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Yard sales: One mans trash is another mans treasure
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Yard sales are usually uneventful.
That would be my educated guess based on prior experience that occurred many moons ago.
Back then, the large apartment complex in which I lived held an annual rummage sale. It was a good opportunity to clean up the place and make a few dollars on side.
Instead, it was a long day, sitting outside in the heat and stuck by my lonesome selling more of my absent roommate’s stuff – he was at work – than any of my goods.
What I found out from last week’s yard sale experience is that good company is important. Karen, who happens to be my partner in crime on my many adventures, suggested that my house is the ideal place. Most of it is paved carport capable of parking two, maybe three, vehicles.
She had items donated to her from one of her teacher friends, Michele, who, I’m guessing, was trying to break her habit of being a hoarder.
For me, this was an opportunity to do some house cleaning.
Of course, we chose the wrong weekend to do our yard sale – last weekend was a hot one, with temperatures sizzling in triple digits, with more of that in store for this weekend.
We spent most of the week leading up to the yard sale planning, getting tables, setting up prices, organizing, etc.
We even made poster signs with arrows pointing in the direction of my central Stockton home near the University of the Pacific. Karen, who took out an ad in the local newspaper, got the address correct in the listing but not on the signs – that would come back to haunt us.
We did OK that first day, getting rid of some of the big items. A few friends stopped by, looking but doing more conversing. Others apologized for their no-show, blaming the heat. I don’t blame them.
Up until then, it was a typical yard sale day other than cooking up a couple of burgers on the grill and pairing that with a bottle of wine.
The second day, Sunday, was a different story altogether.
As predicted, the morning slow, with a few passersby dropping in for a quick browse.
Suddenly out of nowhere, a lost Boston terrier appeared at my doorway. The old dog was still on a leash while blocking the entrance. She appeared afraid and wouldn’t budge.
Fortunately, Karen managed to reach from behind the front door, petting lost dog to the point where she was able to see the tag with owner’s phone number.
She called the owner, who appeared to be an elderly man based on his voice on the speaker phone, and she gives out the four digits to my address: 4201.
“I’m at 4102…,’” I said.
That’s when Karen realized she wrote down the wrong address. Worse yet, I put up the poster signs, not realizing the typo – something part of my job?
I used cutouts with the corrected numbers, taping over the errors on the already posted signs.
The dog’s owner, meanwhile, retrieved his lost dog, who was last seen on the other side of the Calaveras River about a mile or two away.
As for the yard sale, we did manage to do a little bartering towards the end.
My friend Lilly is a hostess at one of our favorite restaurant. She had long been looking of a certain type of wooden clothes drying rack, which so happened to be the very one I posted on my Facebook page.
“Can you save this for me?” she posted back.
I responded: “Yes, do you work (Sunday)?”
Lilly came by during her lunch break. She brought us our lunch from her restaurant in exchange for the clothes rack.
I’m guessing it was probably about $20 worth of food. The clothes rack was going for a few dollars.
As the famous saying goes: One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
For us, it was a delightful lunch on this otherwise crazy yard-sale day.
To contact reporter Vince Rembulat, e-mail