Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Six Day Recap

Uff da.  I wish I could mind meld all of you to give you the recap of things since Tuesday.... is anyone working on the science for that ability?  I hope so.

I don't know where to begin -- what to include and what to omit, so here are the two biggest things:

The sad news is that Tom's mother passed away Thursday night/Friday morning. The good news is that a few days earlier my sister Mona from San Diego booked a plane ticket to Dallas to help me with my sale.  By Sunday the sale was over, my sister was dropped off at the airport, and the family funeral events were underway.  It's Tuesday now, and I'm just back at my desk.  So, yeah, sort of a big weekend. Physically and emotionally exhausting on a few levels.

The sale was a great lesson in giving and receiving.  I sent a plea out to friends/neighbors and family for help and received so much support.  All of you, and you know who you are - thank you.  I couldn't have done it without you, and I certainly wouldn't have been laughing as much.

The fun started Friday afternoon with Liz coming over for table assembly, laying out items and pricing items.  Liz left around 5, and Renee and Lydia arrived for sorting and organizing items with bites of pizza in between.  Sara swung by for a mental health check (she was checking us, we were not checking her - LOL) and dropped off another table.  Renee and Lydia left at 8:30 when I went to the airport to get my sister.  I got my sister home, fed her pizza, opened beers, and the pricing games began.  We turned on the 70's hit music, and armed with Sharpies and stickers we danced through the rooms, putting price tags on nearly every single item, and laughing and catching up on each others' lives along the way.  At 1:30 a.m. we put our wine glasses down and stumbled into bed.  The sale was set to begin at 8 a.m. and I had my alarm set for 6 a.m....
In a pinch, a bread twistie works as a wine charm...

. . . and awakened at my usual time, without an alarm, at ....7:15!  Eeeeeek!  And as I looked at my phone for the time I saw a text from Lydia at 6:38 - "going to Starbucks, what do you want?"  (Thank you isn't enough, even though I was too scattered to ever go find the oatmeal...) I'm sure I said a bad word as I swung my feet to the floor and went to get Mona up.  I peered out the front door window into the darkness and was relieved that customers were not lining up waiting for the door to open.

I'm not going to lie - the first few hours were down right hairy.  I was freaked out and stressed out and friends were giving me a wide berth.  If you were nice to me, the odds were that I'd start crying.  I know I snapped at a few people....  sorry!  I didn't have my street signs assembled (but I great ones, courtesy of a vendor from work) I didn't have any of the outdoor items moved outdoors, I hadn't started unloading the garden shed... and I kept setting my coffee down and forgetting where it was.  Eventually I/we got on an even keel.  

Bryan and Amanda were amazing at the packaging and check out table on the porch.  More than once during the day I went to check on their well-being and I'd insert myself into the check out program and start giving deals, and more than once I was told to leave my own porch and stop interfering.  Honestly I just wanted things GONE.  (But in fairness, I would have totally made a terrible cashier.)

I am not going to try to name all of the friends who came by to help or loaned me tables - I'm not even sure I know who all was there and I know I will forget someone.  Tom, Ashley & Jason, Laura & Brad - thank you being brave enough to tackle the garden shed, and for everything else you did.  Liz, thank you for breakfast and lunch. Monty, Wendy, Sara, Christy, Anna... (okay, maybe I am trying.  But I'm still probably forgetting someone.  Sorry.)

We had some usual garage sale customer drama - extreme drama and distress/competition over the copper fire pit.  One lady bought the nail polish that I had just used last week -- a color I was actually wearing at the time -- not even for sale but I sold it to her!  I found another lady wielding my $100 Williams Sonoma chef's knife in my backyard like a serial killer - "Ah, that's not for sale!" as I gently pried it from her hands... the lady who took her negotiating a wee bit too far and then I turned around a few hours AFTER the sale and she was standing in my living room, looking to make one more deal... Get. Out.  

I had just really fabulous conversations with a few people (Bruce, James, Phillipina...) (not sure I spelled that right) about living small and tiny houses - and I handed out several blog cards.  That was super fun - I never tire of telling people about my adventure...  I love their disbelief and the enthusiasm that follows!  (I got a shriek of excitement and a hug from a cashier at Wholefoods on Monday... love that...)

At 2 p.m. we declared 50% off.  At 3:30 I tried to say, "Okay, what they can carry to their cars they can have for free" and I was promptly removed from my porch.  We started tear down at 3:30, and Anna and Christy started loading their cars for a Goodwill drop off.  Christy offered to take all the books to Half Price - something I was completely unwilling to do.  (Have you seen how far you have to carry books to their sell desk?  Up stairs?  And then they give you about 25 cents a book?)  But Christy -- with her enormous vehicle?  We loaded that car to the roof and she got every single thing remaining in one trip.  At one point while loading the car, I saw my Halloween witch legs in the car  -- 

-- and thought I was going to lose it laughing - they captured exactly how I felt!!  Face planted next to Easter decor, covered with leftover sale items.

What happened in the next hour or two was dreamy - with the sale items gone, tables were folded up, furniture was carried indoors (for consignment) floors were vacuumed, dishes were washed... Many hands make light work.  The last thing I did before I took a much needed shower was steam clean my floors and put down clean rugs.  The thought of all those shoes on my floors - I run a "no shoes house" was really more than I could take, but having overslept, covering the floor was something that didn't get done.

Shortly after that, Mona and I were ensconced at Ali Baba, a bottle of wine opened, and veritable feast laid out between us.  I couldn't believe it was over.  And my house was reclaimed. I was on the other side of my sale!!! And then our waiter - Austin - his landlord buys old houses and fixes them up.  His landlord also is making a house out of a shipping container... Whaaaat?  I exchanged enough information that I can go meet him and see it at some point.  And Austin scrawled this quote on our ticket when we left:

Whatever it is that you can do or dream that you can
 Do it
 Boldness has beauty, power and magic in it.
                                -- Goethe

Several people since Saturday have asked me how my house feels now post-sale, and how I feel.  Do I feel free?  Liberated?  So far I have to just answer that I haven't really spent much time in my house since Saturday, so I don't know yet.  And I still have some lingering furniture to donate or consign, and some loaned tables to return, so it isn't totally empty yet. I can say that never panicked watching my life's accumulation of things sail out the door in the hands of strangers and  I don't feel any seller's remorse.  But I did chuckle Sunday night when I opened a cabinet in my kitchen and all that remained was a single round baking pan.  "Ohhh yeah.  I really did that..."  LOL  I really did have to laugh.

I'll say though, I did have the most amazing flying dreams last night... those are the. best.


  1. First off I love love LOVE the witches legs sticking out of the back of the truck. Thank you so much for taking the picture. The second piece I love about this blog post is the love, the support and the excitement people have for this Tiny House Journey. From cashiers, waiters, friends and family the energy is amazing to witness and watch unfold. It is like MAGIC!! Isn't this how life is suppose to be? Thank you for sharing your journey BA! BIG HUGS.

  2. Weren't the legs funny?! Even as exhausted as I was, I could recognize entertainment value when I saw it... LOL Thank you for your encouragement!


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