The Value of Things

Recently, a friend was telling me about their recent yard sale and how they didn’t know what to do with all the left overs that didn’t sell. That reminded me of this story from when I was 10 years old…..

I used to know this lady who had a garage that she set up with all her excess stuff to hold garage sales out of. I would ride my bicycle down the road to sit and chat with her every chance I got. We got to talking and she told me all her secrets! she showed me how to measure if a shirt could fit me by holding ut up to my shoulder points, how to shorten a hem on a dress that was too long, how to properly cut roses for fresh flowers that last longer, and so much more but there was one secret that stood out from all the rest.

She did this garage sale every Friday/sat/and sometimes Sunday morning from 7am until noon. She worked in her garden, cooked up meals for her entire family for the upcoming week, did some sewing, canning, fed her animals, mowed her lawn, cleaned her house, etc etc when there weren’t any customers. She stayed busy and productive regardless. She had a little bell that rang when someone pulled up to let her know, then she’d come out to visit.
She did this every weekend, all year long even when it got chilly cuz she closed the garage up and turned a small heater on. She said after the first year, people came to expect her little items would always be available and soon they’d donate their excess stuff. Before she knew it, it had become a business so the city told her she had to get a license. It cost her $20 back in the day (now it’s only $50) and she had to collect/pay in sales tax which was no big deal.

Through the years she was able to help a lot of young families whom were struggling to pay bills with free clothing, shoes, boots and winter coats. (Being in Michigan meant weather in winter could be brutal) she had her weekend garage sales every month, every year for 30 years.

She told me her little garage sale business made her a side income the same as if she went to work a job somewhere else but it also allowed her to be home getting other tasks completed at the same time. Nevermind that she got so familiar with the community it opened up so many beneficial opportunities that her household and so many others were able to benefit from, she lost count!

When she was tired or the weather was grim, she’d make hot tea, cookies and cocoa, curl up with a good book and just read or chit chat with folks that stopped in- like me. She always offered me cookies and milk or hot cocoa in winter. I hung on every single word she said, every single visit I made. I never forgot the lessons I learned from her.

She said the value of each thing is up to the beholder. Never assume something no longer has a value just because it might be in your way or you can’t see it. Open your life up to let others teach you, while they bless you at the same time.

To me- it’s folks like this whom are THE TREASURE I see the value in.

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