Sunday, June 1, 2008

Yard Sale Tales

Thursday night I traveled to my old stopping ground--my home town in Indiana. My sister and I--along with help from the three bro's--were having a yard sale on Friday and Saturday at my mother's house. It is sad to see my mom's house almost completely empty now. I definitely had some sad moments. I have to say, though, the weekend was also gutwrenchingly funny and some of the best times I have spent with my siblings. Yard Sales. Call me crazy, but I love them. My family and I had some 'yard sale' bonding--ain't nothing quite like it, I tell you. Once you do a yard sale together your relationship goes to a whole new level. Just so you can experience the thrill and feel of our yard sale weekend, I'll give you a play by play:

Thursday night, 5:00 pm: We began setting up tables in the garage and pulling things out to price.

5:15 pm: Family member of my brother-in-law's stops by to do some 'early' shopping. She buys $27 worth of stuff.

5:30 pm: We rummage through a whole stack of 33 record albums, finding many classics, such as the Beatles, the Supremes, Ray Charles, including several others. We get excited, wondering if they are worth any money.

8:45 pm: Bro's Brian and Jeff bring by two more tables.

8:50 pm: I see a spider that I am sure is a brown recluse. Brian throws it at me (brothers never change).

9:00 pm: Julie's mother in law calls us, reporting that she looked the Beatles album up on the internet. It said it is worth $15,000 - $20,000! What????

9:00 - 9:30 pm: Now we're getting excited. We have a stack about two feet tall of old records. We just might have $200,000 here! We sneak the records out to my van and lock the doors...we don't want the goods to get stolen. We're trying to get a grip as we are about to hyperventilate. We're rich! We're rich!

9:30 pm: Jeff calls us from home. He just saw the same exact Beatles album selling on ebay for $9.99. Darn, I guess we won't be vacationing in the Riviera after all. Back to 'yard sale' reality.

9:45 pm: We call sister-in-law Reagan and coerce her into coming and helping.

10:30 pm: Reagan arrives with 64-ounce fountain cokes, nerds and sour apple blow pops from Casey's General Store--YES!

2:00 am - I am hearing birds chirping--I start to get worried; what time is it anyway!???

2:30 am - We find some long plastic tubing with a wide funnel type opening--is this what I think it is? Reagan confirms my suspicions by exclaiming, 'I think that's a beer bong!' Hmmm...which brother could this belong to? We decide to price it for 25 cents and see if anyone buys it.

3:30 am - We drag our weary selves to Julie's house and go to sleep.

Friday morning, 5:30 am: Rise and shine!

6:00 am- I go hang our signs on telephone poles around town and go to Casey's General Store for a 32 ounce coffee.

6:30 am-I meet Julie at our mom's house. Three people are already waiting for us to open for business.

6:35 am - first item of the day to sell: fishing rod reel minus the fishing rod for $1.00.

7:00 am - Police car pulls up... Hmmm, he doesn't really look like he wants to shop.

"Sorry, ladies, but it appears you've put some signs on the utility poles and you have broken the law. You are not allowed to put anything on utility poles. It is a $25 fine per pole. I am going to give you 30 minutes to get your signs down."

7:05 am - I leave to take signs off of the utility poles.

8:00 am - the sale is hopping with customers. We are in demand...our stuff is wanted...we begin to tighten up on our negotiating. "Will you take a dollar for this weed killer?" "I'm sorry, I just can't come down a dollar; I'm going to have to stick with $2 on that."

8:15 am - I sell a pink, ceramic mouse for 50 cents to a lady with big hair.

8:30 am - "Excuse me, ma'am, would you take $5.00 for this cuckoo clock that doesn't work?" "Well, let me consult my sister on that." We talk amongst ourselves. "No, sorry, but we can't go lower than $10.00--it is a collector's item, you know."

8:45 am - We sell the cuckoo clock for $10.00 -- kaching!

8:50 am - Man approaches us with plastic tubing (a.k.a. beer bong) "Excuse me, could you tell me what this is?" We bust out laughing. "Do you really want to know? We are not 100% sure but we think it is a beer bong--it's our brother's" (you gotta always blame it on the brothers :) ) The man looks intrigued and decides to buy it.

9:00 am - Reagan shows up. We fill her in on selling the 'beer bong'. Suddenly, her eyes get huge. "Oh no! It just hit me what that thing is! We bought it last year to suck all the water out of our fish tank." Oops. I hope he cleans it out before he bongs a beer from it. Can you picture him bonging a beer from aquarium tubing? HA!

9:15 am - silver cobra with red eyes bracelet is sold to the woman in black for 50 cents.

10:00 - My cross country coach, Mr. Tubbs, comes and visits. He catches me up on all the fellow teammates whereabouts. It is so fun to see him. He is 65 and still runs every single day.

