They Came, They Saw, They Mostly Bought

The turnout was excellent. Hundreds came through. The sales were steady and the purchases were for the small stuff, priced low to go. Volume won out. We have this middle level of stuff that, if you make the ‘mistake’ of querying values, is priced higher ($5. to $20.). It does not move as much regardless of how pretty or unique the piece is. The ticky tacky garage sale stuff is blended with the almost estate sale quality. There is a bit of grumbling and all I can say in a pleasant tone is please make an offer. Signs are up saying that. We converse to overcome the hesitancy. But, my Auntie/Mom side must genetically (is it genetic after all?) insert itself in that I am not going to just give it away nor save it all for some estate sale. Ugh! It is not that big of a problem. Just that push-pull about getting the stuff out of there and during the day digging through hundreds of boxes and finding truly valuable pieces one after another.

It is fascinating once again to find what appears to be pre mid century pottery (Weller and Roseville) for example wrapped in newspapers from the early 60’s. My Aunt was acquiring stuff for sure well before my Uncle died. She alway said he would not have approved of her hoarding, but he must have approved, accepted or been oblivious to her buying? Anyway, there is just so much of it, that it is difficult to just sell a beautiful piece for a buck. Yet, it has to go down that driveway. We have been setting aside the ‘good stuff’ and now have spaces in the house that had been cleared filling up with that good stuff. Space that is cleared and gained and then refilled with stuff has an odd psychological impact. There is anxiety, resentment, burden that creeps in. It is important to always keep a positive attitude that it will eventually pass. The time will help it all heal and the process will eventually creep along to the end point even if we all are battered and disoriented. 

The sale process is fun and not that big of deal in the scheme of things. For me and those others doing the cleanup and digging and sorting it is the volume and the physical toll (we all are beat up with injuries so the constant stooped over and sorting and lifting and walking eventually makes us halt).

A funny moment last night: a buyer came late last night. She bought quite a bit of this and that. The adding machine that had been taken from inside the house for use was used to calculate the total. It seemed off…too low. Did it again. Different answer…even lower…did it again…way higher….five times…five different answers! Did it the old fashioned way and an even different answer, but the correct one. The old calculator, the probably down fall of some business person somewhere at some point went into the garbage!

A dozen or so of the boat load of wall hangings my Aunt bought.

People continue to be nice and the signage is THE most important contributor to visits. Constant remarks re signage. And, my signs keep getting ripped down regardless of how careful I am to place them so as to not offend some property owner. Maybe competing garage sales in the area too that feel sign might divert traffic away? Don’t know. I know tonight I will spend several hours pulling them all down as the sale is completed.

We have remarked more than once about the positive spirit shining down from my Aunt and my Mom. That is fun to say and usually prompts a laugh or smile. There is also an underpinning of sadness and grief. It is there beneath the hustle and swirl of it all. The regrets, the what if’s, the why’s, the wish I had’s. Grieving that is fleeting and sends a twinge. Sweet girls..complicated and  driven. Now we are along for the ride, like it or not.

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6 thoughts on “They Came, They Saw, They Mostly Bought

  1. momoftwo

    Here’s a thought for you–this is interesting stuff. Your blog is fascinating, people love the hoarders show on tv. What if you could get a reporter interested in doing a human interest story about your mother and aunt and the yard sales? There are a lot of downsides to this idea that I can see even in the 2 minutes since I thought of it (too many people coming; wrong type of people coming, i.e., people who want to steal; notoriety for you and the neighbors; gawkers) so perhaps it’s not a good thought, and you may have already dismissed the idea. But I thought I’d throw it out there. Perhaps for when you do the estate sale with the “good stuff”, that type of publicity would be good. Estate sale professionals usually have ways to keep sale security tighter, at least. At any rate, good luck and I’m enjoying the updates!

    1. Thank you. I think we will pass on the exposure and tighten our own security efforts for sure. Truth be told, we are enjoying the fruits of our labor but we are also wound about as tight as we can handle right now with any distractions and stressors. Staying focused is hard. We will pass on the newsworthy aspect. But thanks for the suggestion though.

  2. Tish

    Wow, the bowls at the top are lovely. Congratulations on a successful sale! I’m sorry about the silverware and the mean lady, but try not to let the bad ones get you down.

    ~Tish

  3. I have been reading your blog with great interest. You are so compassionate when talking about your dotty hoarding relatives. The sheer volume of stuff is mind boggling, and keeps me shaking my head. There is a sense of real sadness, too, as you must realize how much money was spent of this stuff that nobody could use, money that would have made both your relatives more comfortable in later years. After they are gone, it is so hard to see the waste, when you find so much that has been ruined because of the way it was stored.
    That being said, I wish I lived closer to you, I really would have liked a set of candle-holders you had on a table!

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