Before a couple of years ago, I really never thought about yard sales.
And yet somehow, life has evolved in such a way that last summer, Raven and I went with his family to Madison-Bouckville Antique Festival (for multiple days) and I will occasionally look inside a junk shop and finally, tipper of toppers, we just spent Memorial Day weekend working on the annual yard sale that Raven’s mom and stepdad put on every year.
It’s part of a Thing, apparently, a big, coordinated effort by the towns in the area. It involves maps, and listings, and lots of people showing up ready to bargain. Bargaining terrifies me, because I’ll never say no. SURE, TAKE IT. I CAN DO IT FOR LESS THAN THAT! Thankfully, I wasn’t left in charge of answering anyone’s bargaining proposals for very long, or we would have all just given our crap away. Correction: I would have given everyone else’s crap away.
HOWEVER! It very nearly didn’t happen at all, when Saturday dawned windy, rainy and 38 degrees. Thirty. Eight. Degrees. On Memorial Day weekend. In upstate New York. And not only did it stay windy and rainy and right around 40 degrees, there was also sleet. On Memorial Day weekend. In upstate New York.
So Saturday was a bust, and we spent the day playing games and drinking tea, which is really my kind of weekend, much more so than yard saleing. But I am alone in that, because the compulsion is strong in everyone else in that family, and so we hauled ourselves out of bed at 5:30 (ok, 6) again on Sunday, and deemed the day decent-enough-to-sell-junk.
It was still cold, but less so, and so we stood outside and sold stuff (more stuff than they have ever sold at this annual sale – the take was over twice what it has been in previous years, so maybe there was a benefit to be reaped from the terrible weather on Saturday. SLEET!!! In MAY!!!) and the greatest benefit was from the people watching.
My favorite people was a boy, about 10, who is clearly going to spread his wings and leave Sullivan County A.S.A.F.P., and (we all hoped) head down to the city to be a theater major. He was wandering around with a friend, who didn’t seem as impressed by the things for sale, and told that friend “you clearly don’t know what AWESOME is.”
He fell in love with a little rose-gold and brass heart locket in the jewelry display, and when his father tried to buy it for him, I refused his money. “Please take it,” I begged, even when he continued trying to hand me the dollar. “Your kid is awesome.”