From Where I Sit – Shameless Huckster

It’s Wednesday night as I write this and I feel an odd mixture of fatigue, anticipation, and nervous energy. My sister, my mother, and I are all joining forces for a multi-family garage sale this Victoria Day weekend.

We bought a couple of newspaper ads and Sherry’s Jim is making some very professional looking signs with his vinyl-cutting machine. We were a bit dismayed with yesterday’s skiff of snow and wind chill but today was decidedly better. The weekend forecast is pretty decent, with temperatures in the mid-to-high teens.

This extravaganza is taking place in Sherry’s yard in beautiful downtown Andrew, population 485. Luckily, Andrew is en route to some of Alberta’s nicest lakes and holiday traffic should be heavy if the forecast holds.

I need to haul everything I’m selling to her place. Roy is seeding the crop so his help is sporadic and conditional. We will have on offer some bigger ticket items like a sofa and chair, wall unit, picnic tables, tires, and more. I’ve gotten some grief from family members because I’m also going to sell Roy’s recliner.

“How could you be so heartless? So what if it doesn’t fit the decor—a guy should have one comfy chair all his own. Todd got to keep his eyesore of a chair.” (Picture TV’s Marty Crane’s duct-taped, striped green recliner—the bane of Frasier’s existence.) Incidentally, I would not be averse to taking garage sale proceeds and buying a recliner that is comfy, attractive, and more in scale with the space we have. Just don’t tell Roy.

Also for sale will be a set of six seagrass and metal bistro chairs I bought at a hotel disposal sale a few years ago. They’d be great in a sunroom or enclosed deck, neither of which I’ve got. They are value-added because I re-covered all the seat cushions. I hope to turn a profit and have them go to a good home.

There will be an eclectic mix of other buying mistakes (er, goodies), including but not limited to porcelain dolls, scarves, purses and totes, fabric remnants, household stuff, and collectable tins. Jim has Beanie Babies, bearded collie accoutrement, a Singer treadle sewing machine, a Noritake dinner set, a pocket bike, and a couple of vehicles. It hasn’t been easy for those two to bring two households together in one small house but this sale should help.

With this excellent assortment of great stuff, a good forecast, and cash to be made I’m getting excited. It’s back-breaking work but purging feels good. And I’m awesome at working the sale.

Okay, I’m a shameless huckster. There, I said it. There’s a lesson in all this of course: buy smarter, buy less. Perhaps the biggie is: don’t hang onto things expecting them to appreciate in value. Use them, enjoy them. But don’t delude yourself into thinking there’s profit to be made in Beanie Babies or porcelain dolls or farm toys or magazines or model cars ad nauseam.

Simplifying life, making space, and recouping some money are what It’s all about this weekend, from where I sit.