In this space I’ve written about the ongoing drama of building our new garage. It is complete enough that this weekend it housed my long-awaited three-day garage sale. In great style.
Roy, that lucky bugger, was registered for a conference in Edmonton and was nowhere in sight. That meant I needed to put up all the highway signs myself. Picture me with signs, a ballpeen hammer, and a sledgehammer (for back-up), risking life and limb on primary and secondary highways on a Friday afternoon, trying to pound these stakes into rock hard soil. And avoid being struck down in my prime. Okay, no more than ten years past my prime.
Over the course of the weekend Hilary, my mom, my aunt, and my sister all helped. Staffing garage sales is always a challenge. Not having enough help is a no-no, especially with certain sticky-fingered shoppers. Yet having a gaggle of helpers around with no action is guilt inducing for the help-requester.
Hilary was a trooper. She came out last weekend and helped move furniture out of the basement, wipe down stuff, and price items. This weekend she helped me Saturday and Sunday. Perhaps, best of all she volunteered to put the bigger-ticket items on Kijiji. After staging photo shoots, measuring for dimensions, and writing appealing descriptions, she posted the roll-top desk, Natuzzi tub chairs, occasional tables, twelve-volt cooler, and more. And because no one is going to drive to Andrew to check out this stuff, she packed the smaller items into her old Honda Civic so the tire-kickers can check out the goods at their convenience in Edmonton.
Half the fun of having a garage sale is the visiting with people. Seeing little kids trying out the tricycle or the battery-operated construction equipment. Watching a wannabe-dealer grouping and re-grouping the collector farm tractors until they total the hundred dollars in his wallet. Asking every single customer if they really, really need a calf puller. Seeing an elderly woman come back to buy a plush bunny for a little girl who was admiring it. Seeing some hard-ass parents say no to every single thing their kid asks for. Or seeing couples enable each other’s purchases.
The other kick is seeing something we’ve used and are done with go to a new home. Or the mixed emotions when a person gets pennies on the dollar for a dumb buying mistake that they hung onto so long that it can’t be returned for a refund?or until no one else wants the damn thing. But I’m not bitter.
The consolation?more than eleven hundred dollars in sales (before Kijiji)?is nothing to sneeze at. The extra space created in home and yard is priceless. Just not sure I’m up to this again very soon. This kid is pooped. Maybe It’s like childbirth. In time, I’ll forget the pain and try it again, from where I sit.
Hazel Anaka’s first novel is Lucky Dog. Visit her website for more information or follow her on Twitter @anakawrites..