Friday, May 11, 2012

April showers bring May flowers and garage sales!

March winds bring April showers...
April showers bring May Flowers...
May flowers means it's time for the city wide garage sale!
Which is something I do not participate in!
I tried it a few years ago and believe me, that Saturday broke me from sucking eggs. The story goes somewhat like this. Names have been changed to protect the guilty and it's only slightly exaggerated. (I am a writer after all!)
Great Aunt Molly called all the family to tell us she had already put her name in the pot for the big sale and that we would be joining her in a multi-family garage sale. It would be a great day for visiting while we sold all our white elephants. She’d have cinnamon rolls ready at five ... that was A.M.! Which was not to be confused with P.M.! According to her and I have great faith in her wisdom, anything we ate before daylight didn’t have calories or fat grams. But still, five A.M.! My cowboys can't even get me out of bed that early so the idea of fat free cinnamon rolls weren't having much appeal!
I moaned and she told me quite sternly I was being like my lazy father and that she wouldn’t tolerate such an attitude. According to her my mother should have never married my father even if he was good lookin' and talked with a slow Texas drawl!
“You’ve got a whole week to get your spring cleaning done, price the junk and you’ll be here with the rest of the family to sell it on Friday morning at five a.m. The sunrise won’t blind you. I’m living proof. Your Uncle Moe has been making me get up at five ever since we married and I can still see right well.”
“Yes ma’am,” I said.
Anyone crazy enough to argue with Aunt Molly has a death wish. But she did not convince me about that sunrise business. Not by a long shot. I got my will in order (just in case it did strike me graveyard dead to get up before daybreak) and made sure my sunglasses were in the console of the pick-up truck (I've still got about 30 books to write before I make that honor roll and I really like to see what I'm writing.)
I started with the kitchen cabinets. I didn’t find a single white elephant but there was a spider or two and lots of junk. Midway through the job I called Aunt Molly to ask her if I could just bring all my stuff over the night before and give whatever profit I made to her teenage granddaughter.
“You’ll be here at five o’clock sharp, young lady. You aren’t giving a dime to Prissy Jane. She’d just spend it on candy and that would make more pimples on her face. Get busy,” she ordered.
I finished the cabinets, boxed the merchandise and opened the closet doors. Those cinnamon rolls were getting more expensive by the minute.
By Friday I had the pick-up truck loaded and ready to go. I set the alarm for 4:30 a.m. I'm here to tell you, dear hearts, the inward mechanism inside went into acute shock and I had serious doubts that it would even work. But at 4:30 on the dot, it went off and scared the bejesus right out of me. I thought it was the storm warning system and was on my way to the shelter when I remembered why the alarm had gone off at that ungodly hour. I stumbled out the front door and donned my sunglasses... just in case.
Of course I was the last one there. Everyone else was already eating cinnamon rolls with one hand and using the other to fill tables set up all over her front yard.
“Why are you wearing those dark glasses before daylight?” Cousin Hortense asked.
I peeked out over the top of my sunglasses. “They are my insurance. Why are you selling that ugly lamp? Aunt Molly will have a hissy if she sees it in a garage sale. She gave it to you for a wedding present. Did you forget?”
“Good grief!” She grabbed the lamp and shoved it back in the box from whence it came.
The news got around the circle of tables that we’d better be careful what we were selling or else face the wrath of Aunt Molly. Wasn't a single solitary one of us that brave or stupid. We’d already proven it when we arrived to set up a garage sale in the middle of the night.
She’d advertised that there would be no sales before eight a.m. and there wasn’t a single car waiting on the curb for the sale to begin when we finished getting things set up. Not even one early bird begging to buy Aunt Matilda's dusty treadmill or Cousin Hortense's waffle maker. 
We had two hours before the sale began. We used our trusty flash lights to check out each table. Great Aunt Emma was selling those cute little doilies Granny Emily Jemima made when she was waiting for Grandpa to come home from the war. I bought them. Cousin Hortense bought my fruit jars and that treadmill...she said it would make a great apparatus to hang clothes on to drip dry. Aunt Mathilda bought her flower vases and the waffle maker. At eight o’clock the first customers arrived on the scene to find us taking the tables down. We’d managed to sell everything we had ... and buy everything every one else had.
When Aunt Molly called the next year and said we were doing another garage sale, Cousin Hortense planned a root canal. Aunt Mathilda had a hip replaced. Several other family members went on instant vacations, and I was working on a deadline. Besides someone had made off with my sunglasses and I sure enough wasn't taking any chances now that I've got contracts pending for more cowboy books! I may even mention a garage sale in one of the books!
Do you have a garage sale story? Let us hear them! Leave a comment and Sunday night I will pull a name out of the famous Stetson for a signed copy of One Hot Cowboy Wedding.
(You can always sell it in a city wide garage sale!)

