Preparing to attend a funeral, I reached into my dresser drawer to choose a hankie to keep in my purse. Hankies are essential to wipe away the tears that fall when memories overwhelm and emotions run deep. Most of my hankies belonged to my mother or grandmother. Seeing them in the drawer I remembered a wooden box in which Grandma Attig kept her hankies and with which she allowed me to play for my dolls. I wondered whatever happened to that box.
Thinking of that box brought to mind another flat wooden box that had a Far East etching on the top. I remember being allowed to play with that box as well and, again, wondered where it ended up after so many years.
I decided their demise was the result of . . . the garage sale – that event where memories are sold, childhood treasures are bargained away, and the thing you need now was purged from your possession last spring. Have you noticed how the latest craft or decorating idea uses an item you held onto for years but sold last month?
I checked the history of garage sales but learned nothing about when they first began. For me, I remember my mom telling me about going to people’s garages and seeing items for sale. People were making money and she was going to try it. I wonder what items she sold that are now forever gone from my memory?
Don’t get me wrong. I love garage sales and the extra money they bring into the budget. As my girls grew up, garage sales financed vacations, a swingset, school supplies, and even Christmas gifts. I realize you can’t hold on to everything – although some people try and end up renting storage space to keep it all. But, if I could go back, there are some items I would reconsider putting on the sale block.
Strawberry Shortcake dolls. (The ones my daughters tell me over and over that they wish I hadn’t sold.) Random dishes of my grandmother’s…an old oak washstand…a rocker…a vase.
I have a policy that I don’t buy an item unless I know exactly where I am going to put it. If it can’t be displayed or used, there is no need to buy it. I’m not sure what my policy should be about the things I keep. Living in a rather small home, I don’t have the room to display or store everything and I refuse to rent more space. I do give items to family members whom I know will treasure them. Using the items also works. And some things are saved in special boxes, with pictures and stories, so that future generations will know the heritage of their ancestors.
Some items are just ‘stuff’ and should be sold. Some items have little value but hold treasuries of memories and should not be sacrificed to the strangers who enter the garage looking for a bargain like wooden boxes. I guess my mom and dad knew this, because look what I found while cleaning the garage: