Monday, April 23, 2012

Get me to the church on time ...

That thought runs through my mind frequently on Saturday mornings when my first stop is a church yard sale, and especially as I am trying to get Ella out the door (yes, honey, you look fine; no, honey, you don’t need a necklace with that shirt; no, honey, it’s not too cool to wear shorts; honey, will you just get your shoes on and get out the door!)

Saturday was no exception, and we finally pulled up to the sale at approximately 7 a.m., the appointed starting time; however, as par for course, eager buyers were already swarming the tables, which had been set up outside.  I groaned inwardly upon seeing this because it was a foggy morning, and I had visions of books ruined because of the moisture in the air.

Fortunately, my worries were groundless, although boxes on the ground were a little damp; apparently, the church had set up the night before.

As I peered through fog at the tables, I noticed books. Lots of books.  I also noticed boxes of CDs, including many still in shrink-wrap, hundreds of cassette tapes, both new and used, and many new VHS tapes. I immediately started scanning and scanning and scanning, all the time looking over my shoulder for any other dealers. I quickly filled up a box, and decided I had better find out how much all this was going to cost.  The first worker, a teen, said the CDs were a dollar each, which was fair. He wasn’t sure about the books.  Finally, a more seasoned (i.e., older) worker said that I could fill up a copier paper sized box for $5.

$5?  Holy {expletive deleted by author}.

I asked this worker was there a place where I could stash my, er, stash until I was ready to pay.  She took me to a place behind the cashiers, and I dropped off my first $5 box.

As I was busy filling boxes, sometimes scanning, sometimes not, I got the scoop.  Most of the items were from a closed Christian bookstore.  After about an hour or so, I had 18 boxes, and knew I was literally at the limit of what I could fit in my Honda CR-V.  I asked them what they were going to do with all the media that didn’t sell; they didn’t know, but if I wanted to leave my name and number, they’d call me at the end of the sale, and make me a great deal on the leftovers.  Obviously, I wanted to.

So, after loading 18 boxes in my car, I had to go home and unload.  After unloading the boxes into our laundry room, it was only about 10 a.m., and we still had other sales to attend, including another church sale and a school sale, and lots of sales in between. Since it was Mossy Creek (a large arts and crafts festival) weekend, more sales than usual were advertised, including multiple community sales near the festival.  We went from sale to sale, picking up great items, but my mind clearly was on the church sale leftovers.

About 12:45, they called, and said they would make me a great deal, if I wanted to come back right now.  Crap, my car was full again.  Thankfully, I was close to home, and told them that I would be there in about 45 minutes.  That was fine.

After unloading again, and making my way back to the sale, I noticed they had their teen labor boxing up the books. I made my way to the tent to see how much the leftovers were going to cost me.  How about $50, the worker asked?  I wasn’t sure about how many boxes were left, but I agreed.  I then quickly started loading my car with the media because there were still shoppers milling about. Soon, my car was full again, and there were still boxes and boxes left, including 10 to 12 full wooden cassette holders.

Oh, crap, now what?

Fortunately, one of the workers volunteered to load boxes in his truck and haul them for me.  All told, between my car and the truck, we had at least 30 more boxes (I lost count), and there were still boxes left.  Since my car was full, including the passenger seat, I left Ella at the sale to guard the remaining boxes of media.

The volunteer followed me home, and after unloading both vehicles onto the driveway, we headed back to the sale.

In my absence, Ella not only guarded the boxes, but also found a bunch of new in package Friar Tuck clergy shirts.  So, we filled the car again, only not quite as full this time.

Needless to say, after getting the third load home, then transferring the vast majority of boxes to my storage unit down the road, we were exhausted.  And it was time to feed the dogs.  Only, I couldn’t get to the food because of all the boxes. In fact, the laundry and kitchen were standing room only after unloading everything bought on Saturday.

After climbing over boxes, I finally got the dogs fed, but we decided to put off straightening the mess until Sunday, and went to feed ourselves at Zaxby's, figuring we earned it.

I was up by 7:30 on Sunday, packing what had been sold, then sorting and listing as much of the new stuff as I could.  By Sunday evening, all my new VHS tapes, new educational/religious games, and most expensive books had been listed.  Ella had started sorting the new cassettes, and filling boxes to sell as lots on eBay.

To make a long story short (I know, too late), our house is literally a disaster area, my storage unit is full of books that I need to process, and there is still much work to do.

It was fun.


  1. Nice call! Bon courage as they say in our neck of the woods!

  2. I'm having a heart attack just thinking how long it would take to list all that stuff. Holy cannoli!

    1. It is overwhelming at first. However, if you can look past the mess (thanks, Ella), it's not so bad.

    2. Score!! Loved reading about it, good job.

  3. That is insane!!!! Great finds!