Monday, September 13, 2010

Maggie's Garage Sale

Dear Friend & LBR Maggie (and Steve, et al) had a Garage Sale last weekend. I've been hearing notes from Maggie that it was a real experience in more ways than one. I encouraged Maggie to write a story about it and, much to my surprise, she did. She put a title to it, to wit: "The Garage Sale, A Novella." I am printing her story unedited and unformatted  in its entirety. It's a Total Classic in every sense of the word "classic." It's just totally classic, what can I say? If Maggie wants it to disappear, of course, it will at her beck and call. If not, it's here for posterity.  Thanks, Maggie, this is totally awesome. Ya dun good!

Enjoy & Cheers! jp

The Garage Sale, A Novella 
Up bright and early Saturday to move things from the garage into the driveway for the big sale.  As usual, Steve was uber-organized and had tables arranged and items placed by category.  Sometimes it's just best to let him do his thing rather than try to figure out what you can do, because he's got it under control.  Cool, calm, collected.  Cool hand Steve.  We started at 6 a.m. or so with an advertised start time of 8.  The first sale-or (or sailor?) arrived just before 8.  He was an obvious GSP (garage sale pro) and immediately selected the few "antique" type things we had: Steve's grandma's old leather tool kit in an old case, an old iron triangle dinner gong type thing, some old chains or some sort (a guy thing), and something else. He also snatched up my Cabela's fisherman's sunglasses with a magnifying insert that cost a pretty penny at Cabela's but got replaced with my Maui Jims.  Steve had some old forestry textbooks, having decided he could finally part with them.  This GSP asked, "you in forestry".  Steve said, yup.  Turns out they knew each other, of course.  Steve told me that this man along with another retiree have their garages and basements stuffed to the gills with STUFF.  Lots and lots of stuff.  Our friend came by later and he said he thinks this particular GSP has some vested interested in a second hand shop here in Flagstaff, which would explain the items he chose as they were probably things they could put in the shop.  

Holding a garage sale is definitely entertaining.  In fact, maybe we should have one once a month, just for the entertainment value.  A married couple in their 60's, I would guess, showed up.  He would pick something up and she would tell them why they didn't need it.  She would pick something up and he would do the same.  When we started up a conversation, the two of them started talking simultaneously to us and just talked over each other.  The entire time.  Talking at the same time.  In their Rhode Island, Fran Drescher accents.  They never quit. I'd hate to go to a party at their house, that's for sure.  Steve dipped into the "free box" and pulled out a whooppee cushion (the flattened, balloon looking thing) and said, "here, you need this."  Well, the man exclaimed, "this was made in the town I come from"!  "We have to have this."  Unbelievable.  He also bought a depth finder off Steve's old boat.  The wife tried to talk him out of this, but for $3, he would not be deterred.  The man asked if we had the instruction manual.  At first Steve said no, but then he stopped and said, "well, wait a minute."  Sure enough, he came back with the manual.  Steve said it didn't sound like the man did much fishing, but it would most likely be put on the boat that sits in the driveway.  

The first runner ups had to be two women who walked up.  They looked like they could be sisters.  Probably in their 60's, tall, trim, somewhat earthy, gray hair, friendly, but just a bit odd.  They looked around a lot.  They looked at my books and said, "your books are in such good condition!"  I thought, well duh, I read them once and put them on the shelf.  How should they look?  They were most interested, however, in an old scrabble game.  This game was one either Steve or I used as kids.  Like from the 50's.  They said, incredulously, "why are so many people selling Scrabble???"  I told them that we had two and that we were selling one.  They said, "why did you choose the one you did to keep?"  I told them that it was older and in better condition.  Well, they asked, "can we see it?  We don't want to buy it, we just want to look at it."  So, I went inside and brought it out.  The games were more than likely the same age, but the one we were keeping was slightly better.  They obsessed on and on and on and on about Scrabble.  How often they play it.  How everyone should play it.  Asking us if we play it.  Why don't we play it.  They couldn't decide if they should buy ours or not.  One can never own too many Scrabble boards, I guess.  Then they asked, "are all the pieces there".  Hmm.  We didn't really know.  We had to open up the board to see how many pieces of each letter there are in a set and came up with a total of 101 pieces.  They laid the tiles out in the lid to the Scrabble box in 8 rows of 10 and were dismayed to find out that it was not a complete set.  Disheartened, they could no longer buy the game.  This did, however, prompt us, once they left, to be sure that the game we were keeping was a complete set.

The ladies then returned to the book boxes.  They pulled out a copy of The Joy Of Sex.  Steve said he received this as a gift when he got married the first time.  They thumbed through it a bit and put it back.  They paid for their other purchases, a couple of books and other what not and off they went.  
About ten minutes later, here they come again!  They came back to the box of books and danged if they didn't pull out The Joy Of Sex.  She opened the cover to find an inscription inside the cover.  "Oh, no", she said, "it has writing in it."  The other woman said, "well, that's OK".  This woman lamented, "but it belonged to someone else."  Then she said, "well I could just put something over it."  Then she noticed a small spot on the cover and was again dejected only to happily state "I could make a cover for it!"  They paid for it and off they went.

The next morning, Steve told me he lay awake in the middle of the night and wondered if they went home and were reading the book.  I told him I didn't really want a picture in my head of them and that book.

The first place prize went to a sweet little family.  At noon, we started packing things up.  Steve put one of the plywood tables out on the street with a sign that said "FREE".  NExt to the table, we had about 20 round concrete stepping stones.  This family was taking a walk up our street.  Mom, dad, 5 year old boy, 3 year old girl, and 1 year old girl in a stroller.  They asked about the stepping stones and wondered if we could set them aside, as they'd be back with money after their walk.  We said, sure.  They carefully looked at some of the other items.  I directed them to the Children's Books and showed them two that would definitely appeal to their son.  It was obvious that money was tight for this family of five.  They gathered up a few other things, I put them in a small box and said we'd hold onto them.  Steve had an old microscope -- like we used in high school chemistry.  They got that for their boy.  I told them that we figured no one would want it, as you can see all that stuff on the computer.  She said that the kids don't use a computer and that he is quite the investigator and he would love it.  Their entire box totaled about $10.

Around 2 o'clock, they came back and Steve went out to help them put the stones into their vehicle.  One of the tables that had been out in the driveway had 5 dolls each about 16 inches tall, standing up in metal stands.  They all have pretty outfits and curling hair and ceramic faces.  These got packed into a box when we were putting things back into the garage.  I went out through the garage and saw their adorable, blue eyed blonde, 3 year old looking in the box with the dolls.  She picked up one and was trying to pull another one out from underneath.  As they are just a bit fragile, I discouraged her from digging through the box.  She kept picking up the top doll to get deeper into the box, so I picked up the top doll and she picked up a different one.  She looked at me and said, "what's this?"  It was the stand that is attached to the doll around the waist.  I told her it helped the doll stand up.  She sweetly said, "I want it off."  So, I took it off.  They she hugged that doll so tightly.  I turned to her mom and said, "can I give her this D-O-L-L"?  The young mom appreciatively said, "oh - that would be wonderful."  The doll she chose had red hair.  It was the first doll in Kelli's collection that her grandma had purchased for her because of it's red hair.  It was then that I realized that this little girl's mom was also a redhead.  The doll went to the best possible home after years of being in a box.  I can't think of anything better.  That little girl just loved that doll.


Kbred777 said...

Awww-nicely written Mom! Makes me as happy to read as it did when you told me on Saturday. I am glad the doll found a perfect home!

Maggie said...

Oh gosh - I would have done more editing had I known it would be posted