Friday, August 10, 2012

Estate Sale Memories

Today I went to an estate sale with a good friend.  I did the Estate Sale 101 talk as we walked room to room.  Yes, this is more expensive...this sale is the result of someone passing away; their relatives hiring someone to organize, price and sell the accumulations from their loved ones' life.  A percentage goes to the estate people and the rest to the deceased's family.  It is a business.  But a business that helps a grieving family when the process of going through all the "stuff" is just to much to handle.  

Yes, that is ALOT to pay for that embroidered picture of a bird on the wall.  I'm curious what they do with the stuff they don't sell?  Anyone need a framed cross-stitched bird for their wall?

We ended up hitting the garage sales on the way home.  A fifty-cent colander and 25-cent potato masher later, we were happy.  And then we found the $2 cookbook, a $2 suitcase set and a $3 coat tree!  We are more garage-sale people I discovered, and we planned to hit a few more tomorrow.  She is moving soon and setting up "house".

I couldn't help but wonder as I walked through the estate sale..."this was someone's life...all this 'stuff' is from years and years of living."  And there were years and years, let me tell you.  What kind of life did they live?  Obviously, she enjoyed cooking and baking by all the kitchen ware for sale. She must have loved to entertain with all the crystal glasses and serving dishes gracing the shelves. He or she loved birds and dogs. And did they celebrate Christmas!!  

A person's life...possibly two persons' lives....laid out in the rooms of this house that was once a home.  How many holidays were celebrated around that table?  Were there shouts of joy when the children and subsequent grandchildren opened their presents surrounded by the lights and stuffed Santas?  

Somehow leaving a sale like that one always leaves me a bit contemplative. I hope IF there is an estate sale following my life, people are blessed by what they find.  (Actually I hope I give it all away before that time, I'd rather see it meet someone's need or want, rather than a sale...but I won't be around to consult, so that point is moot.)  Years ago, my mom and dad began to give away some of their belongings to the children who would appreciate them...a punch bowl here, a set of glasses meant something to have it gifted rather than left to sell.  I guess my thought process here is....a person's life is more than what is "left behind" in terms of material possessions.  As I left that house, I hoped their lives had been full with family, friends, and adventure.  I hoped it had meaning and purpose.  And the "stuff" left behind goes on to bless others and not just end up in a junk pile somewhere.

I picked up a rolling pin at a garage sale one time and the lady told me "Many many apple pies were made for my family with that rolling pin."  I loved it!  And I bought the rolling pin!  Whenever I use it, I think of the many people blessed by her apple pies and now I do the same (hopefully.... my son likes his grandma's apple pie the best :) so with this pin, it is pecan).  

Our lives are more than stuff...they are memories and passing those onto those we love, and sometimes to strangers.  I have an ongoing appreciation for estate sales, but a love affair with garage is cheaper :)


Post a Comment