Monday, May 21, 2012

Life rarely gives gentle pushes

On Saturday morning, we went to a thrift sale that benefited the Alzheimer's Association.  With ridiculously low prices and a diverse selection, the sale was a perfect opportunity to help an organization that is near and dear to my heart.  Both my grandmother and my mother had undiagnosed dementia/Alzheimer's, so I've seen first-hand the effects not only on the sufferer, but also on the family.  In addition, my mother passed away exactly one year ago, so it was a gentle push, a reminder, so to speak, to always help when I can.

Yet, life is rarely satisfied with gentle pushes.  On Saturday night, Ella and I, along with another couple, attended the Powersville Opry, a down-home concert venue featuring country, bluegrass, and gospel music, and attended mostly by a senior citizen crowd. While Ella and I haven't quite achieved senior status yet, we do have many friends, mostly from our square dancing days, who have.  As the evening progressed, Joan and her husband, Roy, walked in.  Both were fellow square dancers, and Joan was instrumental in helping both Ella and me learn the rapidly fading craft.

I had heard through the grapevine, though, that Joan was suffering from Alzheimer's, but she seemed happy, animated, and social.  It had been about a year since I had seen her, and I was anxious to say hello.

I finally got the opportunity to speak, and when I walked up to her, she smiled, but I saw no recognition in her face.  After making small talk for a few minutes, I asked her if she knew who I was.  She admitted that she didn't, and even after I explained where she knew me from, I still wasn't sure that she remembered.

As I walked away from her, she left her seat and went back to the dance floor, started to line dance by herself, and seemed to be in her own little world.

It was sad that one of my friends didn't remember me anymore, but I was gratified that by buying something at the sale that morning, I had helped in some small way.

Deep down, though, I knew it probably wasn't enough.  I'll have to think about that.

Speaking of Saturday …

Once again, our main competition in the area beat us to the first yard sale of the day around 6:50 a.m. Luckily, it was the first sale on the main road of neighborhood yard sale, and, after seeing them, we went to the next sale, and stayed one step ahead of them throughout the neighborhood.

We exited the neighborhood with momentum, having acquired, among other things, this monster.  Complete with tags, and standing about 2 feet tall, this bad boy roars and his eyes light up when you press his paw (?). I'm not really sure about what to do with him, but he looks cool guarding my inventory.

We spent the next six hours going to two church sales, the aforementioned Alzheimer's sale, and a host of smaller sales.  In the process, we picked up a box full of character cake pans by Wilton, including my favorite, one of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, for less than $2 each.  The owner of the pans wanted a firm $2 each, but I pressed for a volume discount for the whole box.  He declined, so I picked up 12 of the pans for $24.  After handing over a $20 and a $5, he realized that he couldn't break the $5.  So, I got them all for $20.  How do you host a yard sale, and not have any change?

Speaking of the Ninja Turtles, I also got a bag full of action figures for $5 at a moving sale.  I also picked up many books and books on tape, and several Beetlejuice action figures, still in original packaging.  Ella picked up some Louis L'Amour books on tape.  Truth be told, it was all I could do not to offer a buy out of the whole sale, which included many toys, baseball cards, books, books on tape, VHS, etc.  But my warehouse (Great Room) and storage unit are full, so I resisted the temptation.

We ended the day at an estate sale that we had attended several weeks ago.  Of course, we didn't know that until we pulled up and recognized the house. Since we were there, we decided to take a look around just to make sure we hadn't missed anything.  I'm glad we did.  The family had run the original estate sale, but turned it over to an estate company this week.  They also had opened up another room full of goodies, including many, many craft books, craft magazines, and DVDs.

It was like Christmas to me.

As I was haggling with the organizer over a large plastic storage box full of good stuff, I engaged her in a lively discussion about Goodwill, and about them donating the leftovers to the Friends of the Library and/or the Salvation Army, two of my favorite charities.  She shared my disdain for Goodwill.  She was tough, though, and wanted $50 for the box.  Knowing full well that the price was a bargain, I immediately agreed, and checked my wallet.  $40.  Uh oh.    My next two questions were met with a polite, but resounding "No."  No checks, and she wouldn't accept $40.  I started trying to figure out what I could put back.

I sent Ella to the car to scrounge in her purse, and fortunately she came back with $10.

When I finally hoisted the box into the already full car, we were tired, starving, and broke.

What a fun day!

Our haul from Saturday


  1. That's so sad that your friend didn't recognize you. What a terrible disease.
    You sure have accumulated quite an inventory of stuff. Is this your full time job now or are you still working full time? Love the T-Rex!

  2. Yes, I'm still working full time (40+ hours per week). Online sales-related activities (thrifting, listing, packing) now consume an additional 18 to 24 hours a week. I really need to cut back on the purchasing until I can catch up.