Saturday, June 13, 2009

A very large day ...

As my Dad used to say.
In the annals of "days that I was very tired at the end of" this one is right near the top.
This was the second (and last) day of our "very large yard sale". Stuff we've been hoarding and hauling and storing for way too many years. We did good. We sold nowhere near everything, but quite a bit.

At some level it is deeply mortifying to see all the stuff you've been saddled with spread out across your property, for sale to who knows who. It all looks so much more worn out and tatty than you would have thought. I wandered through it all wondering if anyone might see something beautiful or worthwhile, and lots of people did, but not always what I would have expected.

Cheap wine glasses did not appeal to anyone. They will go to the thrift store tomorrow.

Likewise, silver-plated serving stuff. I guess no one else likes to polish it either.

Ghosts of kitchens past. My son took home the red canisters. The blue ones didn't sell. I thought someone would snatch them up.

I think Andy's motorcycle helmet finally sold. Every kid that came through tried it on.

Do you know what this is? We don't. Ray priced it at 50 cents because he thought that seemed right, though he didn't know what it was. He was sure I knew what it was. I don't.

A reward to anyone who can tell us what this nicely made, nearly new "thing" is. Needless to say it didn't sell, but Ray nearly sold it to a very nice fellow with a great sense of humor. He didn't know what it was either. It is about 12" square, made to mount on a wall (?) and the part with the price tag on it rotates either direction, but stops when its outer corners hit the keystone-shaped part at the top of the circle.

In the middle of all this chaos, I bathed, dressed myself up, and went to a funeral for the father of my good friend, Beth. You have seen her on these pages—my walking partner. Beth's Dad was a decorated pilot in WWII and again later in the Korean War, and more—a much loved father and grandfather. The photo, published in his obituary, of him as a young WWII, pilot is a beauty. Like my own parents, one of that great generation that fought that war. The photo reminds me of just how young they were. It has been 11 years since my own father died. I think of him every day. I know how Beth is feeling. Losing one's parents is profound. It is never the same again.


  1. The thing might be a kitchen scale with a missing scale display. If the front part can be swung out by 90° angle, this idea should be right.

  2. I thought it was a connector for a flexible hose - like the dryer vent hose - but perhaps for an attic fan.

    I know that "embarrassed" feeling about the stuff all over the yard.

    My Mom was a hoarder and when yard sales became trendy she wanted to have one but my Dad refused to permit it so during the summer, we would set up just one card table with "stuff" for sale.

    It was my job to mind the store and get it all put away before 4 pm when my Dad got home from work.

  3. It is a "thing-a-ma-jig". In my house that's what you call something when you don't know what to call it. I have almost worked my way through hoarding, of course fabric is exempt. I had to do this when I down-sized to a condo a few years back. It is a painful process.

  4. Anonymous6:27 AM

    Is it meant to be mounted under an upper cupboard and then used to unscrew jar tops?

  5. Sometimes it is amazing what stuff sells at a garage sale. The things that I thought were precious and hard for me to sell were left. The dirty (cheap) bobble head dog was played with by every kid who came by and was the first thing purchased.

  6. I popped over from my feed reader to see the suggestions for the mystery items! I sure don't have a clue, but surely someone out there does.

    I'd'a picked up the blue canisters had I been in town. Though only because I "think" I'm redecorating my kitchen with blue glass accessories. I have a set of canisters taking up space on the counter already and really don't use them (two of them have been empty for 2 years!).

  7. I'd like to shop from your post...I didn't see the blue canisters. Can't imagine why; I spent an hour roaming around, rummaging through boxes under the guise of helping Ray empty boxes on to tables. And the tea cups with birds? I need to look closer next time. And that little yellow chicken - I *wanted* that (but certainly didn't need it); can't believe no one picked it up. As it was, I left with a big box of GOOD STUFF and a "find of the day". Good job on this sale. There's definitely something to be said for a one-day sale.

  8. Why is it that no one else values your stuff like you do? I'm always told that this or that that I have would fetch good money, but when it comes to actually trying to sell the stuff, they're duds. I do recommend moving every three years to keep he hoarding under control. ;-)

    I think the thingamajig is a holder for the extra blades you get with a slicer type appliance. Why it has to turn, I don't know.

  9. Actually, it isn't a thingamajig -- it's a whatchamacallit.

    Sorry we didn't make it. Actually, I'm not sorry; we'd have bought stuff we don't need, can't use, and were mesmerized by. Plus 50 cents for a whatchamacallit is irresistible -- I'm sure some (installation) art can be made from it.

  10. Your photographs of the yard sale items are beautiful -- treasures. Perhaps you can print them and mount them and sell them at your next sale. :-)

  11. I second the motion for "extra blade holder for slice-n-dice" on the plastic thingie.

  12. Anonymous12:42 PM

    I think your mystery item is an under the counter paper plate holder made for a camper or RV.

  13. My resident engineer couldn't suss out your mystery device, either. Glad the sale went well; I would've snarfed up those cheap wine glasses, since we're always breaking ours.

    Thanks for posting the pointer to Beth's father's obit. You can see the family resemblance in that younger photo.

  14. Oh! I always snatch up blue glass. Too bad I wasn't there :)

  15. It just came to me --> the thingamajig or whatchamacallit is a computer monitor stand. Maybe. I think.

    I did look at it while I was there and couldn't figure it out either. But then again, I was sorta caught up in the frenzy.

    (And similar to the term "thingamajig" or "whatchamacallit", my Mom always used to call dinners without a name "Donkey Fazoo")

  16. Isn't the 50-cent thing the base for a smoke detector?

    We need to do this so badly, having lived in the same house for 32 years!

  17. Don't know what the fifty cent doodaddy is, but you can save the blue glass canisters for me to use in my blue/white kitchen. Next time I will drive north of Corvallis and pick them up, but who knows when? Looks like it was a fun, if exhausting day.