There is nothing like an early Saturday morning errand to remind us that some people have been up and busy since the crack of God. Garage sale signs popped up everywhere like dandelions a few minutes after you finish mowing.
It has been over 20 years since this lady had a garage sale. Since we moved from the suburbs to the country, garage sales are no longer a part of our lives. We do not miss all the preparation involved with such an undertaking.
Perhaps we erred on the side of caution, but why guide strangers to your door when the nearest neighbor is far down a dusty country road. Especially since most of the last two decades, we spent more time on the road and at work away from the farm.
During moments of contrariness and for fun, this lady can be quite literal. Consequently, when we were out and about and saw the Garage Sale and Yard Sale signs, the obvious question arose.
“Look. Those people are selling their garage.” Or, “The neighbors plan to sell their yard.” In either case, the follow-up question is, “How will the buyers haul away their purchases?” “A flat-bed or wide-load truck?” See. Being literal is a form of entertainment.
Since we all accumulate stuff, there is a point where a garage sale becomes necessary. Following the decision comes a week of drudge work. Deciding what to keep and what to sell is part one of the process, followed by pricing. Then everything must be taken out to the garage or the yard and organized.
Some folks place an advertisement in the newspaper or online, while others drive around and put up signs the day of the sale. Even though your ad states the opening time, do not be surprised if eager buyers bang on your door an hour before you planned to begin. In the case of the signs, someone should remain at the house because, by the time you arrive home, buyers are there as well.
Perhaps it was the nesting urge or insanity, but this lady decided to have a garage sale when she was eight months pregnant. Our town only allowed two sales per year, and there was an actual inspector who checked them out.
When the inspector arrived at our sale, he took one look at her beach ball-sized belly and mumbled, “This is not a professional vendor.” When she asked what he meant, the inspector replied, “Some people use garage sales as a front for regular business.”
On another occasion, a group of ladies drove up, and one was tall, built like a linebacker. She was a regular Amazon. The lady bought a delicate, multi-tiered plastic pastry serving tray. When she got into her car, she accidentally kicked the bag and broke the tray. She gave it back and demanded her money back. There was no way this five-foot-tall lady was arguing with the Amazon. So, she refunded the lady’s money.
After the woman drove off, this lady muttered some mighty unflattering and unladylike words under her breath regarding the klutzy woman. Short people may be smart enough to know when to back down, but once they are safe, the temper eruption is triple their height.
Some people are garage sale addicts. Please do not be concerned. It is a reasonably benign affliction.
For example, a woman, our daughter, nicknamed “The Lady with the tall hair,” was a practical addict. She frequented sales and bought items that tickled her fancy. Such things were displayed or used until she grew tired of them. Then she held a sale of her own to clear out the unwanted clutter to make room for new acquisitions.
This writer rarely went to garage sales because of her warped notion regarding germs and cooties. She did not buy books because they might harbor book mites. She would never buy a used mattress because of her germ concerns. She would only buy glassware, such as vases.
People can find almost anything at a garage sale, including our 19 ½ foot Bayliner boat. Sold at a bargain price.