It really is true that you can find almost anything on ebay.  I know that many people shop for clothes there, and even big ticket items like cars, but I like to shop for treasures from the past, childhood toys, the kinds of things you think you will NEVER be able to find.  I have, for example, a small collection of the Fisher-Price Little People toys from my childhood.  I have the original school that was really mine, but most of the other things did not survive, so I bought some on ebay.  In our new house, I have shelves to display them on, and I let my two little ones play with them if they take good care of them and put them away when they are finished.
I have quite a collection of Eloise Wilkin books I compiled via ebay (although my very favorite one, Linda and her Little Sister, my little girl found in the McKay’s giveaway box!  A copy in decent condition on ebay is over my budget–$60!).  I have always loved the adorable chubby chiuldren and babies she drew, the houses she placed them in, and pretty much the whole lifestyle her books depict.
As you can see (or probably already know, if you’ve spent much time there yourself) ebay can get seductive–and expensive.  So in recent years I’ve restricted my browsing to items that were more or less necessary, like new old-fashioned Christmas ornaments to replace the heirloom ones that were destroyed when our tree tumbled over  on Christmas Eve several years back (that was the FIRST time–it did it again this year! In a new place, we forgot that we always secure it to something with rope.).  Or traditional Catholic textbooks to use in homeschooling (much more on that in another post).
But a couple of weeks ago I did indulge myself with a little present.  My very first job after college, for about six months, was head two-year-old teacher at Arlington Children’s Center.  Not having babies of my own yet, I contented myself with mothering other people’s.  A previous teacher had left behind a lullaby tape that the children and I just loved.  I kept my kids outside running around for about an hour before lunch.  Then I brought them into the darkened classroom to eat, and we would calm down to the first side of the tape.  Then the four of them would lie down on their mats, and I would flip the tape over and lie down too (I was working full-time nights as a waitress also, so I was always tired!).  They would sleep from noon until about 3 p.m.  I’m convinced the tape helped.
I took the tape with me when I left, and I played it for my first baby less than two years later.  But somehow it got lost.  For years I wished I could find it, but I did not even remember who the artists were or what it was called.  And the lullaby names on it that I could recall are so common I couldn’t search for it that way–I had forgotten the names of the more unusual, ethnic selections.
By chance I saw somewhere a title I remembered: “Oh Can Ye Sew Cushions.”  I put that into a search with the words “lullaby tape,” and, like magic, Google produced a title, Golden Slumbers: Lullabies from Far and Near.   What Google could not produce, however, was a copy of the tape.  Site after site listed it at the attractive price of $12, but it was out of stock or special order everywhere.  I learned that other people shared my passion for this recording, which was apparently kind of a big deal, but the only copy I found was on Amazon, for the somewhat ambitious price of $900 (of course, now when I went to get the link, there are currently abridged copies available at more or less reasonable prices.  That’s life, I guess.).
So I turned to ebay.  And no, they did not have the tape–but they had the record!  And for $20, it is now mine to play on my new old-fashioned turntable (2008 Christmas gift from my husband–the only thing I asked for–which looks old-timey but actually is a record player, radio, cassette player, and CD player all in one). 
And that’s why I love ebay.


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