It seemed like the quaint thing to do.. Drag all of our not so useful belongings outside on a Friday morning.
It sort of reminds me of camping. It seems like a straight forward idea, fun even at the onset, however when the carrying of supplies, camp stoves, and old desks ensues…some where along the way this “estate sale/garage sale extravaganza” takes on legs of its’ own, and turns into work…what..when did that happen?
When you decide to move from your family home after living there for 13 plus years, ya tend to accumulate-hoard stuff. As my son Logan says, as he tosses stuff in the trash behind my back..
“Mum..I’m helping you not to be a hoarder!”
He is so kind…(note the heavy sarcasm here.). When we were dragging the remnants of unsold items back into the garage in the middle of a sticky hot Spring afternoon, he remarked…
“Have a garage sale they said..it’ll be fun they said…”
This cracked me right up!
The weather report for Friday and Saturday was going to be perfect, so as we began setting up at 6am, wearing sweats, and drinking steaming coffee, we were optimistic that the unfolding day would reward us with mucho cash..After all it was “Cinco de Mayo,” so I intended to reward myself with a “Jalepeno margarita!” at the end of the day.
That’s incentive enough for me..ha
Natalie,(Logan’s girlfriend,) agreed to help me, and she was fabulous. She organized, priced, wore the “fanny belt,” and sold the stuff. Like these types of sales, we had everything you never knew that you wanted. It was laying out on the cement driveway in a semi- organized way. We borrowed multiple tables from our friendly, and helpful neighbor, Jim. I was able to fraternize with the neighbors, discussing the events in the “hood” , and where we were moving to, as well . I gave a Mum, and her three kids an impromptu tour of the house, as my son lay sound asleep on the chesterfield..aka..da couch. There ain’t nuthin I won’t do to close the deal…!
Cars, trucks, and yes multiple tractors even arrived. The sale brings out lots of colorful folks, and some even bring rolls of coins. We remarked at the end of the day that we had enough dollar bills to head to the “strip club!” I’m kidding people, but the idea was spoken..
Folks really like to chat in these types of scenarios. I found that to be very endearing. I spoke with the lady in the tractor for quite a lengthy period of time, and thinking on it later, probably was the longest conversation that Ive had in 13 years with her! She was content to drive up and down our driveway in the garden tractor shopping as she went, and looking over our abundant fare. This is the country, and one of the things I love about it.. Come in yer pick up, trailer, garden tractor, and wagons, and eat donuts and collect some free books, and connect…just be out and about.
What I observed was that the cell phones were away, we made eye contact, we had the country music blaring from the radio, and we laughed, we chatted. This was community, and connection, and “the garage sale” offers so much more than just selling your junk to someone else, so they can Re-purpose, or Re-sell it in their garage sales. Folks find treasures, but the gifts I found were meeting new people, and re-establishing ties with some forgotten ones.
There was a lovely Grandma that came with her granddaughter, and they spent quite a bit of time going through all the things.
Innitially I was in the garage unpacking some boxes that had been unopened for the last 14 years.
Oh the things you will find! Crystal vases, a silver tea service, mikasa decorative platters, china tea cups, and my wedding china, which as it turns out, I still really love, and yes…”I’m not saving the good china any longer…” I’m using it! I know I’m such a rebel, my Grandma and my Nanny would be so proud!
Amongst my long lost treasures was my old jewelry box which I had not laid eyes on in some time.
Let me just say that the 90’s were alive and well in this collection of “costume jewelry.” I did even find some sterling silver pieces, and items I bought on my first trip to Europe with my cousin Babs when I was 18. It turns out Logan could have been on the something with the “hoarding” comment.
When I was exclaiming about the newfound box of items, this wonderful lady heard me saying that I had purchased some earrings from an Antique market on the streets of Paris. She came scurrying over, and wanted to know if they were really from Paris? I assured her that they were, and she added them to her “to buy” pile.
This started our conversation about her other granddaughter who was a budding artist, but struggling with her core classes in school. She was 15 years old, and you could tell this Grandma loved very deeply all her 6 grandchildren that were in this family. She lived with them, and I could tell she was such a blessing to them.
