Well, I’ve missed a day of blogging. This is a good thing. Because I didn’t die and with any luck my followers – strangers who I’ve grown to like very much in a short time – have not all left. It is a good thing because blogging has become…but that’s another blog for later.
It was early yesterday morning and I was reading the amazing accumulated talent that is out there, and Karen’s voice came up the stairs, “I’m going to some yard sales! Want to come with me?!”
Translation: “We talked about this last week, get your shoes on and move it!
Wrenching myself away from the flickering flat screen, I plastered a smile on my face, and was soon careening through the garage, tying my right sneaker while hopping on my left. The car was already moving as I leapt, sprawling into the front seat and she was up to speed before I got the door fully closed and the seatbelt fastened. You have to get to yard sales early – preferably before they actually get started – so somebody else won’t buy the broken lawnmower for $15.00 before you get it.
“Do you have any cash or do we have to stop at the ATM?” I ask, catching my breath.
“We don’t have time to stop at the ATM,” she says.
Translation: Somebody is probably already ahead of us.
“And I’ve got some money but it’s a $!00.00 bill.”
Translation: You are going to be paying for everything out of your wallet, because I know you keep lots of dollar bills to use for cookies in the candy machine at your office.
I’m still wondering how she knows this when we reach the first yard sale. It is actually not a lawnmower we need – although I have never known us to buy anything at a yard sale because we needed it -- we are looking for stuff for Conner, our new grandbaby.
Karen is great at yard sales, she flies through them like a flock of buzzards. I have just reached the driveway, still tying my sneakers, and she throws an armful of baby clothes and toy trucks at me asking me to add them up so she can make an offer.
I’m struggling with why she is buying Conner toy trucks when he can’t even roll over or focus his eyes yet. “I’m going to keep them in our closet for later,” she says.
Translation: I know what you’re thinking. Don’t say a word. Scary.
Then she sees the painted white bureau. Even I have to admit that it is in pretty good shape, but I’m looking everywhere else and pretending I don’t hear her calling me. I see another toy truck and consider whether I can divert her attention with it.
“Mark! Don’t you think the kids need a bureau?”
Translation: Their house is a mess and they throw their clothes on the floor.
I can’ think of an answer fast enough and just wave the truck, vainly, in her direction.
“Look, Mark! It’s real wood too! Not cheap pressboard.”
Translation: It weighs a ton and Brian and I are going to get hernias hauling this up the narrow stairs to their apartment.”
“A couple of the drawers are a little loose, but you can fix those in no time.”
Translation: There goes the weekend.
“And we can paint it so it looks almost new!”
Translation: I am going paint it so it looks almost new! (Married men all know that the word “we” is actually a masculine singular pronoun.)
So I try one final ploy at reclaiming my weekend. “I really don’t think it will fit in the Highlander.”
“I’m sure you can find a way to fit it in.”
Translation: We’re leaving with it even if you have to remove the passenger seat and walk home.
And so it went, with more cute clothes, stuffed animals, utensils and dishes, some of which I think I recognized from when we sold them last year at our own yard sale, until all we were left with was her $100 bill.
Translation: No cookies at work next week. But it won’t matter because my back will be too sore to walk to the candy machine anyway. And I’ll need to clean out the drawer where I keep my negatives and slides because we need room for an entire fleet of toy trucks.
But were not finished because the final stop was an Estate Sale. Far different in tone from yard sales, I’ll save that for a later, maybe tomorrow’s blog.