Mary Jo Brown: Renew, revive and create with yard sales
May 18, 2014
Despite the weather being bad now and then, it is the time for yard sales, flea markets and garage sales. I used to have yard sales every year and eventually started going in with my neighbors to make them bigger.
Going to yard sales and foraging felt good. The not knowing what was out there on those tables — I liken it to the anticipation of childhood and not knowing what I was going to get for my birthday. If I felt guilty about going out on these foraging trips I would tell myself that I could find things I needed at a more reasonable price. After all there might be something I could use, need or would make a good present. I did realize that the person holding the yard sale was in actuality a salesman who was trying to get rid of their unwanted items, which were sometimes junk — yet, their trash turned into my treasure. It didn't hurt to go look at what they had and estate and moving sales were the best. These sales are usually done by professional dealers or auctioneers and are more organized and actually can be kind of exciting if the bidding gets intense.
I don't hold yard sales anymore but I found three simple truths through all this, one is that the perfect item I received was in fact not actually a physical item but the spending of time with whomever I went with. Enjoying doing something together not knowing how near or far we are going to go in search of a treasure. The treasure found was a friendship and the purchase price a life long loyalty of companionship of doing something we both enjoyed.
A question I always asked myself and the second truth became very evident. Is this the best I can doing? Bargaining is a good friendly way to meet people but in my case I'm not always the most effective bargainer and don't usually walk away with anything or at least not at the price I wanted to spend. I learned to set a limit in my spending before I left my house and took no checkbook or extra cash with me.
Thirdly, before I made a purchase I had to know what I was going to do with that item when I got it home. Compulsory buying accumulates items you don't really need and then you are stuck with the chore of getting rid of them. My third truth was, "I really don't need that, or won't ever use it."
Actually the excitement of foraging or "yard sailing" was not about the cost but about the beauty of the connection between the newfound object and giving it a new home and a new life. It's seeing items in a new way and being able to view them creatively and with new purpose. This is the way we should view each day of our lives, as a newly created opportunity to renew, revive and create what we want it to be. With the excitement of just knowing that the next "table" will have exactly what you have been looking for.
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Happy birthday wishes go out to Joe Gallegos, Daniel Tabor, Bruce Wood and Bob Grubb.
Get well wishes go out to Kathy Wells and Jean Goldstein.