Tales from the Yard Sale!

I sit alone in the cool, damp air. As the crickets chirp their final goodnight, and the birds wake up and whistle a welcome to the morning…

yard sale 9:36 a.m.
Whatever…so, it’s YARD SALE day. I got up at the butt-crack of dawn and started moving crap gently used items to the top of the drive, setting up tables and laying out baby clothes and whatnot. It took me all of about 2.5 hours to get ready. This is too friggin’ much work!

But so far, I’ve sold about $50 worth of stuff, so it’s all good. I got the early morning commuters who couldn’t be bothered to even park and shut off their engines. Instead, they’d race in, nearly nudging my displays over with their bumpers in their haste to find that one item they were looking for, and lacking that, they hop back in and race off.

I’ve had a few browsers, some grazers, a lady who bought a bunch of books with quarters (quarters!!). So far, the highlight has been the “just from the gym” hot-mom in her black spandex pants. I tried to engage her in conversation, but there’s only so much you can talk about before it gets obvious (and my cell phone is nearly dead so I couldn’t take a picture…)

The sun is now starting to peek up over the trees, which means that despite the cool morning temps, I’m going to have to start rotisserie’ing myself to prevent a late summer sunburn.

Come on dude…you KNOW you wanna buy that camera…

…more to come I’m sure. Let the people watching begin!

9:48 a.m. Wha? Dude just stole the battery out of my camera!! I saw him take it out, but I thought he put it back in…he didn’t! Holy crap! Who does that?

10:10 a.m. I’m holding my laptop in my lap and the fan is pulling my leg hairs up into it and yanking on them. Ouch! That smarts! (clearly I’m not busy)

11:07 a.m. Oh come on! That’s not even right. Super-hot blonde, with a foreign accent, with a slightly less than average looking dude, with a goatee. I’m thinking…mail order bride?

11:41a.m. My strategy for reducing the amount of change I get (paperbacks .75 cents each or buy 2 or more and get them for $.50 each), isn’t working. I’m gonna have to drag a lot of change to the bank when this is all said and done.

11:47 a.m. Ok, how does this work? The recycle guys came by to pick up the curbside recyclables. They have a big garbage truck looking thing and they hang off the back for quick pickup. One of the guys wanted to buy my turkey fryer. Um…even if you DID buy it, where would you put it?

12:42 p.m. Normally, I wouldn’t accept a check, but A) they’re driving a spanking new Navigator and B) they have that “look.” And if the check bounces…oh well.

12:45 p.m. Second time it’s happened today: A normal looking guy comes by, with his wife. They peruse but don’t spend any amount of time really looking at anything. Then, he sidles up to me and says, “Hey, uh, do you have any unwanted gold or anything…”  I’m sorry, am I watching TV? Did you just ask me to go raid my wife’s jewelry box and hand over my gold (which is worth a heckuva lot right now) to you in exchange for a paltry sum of money? Do I look that stupid? Wait…don’t answer that.

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Clearly, she was out of her mind with fever

things for sale Buried among the usual pile of crap-mail this past week, was an unexpected gem. Of course, I didn’t realize what a gem it was at first glance, which is typical of most good things. I mean, whoever found the first crusty diamond all wrapped up in carbon probably thought, “What’s this piece of crap?” right before he smacked it to pieces with a hammer.

And so it was that I almost tossed it aside with the rest of the mail (in the recycle bin of course!) but then I stopped–re-read the notice, “It’s time for our Wildwood Springs Annual Neighborhood Yard Sale” and immediately started running the possibilities in my mind!

I’ve mentioned that I’m not generally a packrat, but I will say that there are a few things I can’t bear to throw out. While CareerMom had the boys tax-free “back to school shopping” on Saturday, (right before she fell ill to the same ailment that caused MLE to puke all over the place), I scrounged around in the basement for items that perhaps I could toss aside, and maybe make a few dollars off of.

