Yard Sale Documentation Project 8-25-12


11:45 AM Saturday Morning

I can’t believe I’m still standing … and am awake … and have energy.

It’s nearly noon, and straggler salers are filtering in even though the morning’s high tide has come and gone. I’m feeling like I could probably hang around out here ’til mid-afternoon, but maybe that’s the coffee talking.

Hey — did you know that it’s pitch black out at 5am in late August? When the alarm went off this morning I called the Time and Temperature lady just to make sure my clock wasn’t on the fritz. I’d expected there to be at least a hint of daylight … but no.

As I look at the half-eaten pile of stuff in my driveway I wonder if it was worth three days of hard physical work and not much sleep. As is par for this course, some things which we thought most certainly would fly out of here have not yet sold. On the other hand, people took off with other things (such as the bare-assed gnome squatting in the grass) which made us look at one another with the “Say what?” face.

It does feel good to have cleared out the corners and to have let go of the experiences left like a thin film on some of the items. Plus, money was made through this cleansing process in addition to having saved $20-30 by not being “out there” buying even more stuff at the numerous sales that were being hosted today.

We heard tales of a neighborhood pow-wow, 8 sales clustered together a few streets over. It could be true, who knows; anything beyond the scope of my driveway was beyond my attention span today.

The day was rich and varied. Today I learned that the people who lived in this house, my house, during the 60’s and 70’s, “The Baldwins,” were very popular. During this morning’s comings and goings I heard stories about how the adolescent boys used to play night-time tag in the adjoining back yards; how a woman was friends with one of “the girls” and they all “grew up together in this house.” How, back in the day, this was the happenin’ neighborhood as far as the high school crowd was concerned.

It’s an odd but lovely experience to have perfect strangers gaze wistfully at your home, half-smiling, their eyes full of memories.

It has been a beautiful late-summer day to hang out in the side yard. A spectacled 8-year old girl, here with her parents, proclaimed, “This is a pretty nice place you got for yourself here.” I would have taken her picture but didn’t want to make her feel self-conscious.

Now comes the final chore of hosting a yard sale — sorting in reverse:

what goes to the Goodwill eventually to be resold, what goes to the Preble


Street Shelter where they need clothing, bedding, and personal maintenance sorts of things, and what SMALL PERCENTAGE of things make their way back into the recesses of the house. Reabsorption is never the goal for the yard sale host.

I’m going to need another hour of just being here and wandering around in circles before any of that is gonna happen.

6:30 PM Saturday

Most everything has now been put in its place: the car is loaded with boxes for both the Goodwill and Preble Street. I’ve collected the signs that, miraculously, 10 hours later, are still staked in place around the neighborhood. I’ve had my first substantial meal all day, plus two beers — I was SO thirsty! — so I’m a little fuzzy-brained. The final remains are being hauled into the basement, my tired, aching body is about to lauch a  coup, and I hear footsteps at the door.

Ding -Dong. Opening the door I see  a friendly-faced 70-ish year-old man on the porch with a red T-shirt stating, “I’m a Good Catch.” He’s wondering if he can take some of the things in the FREE pile at the end of the driveway.

These are things that didn’t make it into the Goodwill or the Preble Street boxes, items for which I have no longer have any use or on whose behalf I cannot justify the reabsorption process. Among these freebies is a box of three  hub caps which fit my old Saturn but which are the wrong size for the new Versa.

“My daughter had two of her hub caps stolen off her car last night and these will do the trick!” he explains, bright-eyed.

I’m just tired and buzzed enough to say, “Give me five!” This is the same thing I say to my 2 year-old granddaughter when she does something great.

He does, and leaves the porch smiling, tossing back that “if those green patio chairs are still here in the morning I’ll be by to picking those up too!”

All this makes me very happy. I’m still exhausted, but a purpose for my exhaustion has been revealed.

0 AM Sunday Morning

Hosting a yard sale is like having a baby: Something has left you in a physically strenuous manner, immediately after doing it you determine that “I’m never doing THAT again” and for days after the fact your body feels like it’s been run over by a truck.

I’m glad I did it, I’m glad it’s over, and I’m quite sure this experience will remind me to practice safe yard saleing in the future, being careful about what I allow into my Versa from now on.

And PS — the green patio chairs are gone.



  1. August 26, 2012 at 9:50 AM

    Oh my, this was a great chronicle of the day, rest my dear and feel the “lightness” !

  2. August 26, 2012 at 9:52 AM

    Thanks Janice. I did get your note about the table picture, but it just didn’t happen. Whew. Hope things are good with my Peaceful Woman.

    • August 26, 2012 at 10:20 AM

      No worries, asking for a picture was a bit much on my end given that birthing process you were in! All is good here. Tawk soon.

  3. Mike said,

    August 26, 2012 at 10:52 AM

    We came to our senses and realized having a yard sale was a BAD idea. We went to the beach instead and have called the local “Big Brother Big Sister” to come pick up our extra stuff.

  4. Josephine Mori said,

    August 27, 2012 at 3:30 PM

    I hope by now you’re recuperating with several nice lydowns and refreshing beverages.

  5. September 2, 2012 at 1:50 PM

    […] just not a lot that I couldn’t live without. Looks like I’m taking my own advice from last weekend’s burn-out experience of hosting a […]

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