Nobody has a garage sale just days before Thanksgiving, do they? Yes, they do. I know because we did it yesterday. Ken and I are moving to a senior living community ten minutes east of our preent house where he will not have to do yard work or outside maintenance of the house. Many more perks for both of us but our lifestyle will stay the same as it is now. Our new house will have 1600 square feet, which is about the same as we now have on our main floor. Trouble is that we have that same amount on the lower level and it's filled with STUFF!
The move won't be til mid-January but now seemed the only time we could handle a moving sale. Our new place doesn't have the amount of storage space that we have in our present home. I was all for loading the lot and dumping it in the great big lake outside of town but my practical husband vetoed that idea. Thus, a Moving Sale was born.
We spent days sifting and sorting, pricing, borrowing card tables from friends and arranging the garage to our satisfaction. The ad was in the paper for three days and online. We were ready. We set 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. as our hours. We came home from church, changed clothes and went out to the garage to make last minute adjustments. 10:30 a.m. and our first customer appeared. She was the first of a long line of shoppers. Our concern over doing it on a Sunday were for nothing. (Saturday was a K-State game and no one in our town does anything else on Game Day!)
I watched an accumulation of our fifty-one years of marriage move out the door and into various cars and trucks of our customers. Many times, I suffered a pang on parting for certain items. I'd made up my mind that sentiment had to go out the window when I selected what to put in the sale. I did fine until the actual moment of money traded for goods occurred. Not on everything, of course.
As some items were purchased, I thought about the place where I'd bought them. Many were toted home from European trips. Some were gifts given by friends or family. Hard, hard hard to part with many of those gifts. Others were things I'd bought just because I liked them A lot!
The physical things left but I still have the memories. I can think back to a trip to Germany and the Christmas ornaments I bought there. Sadly, our new home has minimal storage so our pre-lit 7 foot Christmas tree box won't fit anywhere. No tree means get rid of ornaments, too. Sigh!
I've collected Christmas tins over the years and always had a big display of them in our living room in December. I saved a few but about three-quarters of them ended up in the sale. Again, I remembered where I found each one or who gave it to me.
I wondered mid-way through if Ken had any pangs watching his 'man stuff' go out the door. He mentioned that a conduit bender had sold for 50 cents. "I've had that since I did the electrical wiring in our basement family room in our first house back in the '60's." He'd kept it all these years, never needed to use it again, but whenever he saw it, I'm sure it reminded him of the big job he'd taken on in that first house. So, we both had some memories dashing and crashing through our minds yesterday.
Many of those memories will inspire stories I'll write someday. Losing the material things we have is nowhere near the losses we experience with people in our lives. But even then, memories remain and stories about friends and family members who've passed will be written someday. Or have already been written.
The longer this downsizing goes on, the easier it becomes. Occasional sentimental pangs will still happen but I'm alright with it now. All the things we've used or enjoyed now have new owners. Some of the customers we had were thrilled with what they'd found. And that was a good feeling for me.
Did we sell everything? Not even close but we did watch an amazing amount of things leave our garage. We've still got almost two months to find homes for what is left. Most will go to charity organizations in our community. It's quite alright as I'll have plenty of memories to take with me.