Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Yard Sale: The Neverending Story

Our one day only sale is over. We cleared our basement--at least 80 percent of it. We sold about half of what we put out on the driveway. When we first opened, I remember that vulnerable feeling sitting in front of our house with all our junk in full view of the world. Would anyone want this stuff? What if no one comes? At first it was slow but in the end we took in 100 dollars--most of that was one transaction with one woman who bought a ton of stuff for fifty dollars, she and I spent 30 minutes on negotiations. I could tell the minute she got out of her car, she was here to buy. She was from Africa, her name was Marthe and she drove a hard bargain as she spoke with Dennis in french. We had a good time together.
Most of our neighbors came over, it was fun. I got to know Flora and Carol who came down and bought more than they thought they would. We had cassette tapes that I wasn't putting out on the sale tables because I didn't think anyone would want them. Carol came over specifically looking for some, so I got our box from the garage and she picked through them. I have a tape system that would allow for a CD walkman style player to play through a car cassette stereo, when I find it, I could give it to Carol, she's just down the street. Dennis took the items that Flora bought and carried them down the street to her house. We talked for an hour with Henry across the street and later his son came over to talk to Dennis about a summer job. Shirley next door joked with me that she had too much junk of her own, so she can't came over to shop our sale. Heather and her kids came over, she and her husband had just moved in a few days ago and needed furniture.

Most of the stuff we sold was stuff that we had gotten for free. I sold a bunch of cups with the Naval Reserve logo on them that Dennis used to give away in his recruiting days. The sewing machine came from a neighbor who really didn't have room for it when she was moving and the entertainment armoire came from another neighbor who stored it in his garage and gave it to Dennis who expressed admiration for it. I sold both of those items for fifty dollars. Even the dog carrier was given to us by friends who never used it--I sold it for 10 dollars.

It was so much fun, Dennis wants to do this again. I am not so sure. Our house is still in chaos from removing furniture from it and dirt tracked in from the basement and the garage. So our unsold junk is still sitting in our garage waiting for another sale in a few weeks. My question is if it is worth it. Our neighbors came over and that was great, would they come back? We had at one point, a minor traffic jam around noon time and a couple of near car accidents. The postman was really mad when I saw him, so I went up to him and he told me he had almost gotten hit and that he was having a hard time getting to the mail boxes. I apologized and soothed his ruffled feathers as much as possible--he was much calmer when he left. No one thinks about the postman in planning neighborhood events.

Which got me thinking about organizing a block party potluck. Everyone seems friendly here and probably would love the chance to talk more and eat together. We could close down the street on a Sunday and put out tables in the middle for the food. Maybe organize games for the kids at the grade school a block away. I remember these events as a kid and loved them--especially when the dads played baseball with the kids. I know of a few people to talk to--Flora, Harleen and Jennifer--the long time residents and ask what they think.

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