Tale of Sale

Garage/Yard sales are this week’s topic, coincidentally, just two weeks after my guest Sherry Harris came in to talk about her Garage Sale Mysteries. The schedule had been planned by another Fox without her knowledge, long after I had booked Sherry.

I don’t have much experience with selling at these sales, not for lack of trying. I live one lot off a busy state highway, plus I advertised and coordinated with sales up the road, (where people would have to pass mine).
I put out only good items, priced cheaply to move them and yet, the only time I did any more than $13.00 worth of business was when I put out a used “Dogloo”, for which I asked $25 and one man handed over the cash without hesitation.

I fell for the “Single Mom” card a few times, handing over clothes and toys for next to nothing, only to have the women then spend money on frivolous items I had out.

I tried one sale when we were in truly dire straits. Two of the richest local women ripped me off by a dollar here, a quarter there, just for the thrill of the hunt, even though they knew we were having problems. “ You’re asking 75 cents each? Here’s a dollar; I’ll take two….and I’ll pick this up, too”, (another .50 item). “I’ll pick up three of these; they’re marked 25 cents, right? And I’ll get these, (2 @ a dollar each). Here’s $2 and I’ll take another one of these, (a 25 cent one)”. I am afraid that anything which may have been a friendship with them cooled considerably, since I was trying to hold our home together. I ended up selling my piano to make up what I needed.

You can find some deals at times, though. A couple of years ago I was looking for a treadmill. My sister spotted a good one at a yard sale for $25.00; it would have been $300.00 new. The man delivered it in his truck to my house and helped my husband bring it in and set it up. (The delivery alone would have cost me at least another $25.) I also picked up a nice coat that their grandson had barely worn for my own grandson, a nice, warm, brand-name one and it cost me only a dollar.

I don’t stop yard/garage/ rummage sales often anymore. I really dislike being the only one at a sale and walking away; I feel like I am insulting the people, (not that anyone cared to give me such consideration). But I used to go to garage/yard/church sales quite often, starting when I was a teen. Even then, I would pick up books, especially classics.

Usually I would go with my sister, but I sometimes went with her, her grandmother-in-law and her husband’s aunt by marriage. It was fun to make the rounds on Saturday mornings during the Fall, when most sales were held.

The last time we all went, we had my sister’s youngest brother-in-law with us. Andy was a small ten-year- old and he was with us to distract him, since his mother was in the hospital. At the last stop, a church sale where his aunt’s sisters were working, he spotted a costume jewelry pin he liked.

Andy couldn’t keep his eyes off of the silver-colored leaf with imitation diamonds. He thought it was beautiful and wanted to give it to his mother, but was unsure of his taste. “Is it pretty, Tonette?”, he asked me several times. I assured him that it was nice, since I could see in his eyes that he truly found it compelling. He just wanted to make sure that it was nice enough for his mother.

What mother doesn’t love a gift received from their child? I know that my mother wore a lot of ‘junk jewelry’ that my siblings and I gave her when we were kids, which I realize now was not anywhere near her taste. I knew that Andy’s mother would accept it more wholeheartedly than a pin with real diamonds from any adult.

But Andy didn’t get to give the pin to Betty; she died a few days later.

When I went to visitation at the funeral home, I approached Betty’s casket and tears welled-up in my eyes. There at her throat, clasping a scarf, was the pin which Andy had bought for her at the sale.

Do you have any outstanding memories of a yard/rummage sale?


About Tonette Joyce

Tonette was a once-fledgling lyricists-bookkeeper, turned cook/baker/restaurateur and is now exploring different writing venues,(with a stage play recently completed). She has had poetry and nonfiction articles published in the last few years. Tonette has been married to her only serious boyfriend for more than thirty years and she is, as one person described her, family-oriented almost to a fault. Never mind how others have described her, she is,(shall we say), a sometime traditionalist of eclectic tastes.She has another blog : "Tonette Joyce:Food,Friends,Family" here at WordPress.She and guests share tips and recipes for easy entertaining and helps people to be ready for almost anything.
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7 Responses to Tale of Sale

  1. Patricia Kiyono says:

    You have the saddest stories! But then, real life is often more compelling than fiction. Sorry you’ve had such bad experiences.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. jeff7salter says:

    beautiful (but sad) story about the boy and the pin and his dying mother. wow.
    What a shame that those females (who could certainly afford your modest posted prices) saw fit to whittle away at your meager profits. I wonder if their self-satisfaction outweighed their consciences.
    Very sad how money — and often just small amounts of it — can highlight frictions between people and actually drive them father apart than they already were.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, yes. Although I have found the Locals to be hard to get close to.Let’s face it; they have known everyone else here all of their lives and everyone else fit in their own little niche in their lives. Outsiders are eyed with more than suspicion. We “Brought-ins” find each other.
      I think people who have been really comfortable with money all of their lives find it hard to understand that some circumstances are beyond some people’s control and they hit rough patches. I think farm people especially feel that if you always work hard, things will go your way and if they don’t, you’re doing something wrong. They have always had family support and a financial security,and they have no comprehension of being without it.


  3. What an incredibly moving story about the boy and his mother. It sort of reminded me of The Christmas Shoes. I can only imagine that seeing that pin on her scarf would have been bitter sweet.

    Liked by 1 person

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