Family life, Paleo-ish eating and Coping with Chronic Illness

Do you like garage sales?  I don’t.  Well. I take that back.  I do like one thing about garage sales.

When they’re over.

I told you that we were planning to have a garage sale, right?  We had 10 years worth of stuff we lifted and carried into the garage when we refinished the basement.  All winter that pile of stuff has been harassing me.  I knew dealing with this stuff would claim whole days of my life.  It did.

Setting up for a garage sale is like having to study for a huge test in a subject that doesn’t interest you.  You can always think of something more important to do.  But, then, one day you realize the test is in the morning.  There isn’t time to procrastinate any more.  It’s scary.

Have I told you that I don’t know how to burn the midnight oil?  I don’t. I can’t.  It isn’t possible for me.  I’m not one of those “type A” women who can’t fall asleep until all the shoes are in order by the front door.  If things aren’t done by 8 pm, they’ll stay undone. I CAN, however, get up pretty darn early the next day, and do my best to sort things out then.

I came home from work the night before the garage sale; I knew there was only so much I could get done after a full day’s work.  I did my best, but it was hardly enough.  I slept hard that night, and I woke at 4 the next morning.  Waking up early is so much less painful for me than staying up late.

I started arranging items and putting price tags on things.  It was still dark.  I started to feel like there was no way I was going to be done with the work by the time the garage sale was set to begin. Then, I started thinking about my favorite person I married.  The one who doesn’t like to throw things away. The one who had the great idea to have a garage sale. The one who was still sleeping, all nice and cozy in his bed.  I started thinking some things that weren’t so kind about my favorite person sleeping in his cozy little bed.

After a while, Scott came out to join me. That poor guy,  he never saw it coming.  I hit him with a crap storm of my panic.  No need to share all the sordid details.  Let’s just say some cuss words might have happened, and some garage sale inventory may have been kicked. Across the garage.  Yep.  Really, it was a pretty  impressive display.  I wish the cameras would have been rolling.  That kind of fury comes around only so often.

Scott didn’t take it too personally.  He did some metaphoric and literal heavy lifting for me for a while, and I realized that’s all I needed to calm down.  I just needed some help.  Once I got that, I became me again.  I told Scott I was sorry.  He kinda laughed.  When I apologized, Scott just said, “You took the bait.”

I asked, “What do you mean?”

He said, “You were angry, and you took the bait.”

We didn’t have time to talk about it more.  I thought about it though.  I have all sorts of problems.  I do.  I can honestly tell you that anger issues are not at the top of the list.  Anger is sort of a once-in-a-blue-moon deal for me.  I never thought of anger as a temptation. But, I guess it’s possible.

Anger tempts you to act like a crazy person.  To yell, to swear at your husband, and to kick your daughter’s build-a-bear across the garage.  Some people know how to be angry, to take a deep breath and resist the urge to act foolish.  That is hard.

The actual garage sale itself was painless.  The weather was fine, and I like  chatting with people.  There were a steady stream of characters to chat with for two days.  I think we made about 8 cents an hour.  So, in the end, a perfectly good use of our time.  Can’t wait to do it again.  When I’m dead.

92-year-old, Luke, wins for garage sale customer of the weekend.  Luke took short little steps, and he used his cane.  He was sharp.  He knows the garage sale business, boy.   It took him just a short time to zone in on the items that actually did hold the most value.  He surprised me.

I didn’t know how he was going to get that stuff in his little car.  We managed together.  Luke gave me some tips on pricing things.  He told me which things we had held the highest value, and how to price those items accordingly.   Luke came back the next day too.   It might have been just to talk though.  I think we’re friends now.  He makes an impression.

I don’t plan to have another garage sale in the next 100 years or so.  That’s a shame, because I learned a couple of things, and I won’t be able to use what I learned.  Can I share them with you?  Maybe you like having garage sales, and this information will help you.  Always looking out for you.

On Friday, you get a lot of folks who are strolling through garage sales, because that’s what they do.  It’s sort of a hobby. A lot of those folks are retired, and garage sales are just something to do. Sometimes they find something.   More often, they don’t.  It’s nice chatting with those folks, but don’t expect them to buy all your junk.

Saturday is a different deal all together.  Saturday garage sale shoppers mean business.  By Saturday of our garage sale, I was super tired. I  thought we might open up for a couple, three hours, and be done.  That wasn’t what happened.  I think on Saturday, you’ve got a lot of people out who work hard all week.  They have some money, but they don’t have a lot of time.  They garage sale like they mean it.  They come in and grab what they want, throw their money down, and they’re on their way.  Saturdays are great garage sale days.  I mean, that’s just anecdotal, but that’s how it happened for us.

Another good outcome of our garage sale was getting to work with Scott.  Waiting on people together, and watching him check folks out and bag their items was something I enjoyed.   He has some solid customer service skills.  I even thought about giving him a raise, to 10 cents an hour.  He’s that good.

scott bagging

dad cashier

This guy was the cashier on Friday. I know. He looks shady.


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