In France, garage sales/yard sales/tag sales are called Vide Greniers (pronounced veed-gren-ee-ay). And they are organized by the community. Each town picks a weekend and a location and any resident that wants to join in, sets up a table with all sorts of random stuff they’re ready to sell.

Now that summer is here, we see signs for vide greniers all the time and try to stop whenever we happen upon one. We rarely buy much, but it’s always fun to see what’s there. Here are some of the treasures we’ve brought home so far:

1) A little lunch pail.
This is actually very small — about 7 inches high. Perfect for a light lunch or a big snack. I bought it hoping Betty would use it for her daily snack container. But when she saw it she just looked at me and sort of sighed and shook her head no. I’m sure she’s wondering why her mom can’t figure out how to buy a normal snack container with a Hello Kitty on it.

2) Alarm clock.
The colors on this made it pretty much irresistible to me. And I love that it says Made in USSR. It’s broken, but I bet it’s fixable. It was 1 euro (about $1.50).

3) A dress for June.
This is so sweet. It’s still a little big for her, but she’ll grow into it soon. Does buying clothes at tag sales gross you out? I do it all the time. In France, it’s especially nice, because everything is cleaned and pressed and hanging neatly. This was 2 euros (about $3).

4) Two vintage cameras.
Ralph picked these out because he wants to use them as movie props. The Brownie Flash is the kind of camera you hold at your waist and look through the top. The Brownie Starluxe II comes in it’s own little leather case. I have no idea if either one works, or if you can even buy film for these sorts of cameras. They cost 5 euros for the set (that’s about $7.50).

5) A print of Argentan Cathedral.
We thought this would be a fun souvenir to bring home. It’s an image of our town cathedral. I love that it shows a market scene, because the market is still held in the very same place today. It came in a throw-away frame, but we’ll just roll up the print when it’s time to transport it home. This cost 1 euro (about $1.50).

6) A giant apothecary bottle.
This is the most expensive thing I’ve picked up at a vide grenier. It cost 10 euros (about $15) and I have no idea what I’ll do with it, or if I’ll even be able to bring it home. It’s big — about 20 inches high — and heavy. And I almost left it behind. By the time I was halfway back to the car, I realized I couldn’t live without it and went back for it.

What do you think? Treasures or trash?