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Purging Success!

Over the weekend we had our massive garage sale to facilitate the Big Purge Project. It was amazing. The weather was a bit hit or miss, but it didn't detract all that much, people came in the rain!

It was such an interesting couple of days, sweating it out and selling our clutter. The most fascinating people came by, shared a bit of their own story, made us laugh or smile, and left a bit of themselves on our driveway. Here's just a few prized memories from the Big Purge of 2010.

Prized Moment #1 - A couple came up, asked if we were selling adult bicycles. Unfortunately we didn't have any for sale, but they volunteered why they needed one. Their son, twenty something, had been involved in a car accident. It was his fault, his recklessness. The car was totaled, but their son still had a job to get to. They refused to purchase a new car for him. They said they were determined to teach him, having a car is a serious responsibility, one to appreciate. They hoped to get him a used bike to ride to his job, and then see what lessons he learned from the whole experience. They said, "It's tough to do this. But that's what tough love is. It'll be hot this summer on a bicycle. He'll learn real fast, that a car, is a gift to use responsibly." Wow. I was so impressed to see that tough love at work. It's what I'd do. We shook their hands, and said, "Keep up that good parenting. That's impressive!"

Prized Moment #2 - Another woman came up to pick up clothes for her granddaughter, and started on a conversation on stain removers. She knew her stuff. She swore by the product Fels-Naptha. I'd never heard of it, but hearing her talk, I just might go out and buy that laundry bar!

Prized Moment #3 - Several women came both days, to look once more. One woman in particular was from Haiti, she bought several household things, and always she asked if the item or small appliance worked. I assured her, everything we had out, worked fine, but if she wanted to, I'd plug it in and demonstrate. She surprised me with her response. Each time she said, "I trust you."

At one point, I said, "It's no problem at all. I'm happy to show you it works."

She surprised me again. She said looking me straight in the eye, "Miss, I trust you. If you can't trust people in this world, life is very difficult and you usually end up very unhappy."

I smiled and agreed. "Okay," I said, "But if you get home and it doesn't work, you bring it back to me, you'll get your money back."

She laughed, "Ok, that's a deal!"

Prized Moment #4 - Surprisingly enough, we had many men shop the sale, which was very interesting considering the amount of children's clothes and household items we had. Perhaps the current economy was even bringing out the men to search out good deals! One man in particular looked through the clothes, and found a Bum Equipment sweatshirt from years ago. It just had the word BUM on the front and he offered a dime for the sweatshirt. We were selling clothes for a dollar piece, or some for 50 cents, but a dime? I gave him a look, like, "Well, I don't know about that"....

Well, he began to tell us what the purpose of this shirt was. He found a fold up lawn chair by a lake, abandoned, and falling apart. He had already modified the chair to make it workable, but needed something to fix a large tear in the back side. He loved the title of "BUM" almost like it was his directors chair while fishing.

Wow, ingenuity at work!  I sold him the shirt for the dime.  A few minutes later, he came back to prove his story was authentic. He pulled out of his trunk this yard chair modified by his creative stitching, and how he had just found, at our sale, the perfect size of "BUM" for the back of his chair. He was grateful, and we couldn't help but to congratulate him on his creativity and thriftiness. If only my children had seen it! They'd never take for granted the abundance of gifts they own again.

Prized Moment #5 and My Personal Favorite - An elderly gentleman came up to the sale laughing while walking and pointing at an exercise machine that we had put out to sell. He explained his laughter, "We've been to many garage sales lately, and this is the first one that we've been to that had an exercise machine that looks like it actually worked for the people who owned it!"

My sister replied, "Do we look fit?"

He answered, "Of course! That machine will sell, because it looks like you used it and it worked!"

He was right.  The next day it sold after I demonstrated how the machine was used.  It was the best compliment of the day!


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