The Joys of Community or How a Simple Garage Sale Can Enhance Your Life

We were up early this morning to head outside and uncover all our tables in preparation for our “early callers.” We knew a few people would venture forth before 8 am to see what we had and to buy anything they might be collecting. Sure enough, a few people arrived around 7:30 am and we made a few sales to start our day. Ray and I decided to make the prices rock bottom from the start since this was merchandise we didn’t want to see again by day’s end. I put lots of stickers on pieces that we’d brought from our antique mall space with prices the likes of 25, 50 and 75 cents. There is just a moment when enough is enough with stuff you’ve been looking at for a few too many years and we were very happy when we saw people’s eyes light up when they spotted the prices. Many people told us how pleased they were with their new chair or new vase or new pair of sunglasses or even their new vintage tee-shirt.  As a result, we nickeled and dimed our way through the day as one thing after another was snapped up.  What a great feeling.

Our neighbors Scott and Amy had a similar experience. Scott said he didn’t want one person to leave without buying a little something they wanted and he did his best to gave them a price that they couldn’t refuse. On top of that, Amy and Scott’s youngest daughter made us waffles for breakfast (delivered right to the garage sale) and then Amy made chicken tacos and fruit for lunch.  She even sent us over extra chicken for our dinner after the garage sale was over. How is that for being neighborly?

At the end of the sale, we all decided to gave almost everything we hadn’t sold to Tina, who rents our little cottage here on our property. She will be giving the clothes away to the needy and selling anything that is an antique or collectible.  A win-win for everybody.

I was thinking about the whole concept of the garage sale and its function in society.  Of course, it is a form of recycling, which is good for the environment as well as the pocketbook. Why go out and waste resources by buying something new at full price when you can enjoy it just as much when it’s slightly used and a fraction of the price? Plus, the whole process is good for the soul. People are outside communing with nature as well as their fellow humans. Also, there’s a sense of collective sharing, which generates goodwill. In addition, everyone’s focus is on the external versus the internal so there is little brooding or upset going on. Instead, people are doing something that feels satisfying and they are relaxed and happy. That is pretty hard to beat.

We were also extremely fortunate today with the weather. While the temperature was 92 degrees with 66% humidity, there was a cool breeze coming in from the north that kept everybody fairly comfortable under the big pecan tree out front. Most people came up and immediately said, “Wow, how lucky you are to have such a nice day!” Plus, we had several big fans going, which also helped a lot. Overall, it was quite pleasant all day long.

Thank you, Scott and Amy (and girls) for the camaraderie and that wonderful food! Thanks to all of our other neighbors who came over and just sat and chatted under the trees. And thanks to all of our customers for allowing us to share our goodies with you.  And a final shout out of appreciation to Tina, who made our day infinitely easier by offering to take all of our unsold merchandise to either distribute to the needy or sell for a few bucks.  We are grateful!

Here’s to the joys of an annual neighborhood garage sale. We had a ball.

Pictured are Ray, Amy (showing our garage sale loot) and Scott, her husband.

Ray, Amy and Scott


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