Main Street: Unexpected camaraderie a yard sale bonus
Last week’s Main Street column on the subject of beginning the process of uncluttering our home via a yard sale definitely struck a chord with quite a few readers, especially my Baby Boomer peers.
When Saturday morning dawned, I was determined to let daughter Sarah run the show while I avoided the whole stressful process. But, alas, I did end up spending quite a bit of time on the front porch visiting with neighbors, friends and column readers who came by to shop and/or commiserate with how hard it is to let go of stuff. I discovered through this process that there are many people who’ve kept their stuff long beyond its usefulness.
If there were awards for Best Yard Sale Attendees who bought nary a knickknack, it would be Dave Tester and his beautiful mother, Gretchen. They arrived in the first hour and I see Dave carrying a rolled-up area rug on his shoulder. It made me laugh. I told them they had the whole yard sale concept all wrong. You’re supposed to take things away, not bring them! The very nice rug was Gretchen’s and she’d been meaning to get rid of it but hadn’t. Dave suggested they bring it to our yard sale and donate it for Sarah to sell, which she did! But the most-clever and thoughtful gesture was Dave gifting Sarah with a gasoline gift card for her trip home to Phoenix. Well-played, Dave! If you read last week’s column you saw the tongue-in-cheek reference.
Another fun encounter was a woman who told Sarah she volunteers with cat rescue as she selected several pet carriers and a collapsible wire pen. Sarah helped her carry her purchases to the car, which was parked across the street. When the door was opened, Sarah marveled at the “new car smell” and asked if it was new. As a matter of fact, it was very new. Donna Euler won the Ford Bronco a week before in North Idaho College’s Really Big Raffle.
While our adventure in yard sale-ing this past week was stressful and represented just the teeniest tip of the "stuff" iceberg that has taken almost four decades to accumulate, my takeaway from the experience is this — the easiest way to organize your stuff is to get rid of most of it.
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Stay cool this week. During last summer’s monthlong excessive heat, I learned the lesson of pre-emptive hydration. Waiting until you’re near heat stroke is not the optimum time to drink from a fire hose, so to speak. Water and electrolytes in advance of and during the heat works very well.
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Happy birthday today to my brother-in-law Rick Scharf, Ann Beutler, Larry Trosper, Gail Everson, Brady Campbell, Shelly Zollman, Rich May, Brian Thormahlen and Janet Pulis. Taking another trip around the sun tomorrow are Jan Nelson, Bekah Manderscheid, Cathy Werner, Zack White, Hank Wayman,, John Hensley, Debra Wunderlich (70!), Norm Loftin, Darrell Rickard and Karen Englestad. Friday Tanya Peugh, Mark Anthony and Alisa Loftin-Ward do the birthday dance. Putting on their party hats Saturday are Sharmon Schmitt, William Disney, Jacob Hester, Nicole Coquette, Terra Karl, Dianne Ansbaugh, Kalie Bell, Brenna Meehan and Peggy Coleman. On the last day of July Patricia Richardson, Annabelle Disney, Bill Hamilton, Adam Durflinger and Tab Bray blow out their candles. On the first day of August Tatiana Harrison, Bev Moss, David Noordam, Duane Oliver, Patricia Kaufman, Dennis Harlan and Dodge Gonzales will be celebrating. On Tuesday Austin Viles, Mandy Averill and Matt Odd are marking their birthdates.
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Kerri Rankin Thoreson is a member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the former publisher of the Post Falls Tribune. Main Street appears every Wednesday in The Press and Kerri can be contacted on Facebook or via email firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @kerrithoreson.