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Down on the farm

Down on the farm
Out of the woods.

Sunday, March 23, 2014


      We are downsizing. The house will remain the same but the extraneous stuff has got to go.  My favorite Cuban whirlwind came over for a couple of hours on a weekend and accomplished more than I had in a month. It may be an energy level thing, but I'm guessing  it's a talent for organization, which I do not possess. She pointed, Geoff moved, I sorted, then she tidied behind us.
     Sale treasures went against the left hand wall. Keepables were sorted into plastic bins for storage. Five underbed boxes now live under my bed. There's not much room left for Bob the cat to hide when Chuchi the weiner dog comes to visit. Then again, he may be safer as chubby Chuchi cannot get over or around the boxes.
     Giant tables entered the garage. The day of the sale they would be filled with items that someone else surely longs to possess. Games with pieces missing. Games that have never been opened. Art works that have seen their day come and go. Clothing, some with tags still attached. Sheets, towels, lamps, curtains, pots, pans, dishes, kitchen pieces and parts.  Books, lamp shades, art, sewing, & craft supplies, things surely needed by someone else.  Debris and detritus, somewhat past the USE BY date.
     When Jenni came we cleaned the tops of the cupboards and sorted through my mom's grandmothers' remnant dishes. The blue gray bone china tea cup that only ever held gin belonged to my great grandfather Jerry's brother John. Grandpa Campbell's wooden shoe forms from the repair shop and a lidded withy basket woven by his grandfather were washed and returned to the shelf. Grandma Nettle's brass cherub got polished and is once more poised proudly on one toe, arm outstretched awaiting his gas lamp. Aunt Hazel's brightly painted Christmas cookie tray is sitting cornerwise waiting for it's place on the holiday table, Grandma Grethel's Franciscanware platter and bowls again lean bright and proud against the wall. Memories and family history washed clean, refreshed, relabeled and stowed carefully away again. Almost nothing up there, except the pitchers I bought for color, went into the sale. Even the rooster purchased to match the cutsie French chef d├ęcor got a stay of execution. I just like it. What can I say?
     Black and white checked curtains with red trim, ice cream chairs cushioned in toile,  a yellow wrought iron table and an old red toaster, faded to flamingo pink, went to the sale side.  Holes dot the house where too much used to be.  The feeling of accomplishment is wondrous.
     Even emptying waste baskets accomplished something. Files, folders, a 15 years of real estate research and such got pitched. Eight years of newspaper info and regs got tossed.
     Recycle those ancient phone books! Toss the tattered Real Estate study books! Pitch the old maps! Out with all the 'dexes (rolo, filo, etc.) We're retired and they're out of date! Into the fire pit with it all! Toast them 'shmallows! Build them s'mores! Get a little fatter, but the papers are burnt!
     On sale day, in the dark of the morning we set up the tables in the driveway and arranged our glorious array. The coffee was on and we sat in the chilly garage, waiting, but it was a sunny 8 a.m. before a steady stream of older male schmoozers came and asked if we have any tools for sale. No, we didn't.  Fishing equipment? Just an old rod and reel. Eventually a guy bought those for his grandson. A box of random electronic wiring I meant to toss got sold for $1. Wow. Who knew? How much for this? What do you want for that? Will you take $X?  The extremely heavy Creuset enamelware went in the 10 a.m. wave of older couples. We'd bought it at the Thrift Shop and used it for nearly 10 years. Towel sets from the closing up of multiple relatives' homes sold, along with sheet sets and random kitchen thingies.
     About 1 p.m. women in pairs and singularly began to show up. By 4 we were staring glassy eyed at one another. At 5 p.m. we dragged the tables into the garage and closed down.
     By 7 a.m. Sunday morning we were ready and rarin' to go. Unfortunately our first customer showed up at 11 a.m.
     The day dribbled on. $1 here, 50 cents there. A book, a plate, a tray.  In the late afternoon a lovely lady finally bought the wrought iron garden table with the ice cream chairs. She had a rather small car, but we slotted  and puzzled it all in and tied it down with ropes. We waved her off and carted the leftovers back into the garage. Boxes, books, bags, and things were once more stacked high around the walls. That was not part of the plan.
    It felt a bit better after counting the intake. We covered expenses plus a bit that we didn't have before. It went in the bank until the next time, because we WILL have a clean garage. We are determined! Sort of.