Saturday, July 20, 2019

On the other side of the table

by Lorraine Bartlett / Lorna Barrett / L.L. Bartlett

My neighbor and I try to walk at least three days a week. Everybody needs exercise, right? On Tuesday, she mentioned that she was going to have a yard sale Thursday and Friday. Mr. L and I had plans for Friday, but I asked her if she minded if I brought some of my stuff down and tried to sell it. "Sure!"

I've had boxes of stuff sitting in my garage for two years. That was the last time I attempted a yard sale. (It got rained out.) While Mr. L is fine about going to yard sales, he's not keen on hosting them. He says we never make any money, and it's a lot of hard work and time wasted.

But, all I had to do was fill the van, drive down the road, and unload it. That was the first fly in the ointment...setting up. I had three card tables, a folding metal shelf, and a tarp, and I needed all of them. There was so much stuff--stuff I considered to be "good stuff." That's the kind of stuff I look for at yard sales. Pictures, picture frames, kitchen stuff, and a lot of what we called "smalls" when I had a booth at the antiques arcade. And at 7:30 am it was HOT and MUGGY. By the time I finished setting up, I was soaked with sweat. (Well, we didn't get to walk, so that was my exercise.)

Before we had even finished setting up, we got a few people stop by--either on their way to work or just coming off the night shift. Right away, my neighbor sold a kid's wagon for $20. Was this a good omen? Well, not exactly. It was another neighbor coming home from work.

We also had a strike against us. We live on a quiet street that is connected on both ends by very busy roads. Unfortunately, there's a bridge under reconstruction at the end one of those busy streets, so the road is closed except to "local" traffic. So possibly thousands of cars never passed our street by the south side.

Highlights of the day:  A woman who bought a sign that said LET IS SNOW. She was visiting our area from Florida. "Hey, we decorate for the holidays," she said when my neighbor laughed. In fact, she lives on the Intercoastal Waterway and said everyone decorates their docks and yards.

Neither my neighbor or I had breakfast, so around 10 o'clock she brought out these JUMBO cinnamon muffins. Holy cow, I haven't had a BIG muffin in a long time and this was REALLY good! And we were sucking back water like crazy, although the humidity did lessen as the day went on.

Around 1 o'clock, another neighbor and her adorable Westie (Cooper) came to visit. So we're sitting there shooting the breeze when something crawling on the garage floor catches my eye. At first I thought it was a cicada (although we mostly see them in August), but then I saw ... THE TAIL.

EEEEEK A MOUSE!  It came in from the side of the garage. My neighbor leapt from her chair (I'd already done so and was going EEEEK EEEEEK). The mouse changed direction and ran outside, and my neighbor tried to chase it into the grass, but the mouse panicked and ran back into the garage. Cooper (a terrier, and they were bred to kill rats) wanted to attack, but his mother held him back. My neighbor had the coolest head and took care of the situation.

Around 4 o'clock there was not much happening, and I wanted to pack up, but my neighbor convinced me to hang on until 4:30. We had one more customer -- and I made $1 and my neighbor made a quarter. Woo-hoo! It took 45 minutes to pack everything up (and not as neatly as it was in the morning). My take for the day: $39.20. My neighbor did much better.

My take?  The reason I find such good stuff at yard sales is because the average yard sale attendee doesn't care for that stuff. It seemed like people were looking for children's clothes, toys, tools, and cooking utensils. Not much in the way of decor, and nobody wanted anything Christmas (In July, no less).

Back home, Mr. L made me a refreshing adult beverage and since we hadn't seen each other all day, we just sat and talked for more than an hour. It's amazing how exhausting it is just to sit around all day doing nothing. I sit around all day working, but it's different. My neighbor was SOOOOO glad to have company that day. (She'd done the yard sale last weekend, too.) She was going to do it again this morning for 4 hours and then call it quits because the heat index is up in the 100s today and that's just too hot.

Meanwhile, Mr. L is took me to a rummage sale.

The stuff that's leftover? My neighbor is donating hers to a church rummage sale. My stuff is going to Goodwill.

And Mr. L and Mr. H both said -- NO MORE YARD SALES.

Neighbor and I will just have to go to them instead.

Have you ever done a yard sale? Was it worth it?










1 comment:

SandyG265 said...

I just donate stuff. I don’t have either the patience or time to hold a garage sale