real brick wall with an arched window. It feels like being in a restaurant in a renovated below-street-level townhouse in Boston. Of course, my memory may be inexact, but it makes a better story this way. Back in the lobby, there seemed to be no items of the auction left except the package I had just bought. It took me three trips to get it all to my car.

We finally unpacked it all and looked it over last night.

The kid’s table and chair set has an outdoor table with umbrella and two chairs, with “Finding Nemo” pictures over the umbrella, chair backs (I think) and tablecloth (I think. We didn’t unpack it all. Mine! Mine!) I liked the turtle parade in the South Australian Current, (was it?) maybe best of everything in that film. Between Gena’s boys, David & Rachel’s kids, and Emma, there should be kids to use it from time to time.

The two folding wooden tables, about the size of TV trays, are very substantial and will be useful next to a grill for holding ingredients etc.

The backpack turns out to be a special picnic backpack from Brookstone, with an insulated compartment for the food and an insulated sleeve on the side for carrying a bottle of wine, with a set of dishes and utensils (that we didn’t look at) and cloth napkins besides. By itself it would be plenty to carry a classy picnic for two.

The picnic basket that caught my eye in the first place is from Williams-Sonoma. It has a drawer at the bottom big enough to hold two bottles of wine. The main compartment has four melmac plates, two wine glasses (It looks as though it’s designed to hold four. That’s a slight puzzle)  and utensils for four, and plenty of room for food. That alone would be a good value for what I paid for the whole package.

And then there’s stuff that was packed in. Two barbecue potholders (and I need at least one to replace one that had a close encounter with a lawnmower), four dishtowels, a set of grilling tools, a digital thermometer fork to see if the food is done, planks for cooking planked fish, a grilling cookbook, three kinds of barbecue sauce, salmon rub, and for dessert, a s’mores kit — graham crackers, marshmallows, and two hershey bars. Holy smokes! I just have to say to everyone else, silly you, not outbidding me!

One Response to “Silent auction”

  1. Judy Says:

    What a steal. A great buy on the basket and the money going to a good cause. What can be better than that !
    Love the family photos. Esp. of you and Arlene. Lovely.
    Wonderful post about Irving, he is going strong and you are so good to visit him.