Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Yard Sale Blues, continued...

It's early in the morning and we're exhausted. We spent the better part of the day cleaning out our basement and storage shed in the backyard to find things to sell. And boy, we found things to sell...

It's all in our garage now, waiting to be cleaned, arranged and priced. I'm not looking forward to the process. The trick is to make this stuff not look like junk. In our newspaper ad, "antique" will be used twice. That's twice, people. We have an antique 1900's car trunk that my mom gave me and a circa 1920's sewing machine some neighbors gave us for helping them out. Free stuff. Now, we are going to collect on their room and board and transportation all over the country. Dennis is teaching me the value of a dollar.

I also found things that I haven't seen in many years. Sentimental things that should have not been regulated to the damp, dark corners of our basement. But we never had a basement before, so this is something we learned about. When you have a basement, it is easy to toss things down there and forget they ever existed.

After five years, it gets scary. Really scary. You don't want to do down there. You and your spouse make plans to do some deep organizing in the frightening, musty basement and it is hopeless. A lost, lost cause. Meanwhile, the junk buried the things of value--the treasure of our lives. And, everytime there is a tornado warning, you realize that the instructions to get to the lower part of the house you can't follow because of all the crap that is preventing you from possibly saving your own life.

The garage sale motivated us to real action on the problem. We both sorted, discussed and negotiated during the process. Wonderful but hard won lessons on marital communication in one day. We learned a lot about each other. For instance, I learned that Hubby thinks much deeper on that practical level than I do. He knows what other men (of a certain age) are looking at when they look at junk. They are looking at cannabalizing for parts. What what they need to complete a project they've had on hold for years because there is a lack of the right part.

This is a revelation to me. It's a whole new wide world, I see something that I've never seen before. I haven't felt this way in years. And to think I have been living with this person for nearly eighteen years. He's amazing! He's like... MacGyver! You know, the guy who could make a bomb out of three random things in a room and solve any problem in two minutes flat with contructing exactly the right tool out of three random things in a room. Or, like...Indiana Jones! You know, the resourceful guy who know how to survive against impossible odds with a whip, leather jacket and a hat.

Well, maybe I am exaggerating...but I definately have a newfound appreciation for Dennis. We have gotten a lot closer through the dirty and daunting job of cleaning the basement. Who knew that the best thing for a marriage was to roll up our sleeves and work on a difficult job?

In addition, our home feels great. It's like it lost weight. I open a cupboard and it isn't stuffed with several unneccessary items. My clothes closet is well ordered and it's a breeze to get ready for my day every day. My bookshelves contain orderly rows of books that I truly value and enjoy. I open my linen closet and I have just what I need, nothing more. And our basement has been cleared of 75% of the junk clogging it up. It is able to function now. I'm pretty excited at future possibilities at the open space in the basement. A ping pong table? Exercise room?

The pricing story is still ongoing.

We own one tv and want to sell it. I am excited at the idea of raising enough money to replace it with a modest sized flat screen. Less clutter. Another good way to streamline a small, tight space in our family room. But we have to sell enough stuff at the right prices to afford it.

And a part of me that tends to be a little complex questions this whole endeavor of working so hard for a so obvious materialistic gain. A technological one, at that. We will not lie, we enjoy a little tv a few nights a week and we watch about two dvd's on weekends (we don't go out to movies but once every two months). What's wrong with the perfectly good tv we bought six years ago? And the used entertainment armoire our neighbor gave us for free? Sure, the doors are broken, but we don't use them anyway.

We've resisted XM satellite radio even though Dylan has a wonderful program. And ipods--we haven't jumped on the mp3 bandwagon, as tempting as it seems. All of a sudden, my CD player feels bulky and having to handle CD's seems awkward and clumsy. I forgot all about cassette tapes until we uncovered them in the basement. Some of them when I played them were squeeky and warped. Some of them are still quite good. I'm looking forward to re-discovering sermons from churches we once attended, worship music from the 70's, 80's and 90's and maybe, just maybe, get a better perspective on the high priced tech "toys" that I'm supposed to be able not live without in the 2000's.

So, I still have a lot of questions as we undertake the yard/garage sale (depending on weather). I am wondering what God's logic might be and what His heart would be about the matter of why we are doing all of this.

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