Enrich your life

Love for sale

Posted by on Oct 28, 2012

Going to garage sales was one of my, my mum's and my step dad's favourite past times on a Saturday afternoon.

(This post is dedicated to the wonderful people who helped out with the garage sale.  They know who they are.  Couldn’t it have done it without them…)

And so, the moment we’ve all been waiting for (well, I have anyway!), the end of my mum’s two day garage sale.  For those among you who don’t know, a garage sale, also known as a yard sale in the US, is the quintessential Australian weekend activity – you either have one or you go to one.  The basic idea is to clear as much unwanted stuff from your house as possible, put it into your garage and front yard and wait for the people to start rolling in and buying it up.  And it’s just amazing the stuff that people are willing to part with cash for – old tarpaulin, rusty tools, frayed fabrics, old magazines, watering cans…one man’s trash is another man’s treasure they say and I was definitely witness to that this weekend…

Going to garage sales was one of my, my mum’s and my stepdad’s favourite past times on a Saturday afternoon.  And believe me, from the amount of unwanted stuff that made its way into my mum’s garage and front yard, it’s not hard to believe.  Even my mum was shocked when she saw it all in one place.  I reminded her that I had been clearing the house since the day I came to Australia 5 weeks ago and this was the result…

But garage sales, and clean outs in general, are a double edged sword.  On the one hand, there is the wonderful feeling of cleaning out and getting rid of all the clutter – and making room for more :).  It’s a very zen feeling taking stuff out of the house and seeing how nice and clean everything is afterward.

But going through that stuff is like going through one’s whole life, and then selling it off is like donating your organs – the set of pots and pans my mum bought when she moved into her first house, the barbecue that I had countless t-bone steaks on when I was growing up, my dad’s hammers that I loved to play with and even put my initials on, the furniture my mum and dad saved ages for and drove some 50 kilometers out of Sydney to buy, the clothes my mum wore to the Croatian Club when she went there with my dad on a Friday night, my step dad’s meticulously arranged collection of screws, nuts, bolts, nails and everything else the handyman needs…and the list goes on and on, each piece having a memory and a story to tell.  So besides being physically grueling (did I tell you it took me 5 weeks to clear it all out?), it is also emotionally draining…most especially when people ask for a huge discount for something that cost a fortune, means so much to you and brings back a plethora of memories…

But as my dear friend said yesterday, it’s just stuff.  There’ll always be old stuff, new stuff, but at the end of the day it’s just that – stuff, nothing of truly great importance.  The real memories, the real lives are within us.  And now there is room for more memories and a brand new life for my mum with us in Croatia.

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