Surprisingly, I came up with a pretty good list of crap useful items:

  • a pair of Kenwood side speakers (with drops of what appears to be solder on them, giving them a cool, hip, silver splashy look!)
  • various cords and cables
  • a turkey fryer that I’ve used all of twice, and only once for frying an actual turkey
  • two pairs of “his n’ hers” roller blades from mine and CareerMom’s single days. Seriously, we used these maybe all of three times when we were “dating” and haven’t put them back on since.
  • two small coolers, cuz my fabulous new cooler that I got for a “Thank You” award at work is clearly superior
  • a telephone
  • a network bridge
  • a serial port a/b switch
  • and a few more odds and ends

But then, as I perused the stack of stuff with a buyer’s eye, I wasn’t convinced that there was enough there to justify the $15 fee AND to justify my sitting on my can all day long drinking cheap beer while CareerMom occupied the boys.

But then, hark! What are those bins over there in the dark corner? Could those be “baby clothes” that we apparently have no need for?

Do you realize what we have here? Baby clothes are the “Holy Grail” of Yard Sale beacons. Why, with these, I could fairly hire a teenager to come work my driveway while I went about my business the rest of the weekend!

But then…a thought…

Will CareerMom be willing to part with them?”

Because despite both of us wailing in moments of despair, “NO MORE CHILDREN!” I secretly suspected that she might capitulate and therefore want to hold onto these clothes on the chance that God saw fit to give us YET another boy!

That evening as we were sitting around having dinner, I casually remarked, “So, I’m thinking about doing the neighborhood Yard Sale thing this year. I mean, I have a lot of junk of my own I can get rid of.”

Without skipping a beat, CareerMom said, “Yeah and all of those old baby clothes down in the basement can go too…”

I nearly fell out of my chair! Even more shocking was the fact that, later that evening, she went down, unprompted, and brought up all the bins and went through them discarding what she didn’t want to keep for sentimental reasons. And it was about 95% of the stuff!

Little did I know then that in less than 10 hours, she’d have her head buried in the toilet and running a fever. So maybe that’s why she was so agreeable. Either way, it’s too late now! I’ve hidden the unwanted bins of clothes and she’s not going to see them again until I put them out for sale in September.

But did you hear that? No more kids! For sure!

Unless we crazy kids get caught up in the moment one day and get lazy!

What child is this

rock city “Daddy, how much more minutes will it be until we get to grammy’s?”

“A long time honey.”

“But, how many minutes?”

“It’ll be about 124 minutes.”

“But that’s a really long time. I wished we lived right here.”

Here, being the middle of nowhere, somewhere between a little town in Georgia and another little town in Tennessee, up Hwy 411. If you’ve ever watched HGTV’s 100-Mile Yard sale show, then you can pretty much picture what this 2-hour stretch of lonely road is like. In fact, they have their own yard sale Web site, aptly named the “Hwy 411 Yard Sale.” Check out the link. (I find it interesting that all of the Points of Interest mentioned, have nothing to do with sales, or yards).

We did finally make it to grammy’s luckily, and after retrieving a bottle of clorox and a scrubby thingy and scouring her in-law suite downstairs until all of the spiders and various fungi had disappeared, we had a great weekend! Honestly, I can’t even begin to relax until my surroundings are clean!

We swam in the river and played with critters–catching four turtles and three crawdads (crayfish for your northerners).  We explored Tuckaleechee caverns (which I HIGHLY recommend!) and I only had to carry MLI for 1/2 a mile…500 feet underground (I think the closer you are to the center of the earth, the heavier you are because of gravity or something). We rode bikes and watched DVD’s. We ate junk food and took very unflattering pictures of daddy’s belly in his swimsuit. All in all it was a really good weekend.

As I drove back, I reflected on how different MLI is away from his brother. At home he’s constantly competing for attention; however, away from MLE, he’s actually a pretty calm, well-spoken, fun person to be around. It was good spending time away from home where I could actually see what his personality is becoming, rather than the hollering, near-incoherent whirling dirvish he is around his brother and his friends. It’s amazing really, the difference.

I’m going to have to make it a point, as the boys both grow, to spend time alone with each of them, in addition to all the things we’ll do together. Because I honestly enjoyed this weekend alone with him, which is more than I can say for any “Family” adventure we’ve all done together.

Of course though, all good things come to an end and it wasn’t 15 minutes after getting home on Sunday that I remembered WHY we went away in the first place.

Ah well, it was good while it lasted…yeah, it was REALLY good!