Saturday, April 10, 2010

Garage Sales That Break Your Heart

Lines from a long-ago popular Robert Goulet song keep running through my mind tonight – “If ever I would leave you, how could it be in springtime, Knowing how in spring, I’m bewitched by you so”.

Today was the first garage sale of our household cleanout. We plan to work diligently this summer to gather together the accumulation of forty years of items that are not necessary to our daily existence, and sell them at semi-weekly garage sales. This is not a pleasurable chore; It is not as if I am looking forward to selling our house and retiring to some long dreamed-of location. This is a sale in anticipation of losing this house that has been in my husband’s family for almost 75 years and that holds my heart deeply in its grip.

Life is unpredictable, and things could suddenly take a turn for the better financially. Our family business might ultimately survive this terrible economy; to be realistic, though, we must begin to clean out forty years’ of “things”. I must reconcile myself to watching strangers leave with some of the treasures I have collected through the years.

This past week has been tough – our business lost a large project to another company in a truly unethical deal, which is typical of today’s business climate. And, we spent much of the week preparing for this garage sale.

There were two defining moments for me today. One of the items I placed for sale was a lovely eyeglass holder that had been a gift to me several years ago. I priced it and laid it out on the table sadly, and today a sweet woman, who is herself a “collector”, as I am, said to me, “this is so beautiful, I think you should keep it.” In the end, though, she bought it, and she reassured me that it was going to a “good home”.

As we were putting the finishing touches on the garage sale early this morning, I looked out over my gardens – the plants that were so tiny three weeks ago are now covering the garden with green. They seem to grow inches each day. I think back over the years I have spent planting and tending and loving my trees and gardens and birds, and the strains of Robert Goulet’s song played in my heart, “If ever I would leave you, how could it be in springtime….”

I don’t want to leave this house – I have been totally content here for almost forty years. It may be outdated and weathered, and my gardens and my possessions may not mean anything to others, but they mean the world to me.

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