Garage Sales

I was depressed, but that was a side issue. This was more like closing up shop, or, say, having a big garage sale, where you look at everything you’ve bought in your life, and you remember how much it meant to you, and now you just tag it for a quarter and watch ’em carry it off, and you don’t care. That’s more like how it was.

Jane Smiley

Having a garage/yard sale is a humbling experience. We had very limited experience with them until we began downsizing in order to put our house up for sale.

For months we had weekend sales, pricing things in order to sell our house. During this time we watched as our prized possessions walked away for a fraction of the price we’d paid for them. If that was all there was to that experience,  things would be less painful. It was never that easy. For some reason, people who come to your sale seemed to feel they have the right to make some type of judgment about your stuff. That’s not taking into account those people who would pick things up to ask you about the price and then walk away with them when you began to help someone else.

After a year of having these monthly sales, we were down to the final collection stuff. Unfortunately, on that Saturday morning in the middle of May, we woke up to about a foot of fresh snow. Looking at the tire tracks left in the heavy spring snow, we knew we’d be lucky to find anyone brave enough to come out at all, much less pack things up and take them away.

This last batch of things included the dining room set I’d brought with me from Iowa–the first real thing I’d purchased as an adult. I loved it and cherished the memories attached to it. The set was solid Oak and heavy. If we did not find someone to take it away today, I did not know what we’d do with it. Time was running out. We had to be out of our house soon.

As the sun broke through the clouds and the snow began to melt, a newer SUV drove slowly up the street. I’d taken a call the day before from a woman who wanted to know if we still had the dining room furniture. She’d just gone through a divorce and needed so many things. If we still had it she would be there to pick up tomorrow. Her call was made long before the snow began to fall. Once I saw the amount of snow that fell, I did not believe anyone would venture out.

I was wrong–she and her friend came and took it all. I’m still not sure how in the world we got it all in the back of her car but we did. She was gracious and kind as we closed up the back of the car and she turned to leave. She looked at me, grasped my hands in hers,  and thanked me for being there to help her. She knew she’d acquired quality furniture and she was grateful.

The two of us had helped each other at a time when we both needed it.

That was the last day of our last garage sale. I don’t anticipate we will ever do another sale of that type. I’d watched as my treasures left my home. On this day, I was blessed to have this wonderful, gracious woman thank me. We’d both been at the right place at the right time in order to help each other so we could all move on with our lives.

What a wonderful way to end those challenging days and begin fresh and new.

I take those memories with me when we go to sales in order to refurbish our new home. Now I believe we both approach the sale tables with heavy hearts. We understand there is a back story–a tale that few will ever know or even begin to understand.

I am…

B…simply being…

~Peace be with you~

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