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Jan 27

Garage sale fever means Spring is near

I am thinking a lot about Spring and garage sales right now, almost feverishly in fact.

One thing on my mind is that it is very possible that the junk we sell in garage sales is just like a holiday fruitcake. Seriously.

Johnny Carson is credited with saying there is only one fruitcake in the world, and we pass it from house to house. I say perhaps we do that with our garage sale refuse, too.

Case in point, one of our sons moved to his college apartment and took with him neighbor Susan’s discarded dishes amounting to almost four place settings not counting a couple of missing bowls and coffee cups. He also has her silverware, minus a few pieces. These great garage sale finds of mine had belonged to Susan’s daughter, but Katie was through with them.

I have a neighbor’s floor mats in my car. She only had three not four so I have two in the front and one in the back. Whoever sits on the side without a mat has a $1.00 rag rug underfoot.

Same neighbor has some of my garden tools and an old wheelbarrow of mine.

I have some very interesting concrete garden bricks of hers that now cover the grave of our deceased family pooch.

So far, I have only mentioned one neighbor. Believe me, there are plenty of others who deserve mentioning because we all have each other’s stuff.

Once while taking a morning walk another neighbor and I noticed a very nice set of saw horses (apparently left for the trash men) at the curb of yet another neighbor’s house.

Kathy and I quickly snatched these, but we did call the family to let them know.

I thought that was indeed honorable of us.

Anyway, over the years we have had countless garage sales in our subdivision. At first when the neighborhood was new, we made an informal pact to never have garage sales. That lasted until the first Spring, and since then, we have lost track of how many we have engineered.

A new pact of sorts was instituted just last year in an effort to slow or stop our neighborhood garage sales. Kathy promised Susan’s husband Bill that she would never have another garage sale, and therefore, Susan would not be a part of one either.

So Bill thought due to the fact that Kathy actually signed a contract with him to that effect. She told me not to tell anyone (which I would never do).

Bill is a bit tired of these neighborhood sales.

In fact, I think we all agreed under any circumstance to never have another one.

During the bitter cold month of January with its two-inch glaze of ice on the sidewalks and temperatures dropping to near zero, everything changed with regard to garage sales.

Thoughts of spring and rubbish sales could not be stifled.

The pact went right out the window.

Who could blame us?

What is Spring anyway without garage sales, and that is not a question needing an answer.

Predictably, Kathy whispered to me, “Do not tell Bill but I am actually thinking of having a garage sale. So is Susan. So is Sandy. Maybe some others, too.”

My eyes lit up, and I headed straight to the basement to begin a garage sale pile. Actually, I had one started already, but I did not admit that to my neighbors in light of the above-mentioned contract.

We have set the date, and I am so excited about cleaning out our basement and getting rid of the junk that I otherwise cannot give away.

I have developed a philosophy about garage sales: if you cannot possibly give something away because no one wants it, you can most likely sell it at your own garage sale.

If all else fails, sit it by the curb and someone like one of my neighbors or me will surely grab it.

Kay Hoflander writes about the ‘reluctant aging of Baby Boomers on a weekly basis’ for The Examiner. Her first book. “Al Fike, The Modern Minstrel Man”, is available through local bookstores, your preferred online retailer, or her website at kayhoflander.com.