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So many wonderful and not so wonderful things happen at a “Scattering Sale.” We would like to share with you a few things that happened at the last sale. Our common humanity, good-bad-and indifferent, shines through!
We took this sale in spite of the fact that the water had been shut off. This was a first for us and we weren’t sure what would happen, but – nothing ventured, nothing gained. We knew a little of the life of the young woman whose estate we were asked to scatter and decided this was something we wanted to do to be a part of her ending history.
Within minutes of arriving at the house to set up for the sale, a neighbor came over with her hose and an invitation for us to use her bathroom anytime we needed to. She gave us the key to her house since she was going off to work and didn’t want us left in a bad position. That was wonderful and totally unexpected. Our biggest concern was laid to rest. She wanted to put the hose through the window so we would have water. We demurely declined because we didn’t know how we could use the hose without wrecking the house and everything therein.
Her reason for being so generous? She remembered the time when the woman who owned the house we were selling had water and they had none. Her water was off and this person (now deceased) offered to let her use her hose and bathroom. She wanted to return the favor.
The entire weekend went like that. We realized that future sales would rise or fall on how the person whose estate we were liquidating lived their lives. That is a scary and a great thought!
The most traumatic moment of the sale was finding a wig which our host had worn during her cancer treatments. When we took the wig out of its box, one person at the sale lost control and had to go outside to gain her composure. It was very emotional for her because she knew the owner of the wig and they had many jokes they shared about with wig and without wig. While she was out recovering from the emotions brought up by the wig, a neighbor was delighted to have found it and wanted to buy the wig for her elderly mother, who she knew would absolutely enjoy this new addition to her wardrobe. Joy and sorrow in a few short moments. We decided the wig should not be sold so we gave it away and the delight at that went to a much higher level.
A man and his 12 year old daughter came by. The daughter was wise beyond her years and her parents had schooled her well in the art of estate sales. She jumped right in, found items she wanted and bargained for them like a pro. Having put away her stash of really fun items, much to our amazement, she turned around and started to help us work the sale. She stayed quite a while. We enjoyed her company and she clearly enjoyed working at an estate sale so we think we’ve found another person to add to those we call on for help from time to time. Her pay for her time – a make-up bag with lots of lipsticks, eyeliners, eyeshadow, eyelash brushes, etc. which she couldn’t buy, but she could get past her parental inspectors if it was a gift. Can you imagine the fun she had with that bag.
Part Two of “A Scattering Sale” happens two days after the sale ends. We send out e-mails to everyone who bought something inviting them back to help us clear and clean the house and in the process to take with them whatever they saw and wanted – at no charge. That is a popular time and the time when we make many new friends. It never ceases to amaze me the new purpose to which people can put the most useless looking items. Before the day ended we had a new infusion of imagination which carried us for a couple weeks. It is so much fun to take something – for free – which looked as though it was at the end of its life and find a new use for it. That happened over and over again.
There is always a downer to the “free” part of the “Scattering Sale”. In this case it was my forgetfulness in putting my camera down without thinking that there was nothing to distinguish it from what was truly being given away and not realizing until the end of the day that someone picked up and walked off with the camera and all the pictures from the sale which we normally use to make a scrapbook for the family. A lesson learned – leave pocketbook, camera and any other items not being given away, locked away. It wasn’t stolen since everything in the house was free to whoever had a use for it and there was no sign on the camera to say it was already taken and we were encouraging everyone to “take, take” – “can you sweep out the garage”, “can you pick up the basement”, “can you help this person get their items home”, “thank you for bringing us that iced tea, it was great and really needed”, and so the camera got lost in the shuffle.
The biggest treat of all – the samosas a neighbor made for us with a sauce that still has my tongue burning. Exhausted and sitting on the outside stoop wondering where we were going to get the energy to even get up, in comes one of the neighbors with these hot samosas which were a new taste for us and they were good to the last crumb. Once we’ve had a chance to test the recipe we will share it with you. We know it is a healthy addition to your food list because it contained much cabbage.
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