She expressed that she and her daughter wanted to be able to send her granddaughter to Paris to experience life there at the end of her high school career. She explained that finances were tight, and they didn’t know how they could make it happen.
We just kept sharing, and she asked if she could bring Alyssa by to meet me tomorrow, and could I share some “art and travel experiences” with her. I readily agreed.
I knew we had sold one Eiffel Tower replica earlier in the day, but Natalie reminded me I still had a red China one that I had purchased at “The Paris Street Market,” in southern Denver a few years back.
I ran, well no actually, struggled up the stairs, my “sciatica” was kicking in…ugh, and found the tower. While in my closet, I saw my old “Jansen’s History of Art” book from my college days, and a roll of paint brushes, I thought this young artist needed these items too.
The Grandma was so appreciateive. She shared that she had lived in Indonesia, and spoke the language, and then told me lots of great information about the place. There were were at least 17,000 islands there, and some were uninhabited by people, but filled with prolific wildlife and plants. I was more fascinated than ever to hopefully visit there one day.
We hugged it out at out at the end of our visit, and she promised to bring the rest of her family back the next morning, which she did.
I was delighted to meet them all, and I had a wonderful conversation with her granddaughter, daughter, and other delightful children. Her granddaughter showed me her portfolio, and I tried to encourage her to reach for her dreams. I told her she had been given this talent, and when she expresses it, she adds beauty to our world. Her brothers and sisters played with the beagles, and brought home lots of goodies. It was awesome…what a blessing. They all hugged me before departing, then hung their heads out the truck windows, smiling toothy grins, blond hair flying in the warm wind, yelling thank you…
I was thankful…truly…unexpected friends…such a gift.
People came, and went, and some even tested out their purchases on the cool driveway.
Guys arrived wanting to buy the 1965 Mustang hidden under the tarp, as well as the big ole truck tires, fishing rods, lawn equipment, and yes, even the ole John Deere tractor. They were highly disappointed to learn that the car, and wheels were not for sale, but at least they got a free donut if they wanted one.
There were several glass vases that nobody wanted, so Natalie suggested we do some ” break therapy,” and I readily agreed!
As I have stated before, breaking and burning is my “go to”for stress relief. The neighbor boy Brody, was a little alarmed at Logan and my exuberance as we smashed our glass…Logan even getting out the hammer to really pound the things to smitherines.
We were tired. There is loss here. We are dismantling our house, selling off our memories, and it does hurt. It’s another step in this process, but it is grief too, and needs to be recognized as such.
At the end of the evening, we decided a bon fire was in order, so we sacrificed an old broken chair, and some wounded shelves to the heat of the inferno.
We had a close call. My son doused the old chair with gas, then struck a wood match. It immediately went up in a gigantic flame, but then died down unexpectedly.
He decided to dump more gas in the fire…Bad Plan..because the gas can ignited. Panicking, he threw it, and a small patch of grass blew into flame, Natalie ran for the hose, and I ran towards the burning can..
“Get back!” Logan screamed…I did..Natalie did.. Logan snatched the hose, and charged forward, saturating the flames with water… it went out..thank you Jesus.
He said, ” Mum..that gas can was still half full with fuel..it could have exploded at any time!”….. but it didn’t…thank you Jesus…..again for your provision, and your protection.
A rather dramatic end to our two garage sale days…
We celebrated Logan’s upcoming 22nd birthday, out by the fire, thankful to be held together by love and family, and by God..of course.
One thought on ““One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”…or woman…or child..”
Thank you Jill. This was beautifully written and I stumbled through many memories of the old subdivision. I am planting roots again after renting all these years. Moving this weekend into my “perfect condo” with a small yard for the dogs and a pool right across the street. I’ll send pictures of the Riverwalk just steps away from my front door where we can go feed the ducks. Bless you and good luck. I shed some “happy” tears over your blog as I celebrated and mourned with you. You are so strong, beautiful, and loving. I’m happy I will be able to share your Moving On experience through your writing. Peace.