Manny Castillo and his daughter, Veronica, bought two carved wooden tropical fruit sculptures from Dennis Born, right, at his garage sale in Old Ahwatukee. Dennis lugged them back from the island of Martinique in 1999.

Garage sales have been sparse for a couple of months, but they have started sprouting up all over Ahwatukee in the last two weeks.

Most are held on Saturday mornings, but some extend to Fridays, and even Thursdays and Sundays. I check Craigslist on Thursdays, typing in “Ahwatukee” as my search word and arrowing forward to each day of the weekend to get an idea about that week’s sales.

Erika and Micah Uram of Club West had a garage sale to purge their home of possessions they didn’t need anymore. Erika thought she’d invite the whole neighborhood to participate, so she went door-to-door to 60 homes handing out flyers.

The flyer went like this: “House looking a bit full after the holidays? Clean out the clutter and join us for a neighborhood garage sale. We will advertise on Nextdoor, Craigslist and several Facebook groups to get the word out. We will place signs out to direct traffic to the various houses holding sales. All you have to do is clean out the clutter!”

Several families decided to join in on the community garage sale last Saturday.

Tasha Cho held a sale in her driveway a couple blocks away. I bought a small glass plate from her made by an artist in Maui.

Across the street, Desert Vista senior Nick Thatcher talked to a group of customers looking through bowls and vases he made in a pottery class.

Karen Smith and Kim Payne – two of the regular dog walkers in the neighborhood – walked to the sales with their dogs, Captain Jack Sparrow and Daisy Mae.

Patty, Ahwatukee’s favorite garage sale dog, showed up at Micah and Erika’s sale sporting a pink lei and sunglasses. Children began petting her. Micah and Erika gave her a hug and posed for a picture with her.

Patty and her “mother,” May Beth Williamson, have been entertaining garage sale goers for 13 years and I cross paths with them and other “regulars” nearly every week.

Dennis and Jean Born lived in Lakewood for 16 years before deciding to retire in nearby Sun Lakes. But they missed Ahwatukee and decided they wanted a house with a view.

They found their present home in Old Ahwatukee a year later and bought it when it had been on the market for three days. They moved in last month.

They showed me their spacious view from the backyard looking out over the Ahwatukee Country Club Golf Course. Their front view features a view of South Mountain. They are so glad to be back in Ahwatukee.

“I love Ahwatukee – I’ve met so many neighbors at this garage sale it’s unbelievable!” said Dennis with enthusiasm.

I looked around their driveway and found a telescopic duster for $1, a four-pound bag of cat food for a dollar, a large bottle of herbal shampoo for 75 cents, and three recent “Phoenix Home & Garden” and “People” magazines for a dime each. Quite an arm full for $3.05.

Manny Castillo and his daughter, Veronica, who live nearby, go “garage-saling” frequently. Manny bought several hardware items.

Then he spotted the two exotic fruit wooden sculptures and was excited to buy them and take them home. He got both of them for $20. Online they sell for $50 each.

A sleek stainless steel glass top stove and a matching microwave sat in Dennis and Jean’s driveway.

“It’s yours for $10,” Dennis told a customer. Yes, just ten bucks! I’ve been to a lot of garage sales and have never seen near-new appliances for this low of a price.

As I overheard one customer comment, “Why buy new when there are garage sales?”

-Kelly Athena is a local garage sale expert, a master gardener and environmental advocate. Information:

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It is thanks to such stories and articles on your blog that I begin to feel better about people . Thank you for the wonderful articles, you have a very nice and nice blog

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