Sunday, September 16, 2007

Garage Sale and Other Updates

Whew! Yesterday was the date of the infamous garage sale at my parent's house. I must admit, I wasn't quite sure what to expect--with the advertising side not being as prominent as I would have liked, and the "help" that was volunteered withdrawn--however, things did work out for the best and I'm REALLY glad that it's finally over.

The last of my stuff was transferred from my third story shoebox to my parent's house on Thursday, before the sale. A couple of my neighbors actually asked if I was moving because there were so many boxes of stuff and furniture being moved down the stairs. (Hey! I've been accumulating for three decades! I finally decided it was time for it all to go!)

Friday night, I made posters to hang up in the neighborhood so that people could find their house--especially since it's at the end of a road along the side of an access road for the Interstate. Their cat, Tabitha "Mooch" aka Tabby, really LOVED the posters. Or, maybe it was the fumes from the posters. She rolled around on them for most of the evening. Then, as my Mom was blowing up balloons the next morning to hang with the signs, she did it again...

The next morning, I finally crawled out of bed, after a less than restful night, around 5 am. You see, for some crazy reason, my dad said that we should hold the sale from 7 am-1 pm. That way we wouldn't be out in the heat of the day. Unfortunately, the first person showed up at 6:15 am--(what part of 7am did she NOT understand?) and was upset because we weren't set up yet. However, some of the things she was searching for we did not have, so she left without buying anything. Oh well, now we know.

My mom of course, was in a tizzy and kept flinging things about just to try to get it set up. (She's pretty methodical and wanted to clean surfaces before setting out my dusty items. Obviously she hadn't had any caffeine yet.) Her craziness didn't help much when my aunt arrived a few minutes later and started unloading my grandmother's things on the table I had just set up for my breakables. (Yep, this is how the whole morning went...) In any case, I kept my tongue under wraps (go me!) and tried to consider their points of view. After all, none of us have really had a garage sale here in Florida. The last garage sale I had was in Texas, right before I moved back here to Florida. So, none of us really knew the rules of garage sales--like people showing up WAY early and so forth.

Once things were pretty much set up, I grabbed my niece (who was supposed to sell cookies and lemonade during the sale, but opted to watch cartoons inside the air-conditioned house instead) and my dad's friend Dean (the guy who helped transport stuff from my shoebox) to go hang signs for the sale. My niece was in charge of pictures...

Obviously her priorities are not exactly mine, but her perspective is interesting for an almost seven-year old. :) Once we hung the signs, we arrived back at the house to find an SUV leaving. My first thought was that they bought everything and we could close up shop and go into the air-conditioning, but rounding the driveway showed me that I was completely wrong on that hope. (My dad was WAY wrong--it was 91 degrees in the shade and since it decided to rain later in the day, it was extremely muggy and humid.)

I met a lot of interesting people yesterday. Some of which showed up by just following the signs. The most memorable of which was a Hispanic gentleman who came on his bicycle. (Thank goodness I took some Spanish in high school, because most of our customers spoke only Spanish or a mixture I call Spanglish.) He explained that he was riding home from work and saw the signs and followed them. He ended up buying a box full of things, including straps for a sleeping bag, which he used to tie the box to his bike. He also mentioned that he was going to ride up to the next major street and then take the bus home. He was pretty ingenious and was extremely polite--even if we didn't understand each other very well.

I met another woman-Lenora-who attends a church downtown. As I was carrying an item to her car, she invited me to her church. (Why didn't I think of that?) It just shows--you never know who's watching and the opportunities that may arise.

Overall, it was not a very profitable day (I made enough to order pizza for us), but I did get to meet some very nice people. Remember the SUV that drove away as I was coming back from the signs--they actually came back! It was towards the end of the sale and the rain was headed in our direction, so we were starting to pack things up to go to the local Thrift Store. As it turns out, the girl and her husband are building a new house and she wants to do her kitchen in Winnie the Pooh. (I used to collect Pooh stuff and had my entire kitchen done in Pooh as well.) So, I gave her a box and told her to fill it up. She said that she only had $18 dollars, so I gave her a bigger box and told her to fill it up. She didn't believe me at first until I started loading all of my Pooh stuff in her box. Her niece was ecstatic when she saw that I had a lot of journals for sale. She writes country music and needed a place to write her songs. I gave her the lot of them for 50 cents.

My mom and aunt told me later that I shouldn't have "given" things away. However, most of the items that were left went to the thrift store anyways, so I figure at least this way, they would get some use out of them. Yes, I could have sold all of the collectible things--Winnie the Pooh cookie jars and tons of PartyLite candle holders--on eBay, but I don't really care about the money factor. To me, giving the items to the Catholic Thrift Store guarantees that the money will be used for good causes. It was just stuff that was bogging me down. I feel much lighter after getting rid of all of those things, and I'm sure the movers will appreciate it the next time I decide to move--although I do have a ton of books they'll have to carry down the stairs. :)

What's even better, is that today's sermon was about how we can't take all of our "stuff" with us when we die. That it's not about how much we have, but it's what we do with what we do have. :) God is pretty funny--and his timing is impeccable. (Even if it's not the same as mine.)


In even more exciting news--I won a copy of Kristin Billerbeck's NEW novel The Trophy Wives Club! I received an email from Marilynn Griffith (can you believe it?) telling me that I won the book! I'm really excited because I've read almost all of Kristin's other work and I can completely identify with her characters. You should really check out her other books--they're hilarious! I promise!


I'm going to Texas for Thanksgiving to see my real dad and his wife. He offered to buy the ticket, so I'm hopping on a plane and getting there the day before turkey day. I'll be flying back EARLY Saturday (who decided that I was a morning person--boy are they WRONG!) morning--like 6:30 AM EARLY! YUCK! However, Madison is going to be alone for four days. Please pray for her because she was literally sick by my being gone for just one day--the Lord only knows what will be waiting when I return after being gone for four days! (Don't fear--I've already done a trial run on food and water, so she'll have plenty of food and water while I'm gone. Now the litter box--that's another story!)

I'm excited about going out there for a visit. I haven't seen them since I moved back here over a year ago, and I hope to see some of my friends. I just hope that it's not too cold over there because I have no idea how to drive on ice, and I'd really rather not have that experience while I'm there. (It was incredibly warm while I lived there--it didn't even snow! Thank goodness!) I'll keep you posted.

Well, I have to go back to that place they call work, tomorrow. Thursday is conference night, which I have to miss, so I have to make up the hours during some other time. I'm planning on doing a little bit each day, so I'd better get everything ready for tomorrow. Yippee.


mad4books said...

Wheee! Can't wait to see you when you get back to TEXAS and am inspired to clean house after seeing your garage sale pics...

(Hey, is Monday too early to start planning all the reading & resting I plan to do this weekend? Oh, wait...I'm speaking on a panel this Saturday for the district meeting of the Texas Library Association...dang...)

Misadventures of the Dynamic Uno said...

It was hard to get rid of so many things--after all, I AM a pack-rat. however, when I hadn't even had some of the items out of their boxes in over six years--I knew it was time to get them out!

It's NEVER too early to start planning relaxation. You'll do well this weekend at TLA! You're very well-spoken and have wonderful ideas! I can't wait to read all about it! ;)