Sunday, June 03, 2007

Yard Sale Blues

Our sale is next weekend, and I'm nearly done clearing out the junk in our home. It's out in the open, now, where I can see it instead of hiding in closets and cabinets. But this is the obvious junk. Not the insidious unneccessary items that I still place value on but clutter up our home.

For instance: How many teapots must a woman have?

First, there is the plain white little teapot I've had since forever that I've often used. Later, when I had saved some money, I bought a fancier, bigger teapot for women's bible studies that used to meet at my home. Then a friend gave me a really pretty one (which taught me a lesson--if I had waited a little longer, God provided a teapot for me). Dennis noticed that, boy, his wife sure likes tea and teapots, and gave me one for Christmas many years ago. Then, to top it all off, I saw a cute bunny teapot for only five dollars, and who could pass up a deal like that? So, as my teapot collection went up, my penchant for just microwaving my mug of water for tea also went up. When I just had one little teapot, I used it because I didn't have to make a decision about which favorite teapot to use. Now, having tea is too complicated.

Here's my chance to simplify, and I am having a crisis. I can't decide which one to keep, which ones to sell. There are fond memories with each one, a hard decision. So, this week, I'm going to be brewing a lot of tea to see which teapot makes the cut. Another option is to give a couple of them away to friends.

Another case in point, when we were newlyweds, we needed dishes for everyday use. I saw a sale at Target for a set that was the right style with eight place five piece settings for only 25 dollars, which was a huge sum for me back then. Almost eighteen years later, that set is chipped and several pieces have gone missing or broke. I think we got our money's worth. But when I look at the battered earthenware, I think of all the meals served on those plates, and all the friends and family that ate from them. Just sitting there on the dining room table ready to be moved into the garage for the sale, I see just how well that set just belongs there and how I'll never find another like it.

Another crisis! Worse than the teapot one!

I am going crazy between schemes to keep the dishes (find another pattern that co-ordinates, mismatched sets are shabby chic, new dishes are expensive) and desires to get rid of them (cutesy country is passe`, look at those chips, aren't you tired of them already?, these are pretty cheap looking). I've decided to work out a compromise between my thrifty nature and my tendency to like new things. I'll probably retain four place settings of the old and then find a plain new set with a matching color. I have additional extraneous dishes that I plan to give to friends.

And this is just a few of the decisions that I have to make in the next 6 days. It will be a long week.

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