Sherry Hopkins column

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 11, 2008

Get the picture? … by Sherry Hopkins

Don and Sherry trashed, treasured, trashed again

People are starting to talk, about where I’ve been. Well, I’ve been in a funk, a writing funk you might say. Haven’t had anything to say to anybody ‘bout much of anything.

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I suppose there are more of you who don’t care than do and this is for those of you who do.

Dear Don and I decided the first weekend in April would be a wonderful time to have a yard sale. Actually, I decided. Dear Don just grumbled about not having anything to sell and having to store it all back when it didn’t sell etc, etc.

I persevered. ‘No’ is not an easy word for me. I dug around rooting into every nook and cranny in the house. He begrudgingly did the same in his shop. Much to his surprise in a short few days the shop was full of our castoffs, another man’s treasure if you will. Don was off the whole week so we thought we would start on Friday. I took the day off as well.

Early Friday morning in all the rain and cold we sludged out to the shop to await our first customer. By 9 a.m. we were both discouraged and very cold. I couldn’t feel my toes and worried about frostbite. Dear Don proclaimed one could not get “frostbite in temperatures well above freezing.”

“Tell my toes that,” I thought.  Just as we decided to escape to the warmth of the house here they came. Through the rain and wind and cold just like the postman. They bought and talked and encouraged us greatly. We stayed on.

We have heat in the shop but at $3 a gallon for propane, and no insulation on the walls and two big doors swung open, that effort seemed futile and expensive.

Money was not the object of this sale, clearing out was. We were well on our way.

We spent the better part of the day outside and decided to call it quits around 3 p.m. We went inside, got showers and settled down for a nice supper. Around 7:30 a car pulled up and Dear Don went to check it out. A young woman yelled out the car window, “Are y’all still having a yard sale?”

“Well, we’re just getting started,” Dear Don replied. Back out we went. An hour later we were less even more stuff than before. This is working out just as planned.

Knowing that Saturday morning was prime yard sale time we went out at 6 a.m. Shortly afterward business started. We went virtually non-stop all day. We met some wonderful people. People just like us.

One couple early on invited us to an auction in town that night and we invited everyone else that came by afterward. It made no sense to get rid of all our excess then go back into town and buy more stuff. But that is exactly what we did.

We loved the auction and seeing all the friends we’d made, but it was a very stressful time for me in particular. I have a very hard time being still. I’m fidgety. I’ve always been this way. The more important it is to be still and concentrate the harder it is for me.

I’m here to tell ya’ that an auction is no place to fidget. My nose itched, my ears itched, I needed to straighten my skirt, brush my hair away from my eyes, wave to folks I knew. In general just FIDGET. I was scared to death I would fidget my way into a purchase I neither needed nor could afford.

Don wasn’t a happy camper either. I got the “look” more than once. But thankfully despite my inability to be still, we left empty-handed. My half of the yard sale money was still safely tucked away for another day.

We had only small things left after the sale and were tickled that we had done so well and had very little to store away.

Sunday morning about 9 the phone rang and a young man asked if we had anything left. Dear Don said yes but not much. Twenty minutes later, a couple who had just moved here bought everything we had lock, stock and barrel. It was over and done, with only a good sweep of the shop to put it all to an end. We each had $150 to spend and all the clutter gone.

“I’m so happy that we are paring down in the house,” Dear Don exclaimed. “I think the minimalist look is great.”

“Yeah I agree,” I said. “Did you know there is a new antique mall at the Oakland exit?” I asked. “I would love to run down there after work today.”

“Great,” said Dear Don, rolling his eyes towards the heavens, “we surely need more stuff.”

You get the picture.
(Contact Sherry at