27 comments:

  1. Great story, Carolyn! Your experience demonstrates the need for garage sales to be SOLO projects. Otherwise, you'll never be able to get rid of all the weird stuff your family has collected for the past 30 years. What happens at the garage sale should STAY at the garage sale!

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  2. Carolyn, I am laughing so hard! That's a great story. I have never had a garage sale, but I've seen my mother do them. To make any money, you have to do a lot of work!

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  3. Lol yes I ever been to garage sale and manage to buy cool romance books from my favourite historical romance author jOhanna Lindsey 5 books for one dollars . Good grief that was one of my best bargain in my whole life and one of my very best day :), arethazhenATrocketmaildotcom

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  4. Cheryl, you are a true prophet! There should be a Vegas clause in every garage sale permit that says what happens there stays there!

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  5. Shana, you are so right and you have to get up early, too! Option one is that we have work...get up early...sell the ugly lamp? Option two is give it all to Goodwill, sleep late and read a good romance? Aunt Molly is behind door one so hurry up and slam it and don't answer the phone all day.

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  6. Anonymous, if you are anywhere near Davis, Oklahoma on Monday, our library is having their annual sale and you can buy romance books for that price. Can't beat it! And thanks for reading romances!

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  7. That's too funny, Carolyn! I've had many a garage sale (love to spring clean and especially great when the kids were growing so fast) and shopped at others and found all kinds of things at them to use in creating fantastical teddy bears (antique quilts, real fur, suede for paws).

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  8. OMGoodness, Carolyn! I loved your garage sale story.

    Honestly, I've never had one, and up until reading your story, had been thinking of one. Not now! LOL

    But we have donated things to the church rummage sale. :)

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  9. There's a neighborhood here in town that does a "mile long" garage sale, but I have to wonder what it says about those folks that EVERY year, they accumulate a mile of extra stuff... though they seem to enjoy it.

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  10. Terry, what an ingenius idea for your crafts! Now I'm wondering what we could have created from that ugly lamp?

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  11. Colleen: Run, Colleen. Run fast and furious and don't look back.

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  12. Did you ever see A Christmas Story? The leg lamp that he was so proud of. :)

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  13. Grace, lord have mercy, you'd be worn plumb out just walking the length of the sale.

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  14. Terry, seems like I do remember that horrendous thing AND the one in "Friends" from the old man down stairs apartment. What are people thinking when they design those ugly things!

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  15. Oh thank you for the laughs - what a wonderful sense of humor. I've not read you as yet but I bet your books have some fun to them.

    I did two garage sales because our street was having them. It was not worth the time and effort, especially since I ended up putting most of the junk back. It rained on the second one and that was enough for me.

    catslady5(at)aol.com

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  16. Catslady, thanks for stopping by and yes, ma'am, my books do have a fair amount of humor in them.

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  17. What a great story! Please don't enter me into the drawing as I have already read your delightful book but had to let you know how much I enjoyed that description. My husband has learned to not let me stop at garage sales since I inevitably buy something we have absolutely no use for but that doesn't mean my house is getting any less cluttered!

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  18. Elf, so glad you stopped by and that you liked Jasmine and Ace's story!

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  19. That was a great story. :D I haven't participated in very many garage sales, never had one myself actually. I used to help out when the animal shelter I volunteered at had a garage sale, but I did more buying and visiting than selling.

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  20. Great story. I love garage sales. I love to have them and love to go to them. I have gotten some very good books from garage sales. I have gotten some brand new John Grisham books, some Anne Rice Vampire books, and lots of other stuff. Have not had one in awhile, need to get rid of a bunch of stuff.
    christinebails@yahoo.com

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  21. Fun post. We don't really have garage sales around here. They can be fun to go to.

    bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  22. Barbara, you can truly catch up on lots of news (aka gossip) at a good garage sale. Maybe we ought to just put chairs around in the yard and tell everyone to come around for a visit!

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  23. Chris, thanks for stopping by today...and for reading! Without readers, writers would soon top the endangered species list!

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  24. BN, you must not live in Small Town Texas or Oklahoma. They are all over the place in our part of the world. Maybe we collect more junk than y'all do! LOL

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  25. No garage sale story from me as there aren't a lot of these sales going on in my neighbourhood, but I do love a good bargain, that's why I go to the library book sale whenever there is one :)

    chibipooh(at)gmail(dot)com

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  26. Thank you to everyone who left a comment! Hoping everyone had a wonderful holiday. The winner of a signed copy of One Hot Cowboy Wedding is Catslady. Please send my a snail mail address to ccbrown66@att.net

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  27. Thanks so very much for the win! I'm looking forward to reading it.

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