10:30 - Oldest bro, Jimmy and his kids come and help out.

12:00 - We pack it up. AND THIS IS MY FAVORITE PART OF THE WHOLE ENTIRE WEEKEND. My sister drove her husband's truck so we could haul some stuff to the Goodwill. This is no ordinary truck. IT IS A 1977 BLACK CHEVY WITH THREE FOOT TALL WHEELS. I am so excited because I get to ride in it. Picture this: Riding down the road in the '77 Chevy, windows down, wind whipping through hair, seeing the farm land for miles on either side of us, Merle Haggard playing in the background...ugghhh, what is that smell!??? I think it's a hog farm gone bad. Now we are driving with our shirts over our noses.

12:30 - Drop off clothes.

12:35 - Pull through Starbucks to order coffee. They can't hear our order due to the roar of the engine. We pull up to drive-through window to pay. Every single employee comes and checks out our truck.

12:40 - We park in front of Starbuck's so I can throw away some trash. Eyes are still on our truck. I feel proud. I hurdle my leg up to get back in. My arm slips as I'm pulling myself up. I fall out of the truck.

12:45 - We are laughing so hard our guts hurt.

Friday night - Grill out with brothers and sister--too fun! We end the night with Tastee Freeze ice cream. Yum.



6:45 am - Drag myself to Casey's General Store for my 32 ouncer.

7:00 am - Open for business. No one is standing in line today...where are all of our customers???

9:00 am - Okay, finally some stragglers pull up. One of them has a shirt on that says "IF FOUND SOBER RETURN TO JAY'S TAVERN". Too bad we sold that beer bong yesterday.

10:00 am - Crickets are chirping....I run and get another 32 ouncer.

10:30 am - We hear the whistle of the train. I comment on how lonely and sad the whistle sounds, kind of like our yard sale today. Julie responds:

"The long, drawn out whistle of a train, makes me lonely

not by day but nighttime only,

Heartache, separation, a yearning to cry,

Deep within my heart I wonder why."

How profound. My sister is not characterized by reciting poetry at a moment's notice. "Where in the world did that come from?" I ask. "Lit. class, junior year. Mr. Stilwell. He made us recite it three times in class and said we would never forget it. He said for the rest of our life, every time we heard a train whistle, we would remember it." Ahhh. Good old Mr. Stilwell; I remember him. For the next ten minutes, she teaches it to me (at 37, it takes me a little longer than three times to learn it). Now, I can be profound every time I hear a train whistle.

I know, I know...we are really bored...

10:35 am - We announce to no one in particular: Everything over a $1.00 is half price!

11:00 am - Nosy neighbor comes by and asks 1,000 questions.

12:00 pm - We close up shop. Today we made a mere $30.00. But I did learn a poem.



rhonda said...

hey sweet maria!!!
i LOVE your blog and i can relate SO much with so many of your thoughts...especially your grief as i lost my dad 12 years ago...GEEZ i can't believe it has been that long!!!
anywho - i sure wish kelle would have told me about your yard sale as i would have LOVED to have come - if only to witness all that i have just read......i especially love the truck story as that is kelle and me through and through!!! we always LOVED big black trucks and merle haggard and beer bongs......oh . i didn't mean to say that!!! hahah!!!!!
i am so glad i found you as i didn't realize you had a blog...i hope you will continue with your entries as your writings are so good!!! hope all is well where you are...tell the kiddos hello from kevin and me!!!
send me your email and i'll add you as a reader to my blog....i'll also share some pictures of my sweet annaleigh...

rhonda said...

my email is:
crarichard AT hotmail DOT com

Reagan said...

Oh Maria you are to funny!! However you forgot to mention that you and Julie and over priced almost evything!!!lol... just kidding... i love it

Maria said...

Great to hear from you--thanks for the encouragement...I will email you; can't wait to see those pics!

funny you should say that, I TOTALLY had that included in the story and took it out because it was Sooooo long!

Charlotte said...

Anna sent me a link to your blog a few weeks ago and I'm just teared up laughing at this story... I am SOOOO HAPPY I don't have to wait for the annual Christmas letter to get a taste of your life any more!!! I've really enjoyed reading your posts both the funny ones and the heartfelt ones! So glad to have a wee way to keep in touch in the Grogan happenings in KY...
Now you can say you have a national following of your blog...
your faithful reader in Louisiana,

Maria said...

Hi Charlotte! So glad to hear from you...I love comments; it's like getting a letter from a friend in the mailbox :)

Maria said...

I just realized you guys have a blog and I am 'not invited'; how about an invitation?

brian7 said...

Thanks for the post. It can be really hard putting together an
estate buyers
So make sure you work with professionals.