It stirs within you and strikes without much warning. He might be just below the surface for a few years, giving you a pinch once in a while just to let you know he’s alive and well and waiting.
Yes: That all-important yard sale, yard sale, jumble sale, or porch sale, no denying it, likely to be profitable or not. Sooner or later, his demands to fulfill burst out too much to hide any longer, so you heave a great sigh, head to the basement, attic or garage – or all three – to see what might be tempting to your neighbors, friends or unwitting strangers. .
The weather is nice. You forgot about the last sale you had that left you exhausted and with an impressive mass of hives. It’s the result of you sticking your arm into a bush to grab a plastic spoon that fell off the display table. The spoon fell into a nest of vampire bats or other biting creatures that didn’t appreciate your intrusion. You forgot how long it takes to get those dusty folding tables out, set them up and dust them off. You forgot how incapable you are of deciding what is worth selling, what should be given away right now, and what should land in a huge trash bag next to your right leg.
You don’t know how to post anything to Facebook Marketplace, so end up telling your 20 Facebook friends you’re making a sale – they ignore it because they know you have nothing new to sell. Craigslist probably won’t attract too many buyers. But those white signs with bright red letters spelling GARAGE SALE with a red arrow pointing your driveway are the best bet for unloading what you no longer want to keep.
Once these tables take up the entire deck of the garage, you start getting the goods out. Some friends from church show up to help and probably wish they had stayed home to enjoy their air conditioning while reading some good literature. Why? Because you’re an incompetent, mindless procrastinator who can’t make a decision. While you turn your back to continue the dance of procrastination, they wisely make decisions and things move forward in order. Items are priced, tables are filled. As if by magic, “kitchen utensils”, “small household appliances”, “household linen”, “Christmas decorations”, “wickerwork” and other specialist areas are set up. Your daughters are so happy to see you get rid of things that they too are helping out.
One day to tag and set up a two day sale. It’s great to have friends and family helping you. They politely don’t mention that you chose the two hottest and wettest days of the year to hold this sale. You all move your chairs out of the relentless sun every four and three quarter minutes and into paltry shadow. It works until your neighbors start complaining that you’re sitting in their kids’ paddling pool.
A garage sale is a huge social event. You meet new people. A man tells you that he lived in your house in the 1960s. He is taken into the house and explains what it was like when he lived there. A couple buys a set of wicker furniture but can’t get it back until later.
When they return, they help you get things back in the garage before the rain starts.
Once again you are struck by the kindness and friendliness of this community.
The next day, you go out to find out what you have left. No one came in the night to take it away. What remains will be donated to a local charity.
Abundant applications of certain pain balms will be applied to muscles and joints that won’t stop complaining. Several naps will be needed to get your body back on its normal path.
After expenses, you estimate you earned about $18.63. This amount should cover roughly a fast food meal for three people: one of them swears, as she did three years ago, never to go to a garage sale again.
Susan Keezer lives in Adrian. Send him your good news at [email protected]