First let me say that I have always hated yard sales. I hope that doesn’t alienate anybody, but I would rather go to a store and find a good deal on something that is new and most importantly, not used. Only once in all the 27 years I’ve been married have I broken down and agreed to let someone sort through all of our old junk and give us pennies on the dollar for things we don’t want and they don’t need. I would much rather donate my stuff to Deseret Industries or some other charity than be subjected to that kind of humiliation.
That said, my kids (and unfortunately my husband) love a good yard sale! They drive around in the summer without me just so they can stop at one if they have the intense desire to dig through boxes of old shoes and faded camping equipment. It was just such a sunny summer day about ten years ago that they happened upon a huge yard sale and an amazingly good deal. The Gym Rat was about 13 years old and he burst into the house yelling, "They’re having a yard sale!" When he saw me he quickly amended it to, "The neighbors are having a moving sale!" That started a chain reaction with the kids. They were practically bubbling over with excitement. Me? Not so much. So Dad came to the rescue…"OK. I’ll walk them over for a few minutes." I’m not sure which was worse, taking them myself or actually letting my sweetie loose at a close neighbor’s yard sale. But before I could think of a reasonable objection, they were out the door and down the street.
Within fifteen minutes they were back with a few miscellaneous treasures including some rather sad-looking stuffed animals and the proverbial frame backpack. I breathed a sigh of relief. That couldn’t have caused TOO much damage to my checking account. Then my sweetie came in. From his hang-dog look, I knew he wanted to talk. "OK, what do you want to buy?" I asked cautiously. He laughed. "You know me pretty well…" "How much?" I prompted. "Well," he began, "It’s worth about $2500.00." This couldn’t be good. "…and they want $700.00 for it." I choked on nothing. "What is it?" I asked, trying to sound normal. "A go-cart!" There was nothing I wanted less than a go-cart at that very minute, well, maybe a root canal…but I could tell from the look in his eye that he really wanted to claim his prize. So what could I do? I handed him the checkbook. It didn’t take him long to drag his treasure back to the house and then, of course, they had to drive it. None of them had a driver’s license, but it was only a little go-cart, so how much damage could it do?
Bossy and Teach climbed on and drove it carefully down the street. Until they were out of sight, that is. The next thing I knew, they were trudging back up the sidewalk. "Mom, we dinged up the go-cart," Bossy admitted. "Were you hurt?" I asked frantically. "No, but we put a little dent in Mr. Jones’ truck." I grabbed my sweetie and we walked the long walk to the Jones’s house. The little dent turned out to be not so little, but it was in an old beater truck that he didn’t use much. Three hundred dollars later that great yard sale find wasn’t such a good deal any more. It’s no wonder I hate yard sales.