Our garage sale Saturday wasn’t my first time to the rodeo, but there’s always room for a new trick.
Two hours before we officially opened, a woman with bright yellow uncombed hair spilling over her Harry Potter glasses appeared and started inspecting the merchandise. My husband noticed she’d parallel parked faultlessly on our lawn between the street and the sidewalk. The area where he tried to grow grass all summer.
Intent on haggling over a twenty-five cent pair of earrings, Yellow-Hair brushed him off when he politely asked her to move her pickup truck.
He asked again, slipping into the “I mean business” voice normally used by dads and policemen. He waited. She finally left in a snit and drove away. My husband is still in a state of disbelief.
Sometimes a garage sale can unearth more than tangible objects to be shed; it can expose intangible questions not previously discussed like…
Who knew my husband started a collection of long-armed extension—(translate ugly-ugly-ugly)—but extremely utilitarian lights meant to be clamped on a fly-tying station instead of stashed in the attic until he’s inspired to build a fly-tying station?
Who knew he actually liked the totem pole? (It did not leave the house.)
Who knew he never cared about the wooden (#5) wedding anniversary bowl I‘d spent hours picking out? Or the copper (year #7) urn standing in the corner collecting dust? He didn’t remember where either had come from.
Worse yet, he didn’t recall giving me the hematite necklace from his San Francisco business trip… I’d never worn it, but was concerned selling it might hurt his feelings.
By the end of the day, we’d enjoyed the fresh air, caught up with friends we see only at our garage sales, and unburdened ourselves of extra baggage. My sunface collection sold like gangbusters. And yes, we made a few dollars.
(An unexpected bonus; my pedometer totaled over 25,000 steps.)
As a result of reordering our living space, I still have my husband and he’s a happier man. I still have my mind and it’s a less convoluted place.
I’ve noticed something else. Four days post garage sale and I’m still programmed to search and tag. My eyes see “stuff” differently; I look at a painting on the wall and think, “Why did I want that so badly?” And down it comes.
A new cache has been started for the next garage sale or… as I suspect I won’t want to keep it on hold; give away, throw away, or donate.
My husband had one last question. After watching me do nothing but clear and clean, sort and price, move and reorganize stuff, stuff, stuff for over a week, how was my novel coming? My five pages a day?
Good question, honey. You’ll be the first to read it. Right after I get back to writing it. ~ JD here.