Time Travel via Yard Sale

Not much happened writing-wise this week because the household was preoccupied with getting ready for the Neighborhood Yard Sale.

Both sons are back home pro tem, one after a two-year stint with AmeriCorps, the other after college graduation. They’re both looking for jobs in their respective fields; in the meantime, it has been fun hanging out with them. It reminds me of the years when they were in grade school and we’d walk home after swim class to watch The Andy Griffith Show, and then have waffles for lunch with our special estate-bottled cinnamon syrup.

Items they de-accessed from their childhood included board books I didn’t have a particularly strong emotional attachment to, the Mickey Mouse birthday cake jigsaw puzzle we must have worked 50 times (which I do have an attachment to, and am not sorry that it hasn’t sold!), college textbooks, outgrown puzzle and activity books, a couple of Thomas the Tank Engine items, more Scholastic Book Fair purchases than I care to think about, and a shoebox-sized monster truck.

The yard sale is a two-day deal here. Younger Son has handled most of the retail end, because Older Son went to D.C. at a roommate’s wedding. (How can this be? But then, how can Opie be all grown up and a Major Hollywood Producer?)

As I predicted, a Comic Book Guy-type showed up to buy much of the Star Wars memorabilia (“for my son,” he said. Yeah, right.) I’m pretty sure our support of the original franchise enabled George Lucas to fund a few scenes of the prequels. (Whether this is a Good Thing is debatable; sometimes backstory should stay backstory…)

The C-cell devouring monster truck went to the little boy next store.

A gaggle of nine-year-old girls came over and bought a couple of the remaining Star Wars paperbacks, but then their mom made them bring them back because she thought the books were “too old” for them.

I felt bad about this; I hate to see a girl get discouraged from sci-fi, even written-to-the-franchise sci-fi, and I’m pretty sure these books were more adventure-y than romance-y. I was planning to do an anonymous drop on their doorstep this evening except…a different Comic Book Guy-type came by this morning and bought the lot for his son. (There must be a lot of happy thirty-something sons out there today).

Maybe I can find out who the girls were at the block party and talk up Joni Sensel and R. J. Anderson.

As of this writing the take is about $25, but as Younger Son observed, the $$ isn’t the point; it’s just good to transfer custody to kids who want it, including the happy little guy who just paid $1 for Older Son’s first baseball mitt.

And it’s nice to keep the memories in the neighborhood.

Still unsold: a genuine rugby ball from Ireland, and First Person: An Astonishingly Frank Self-Portrait by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.

I don’t understand this. What kid doesn’t want to read about Vladimir Putin?

© 2010 Anne Bingham and Making It Up as I Go

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6 Responses to Time Travel via Yard Sale

  1. Anne M Leone says:

    Yes, recycling toys and books is such a nice feeling. Hopefully someone else will enjoy them as much as your kids have!

    hehehe! The Andy Griffith’s show references brought back a lot of memories for me, too! =)


  2. I would have loved to see the face of the little guy who bought the baseball mitt. There is something comforting about knowing your memories are still close by, isn’t it?


  3. Peter says:

    As I learned, a yard sale is a good way of plowing through a book or two. I finished about 200 pages from three separate books while waiting for potential customers. It’s also a good way of getting to know your mailman.


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