While I was home in New Jersey living once again with my dad and his new wife in my old childhood house, I helped them sort through 36 years worth of stuff (dare I say crap?) before they sell the house and possibly move to a lovely over fifty-five community where the grass is always green and nicely mowed.
So our house here in NJ is a lovely typical suburban split level abode circa 1972. And it hasn’t changed much since. As I described earlier, my pink bedroom was nearly exactly as I’d left it 20 years ago. And the same could be said for most of the rest of the house, like the kitchen complete with yellow Formica countertops, yellow linoleum floor, and beautiful faux wood grain cabinets. But, now my dad would be selling and trading up for newer more contemporary digs. So I was helping him sort through all kinds of miscellany and junk, a lot of which hadn’t been touched in several decades.
Here are some fun items we came across in the garage… most of which went straight to the trash:
- Burpee seed catalog circa 1987
- Bicentennial commemorative 1976 hot plate
- A tiny Torah. Mazel Tov!
- Old plasticy table cloths
- Half-used cans of WD-40 and Oil-in-One
- 20-30 plastic, cobweb-filled plant containers
- Dried up craft paints
- ‘Cleen! Brite-White’ white wall tire spray circa 1978
- 6-7 ice scrapers and various snow brushes
- Approximately 512 used golf balls
- 1 old red snow sled (a keeper!)
- An unidentified tool that looks like a ray gun from a 1960s sci-fi movie
- Drain snake
- Plutonium reactor (just seeing if you are paying attention)
- Coleus Plant seeds circa 1979
- One Headlight (The Wallflowers would be proud)
- 1 Styrofoam egg container
- Axe handle sans Axe head
- Metal Mailbox Letters
- 1970s hanging lamps
- Random bits of wood, glass, Plexiglas, skin
- 1 Hedge Trimmer
- Solidified Turtle wax
- Various balls of twine, rope, and electric cords
Besides most of this stuff that hit the trash before I could say ‘toss it’ we still decided to have a moving sale—the classic American weekend of fun—hocking old, dirty wares to old, dirty bargain hunters.
The morning of said sale, the darn garage sale groupies showed up around 7:30am. Our sale started at 9:00. They were circling like vultures, just waiting to score that coveted old Sinatra LP or misplaced antique. The funny thing was these early birds all knew each other… it was like a scary gang, but scary as in ‘get a life’ scary. I went out at 8:30am to say ‘hi’ and ask jokingly ‘what about NO early birds’ didn’t they understand?! I did relent and let them in at 8:50am… nice salesgirl that I am.
Here are some of the luxurious items I sold throughout the day:
- A mini fridge (which was later returned as it was said to ‘not work’ even though it actually did…later sold it on Craigslist.com)
- My ‘Sew Perfect’ little girl sewing machine
- A small pocket knife
- A green glass dish
- An old transistor radio
- My old Soundesign small radio
- A plastic laundry hanger thingy
- The Hardy Boys books
- Couple other books
- A Sudoku coffee table set
- My brother’s old nun chucks. Some kid is going to attack someone with those soon. At least I made a few bucks.
- An old softball bat
- Random stuffed animals
- Assorted games
- A Nurf basketball set
- Several wall prints
- 2 plastic storage boxes
- A never-used charcoal grill
- Old Sheets/bedspreads
- Brass candlesticks
- A silver ice bucket
- A glass jar for $0.25 (for the buyer to store her ‘fish food’)
- A beautiful never-used car shammy
- Car Seat Cover
- Basket of fake flowers
- Clip on Sunglasses
- Sports flip up sunglasses
- Outdoor Chair Cushions
This is it. This is what my life has come down to on a beautiful Saturday. Hawking lame wares to lame people. Ugh.
The last sale of the day? My Fiddler on the Roof Music box. Sniff, sniff. Goodbye Tevye! Just like him, I wish I were a rich (wo)man… and now I know that having a garage sale is not the way to achieve that.
But there is still stuff left if anyone is interested in a twenty-plus year old outdoor umbrella or a shoe horn shaped like a horse.
As a good friend of mine put it so perfectly: One man’s trash is… well, another man’s trash.