My adventures and mis-adventures as I travel here and there

Moving Sale Nightmare

As some of you might know, I had my big moving sale on Sunday! The one thing about almost any kind of travel is that you must. pack. light. I know some people don’t follow this rule when moving, but when moving consists of a major road trip in a mid-sized car, it’s a must!

all the things piled up ready for the sale

So I had a moving sale. I planned it very carefully, too, as I knew it was my big opportunity to not only reduce my belongings but to make a little cash in the process (I really needed to see money in my hand before I forgot what it looked like). I advertised well, even paying to put an ad in the newspaper, went through all my stuff ahead of time, made a giant pile in the living room of boxes labeled “sell” and “free”. I cleaned up the bigger items, made some beautiful signs, bought hot chocolate to serve, and set up all the tables the night before. I’d been scared to death that it might rain that day, but my heart rate returned to normal as the weather forecast retracted its threats just hours before the big day. Everything was perfect and it was going to be the best sale ever. I was excited. I was even proud of myself. The frenzy was set to start at seven, and before I went to bed late Saturday night I set my alarm for five to give myself plenty of time to have everything set up before the customers began to arrive…..

a couple of the makeshift tables I constructed

Bzzz….Bzzzz- WHA?! I jerked awake at a buzzing sound from my phone on the desk. My eyes swiveled to take in the gleaming red numbers on my clock and as they did, my mouth let out a screech- Aaaaaah! OH NO!!!! It was 7:40!!! I was a full FORTY MINUTES late, not from getting up to set up my sale but from being at the START of my sale!! I. Was. Mortified. 😦 Jumping out of bed and throwing on clothes faster than I ever have in my life, I ran outside with a box of merchandise and started throwing stuff on the tables. During most of the worst tragedies of my life I’ve been able to imagine how funny the situation really is or at least what a wonderful story it will make, but this is one situation in which i honestly had a VERY difficult time finding the bright spot. I felt so irresponsible and ridiculous.

I traded my friend that plant for a really cool lamp!

Not a soul was lurking around the vicinity of the yard and for a moment I thought that perhaps every yard-saler had lost faith in me and it was all a total flub. Perhaps the yard-sale community had already put me on their black list for what must have seemed like the cruelest moving sale joke in history. 😮 I winced as I tapped on the door of my roommate, whom I knew had only had a few hours of sleep, begging her to come help me. I needed someone to (wo)man my sale while I tried to haul my junk out the door. Thankfully, I have some of the best friends/roommates in the world and she willingly pulled herself from a deep sleep to go stand in the bitter cold guessing at what my prices might be for various items.

things! people!

Long story short, because my roommate handled the customers (which DID come, by the way, and fast), within about an hour I had everything out and set up in a rather chaotic fashion and felt ready to begin. I had also sold about half of my larger items by then. I realized pretty quickly that there were still plenty of customers whom I hadn’t offended and that people really just wanted to buy stuff before I’d had a chance to take it out of the box or think of a price. One woman arrived about 2 minutes after I woke up and immediately bought my couch and 2 table-lamp deals. I realized that I really didn’t even need my street signs in order for people to find me. The only real embarrassment occurred during that painful window of time when I had large numbers of customers but only about 5 items for sale…..

My landlords joined my sale, adding a few of their items. Apparently, as they recounted to me later, there had been a HUGE crowd of people outside my house at 7am. They even knocked on my door and everything but…. we were SLEEPING!

The sale turned out to be so much fun, I sold most of my big items, gave the rest of the little stuff away, and felt happy but tired at the end of the day. One of my favorite parts was trading with my friend who brought a few things to my sale: she got a giant plant and I got a lamp that I love. My neighbors really pitched in and helped after it was all over with hauling away leftover things and cleaning up, and it really gave me a good feeling, like I had precipitated and participated in a community effort. 🙂

Get rid of all my crap…. CHECK! That’s one job down!

February 12, 2010 Posted by | Travel, United States, Walla Walla | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Not a City Girl

I drove my lovely man friend to the airport yesterday. Today I am barely alive. It wouldn’t have been so bad if we hadn’t had to get up at 6am. No, actually even that wouldn’t have been so bad if we hadn’t gone to bed at an unmentionable time the night before. But what do you expect when you go on a carriage ride and a train ride and open presents and look at pictures and make hot chocolate from truffles and talk about everything- all in one night?! Opening presents was great fun and very lucrative for several members of my family, including me with a brand new (and badly needed) laptop from my dear dad!!! So exciting! Other big-news items were a GPS for my dad (cleverly wrapped so he had no idea it was in there) and a sewing machine for my mom.

So as it turned out, I got about 3 hours of sleep and then drove 3 hours to the Dallas airport. He nodded off while I fought sleep and a growing panic as I saw the gas gauge drop at least twice the normal rate. Would have been nice to know that the gas gauge has some serious malfunctions. Would have been nice to be able to practice unlocking the gas cap under conditions not hampered by time or finger-freezing temperatures and winds. We can’t always have our way. Thankfully (and shockingly), we found the airport without complications. There was a sad goodbye. Nine days is just too long to go without seeing someone you enjoy that much, not to mention the fact that he had been my source of sanity at home.

I was exhausted, but nevertheless I set off in search of friends in the area, friends I hadn’t seen in years. I confidently pulled out my Google Map of the route from the airport to the first friend’s house. …It was for the wrong airport. Bummer! Now I would have to wheedle my way through Dallas trying to reach Ft. Worth so I could reconnect with my map and it’s beautiful directions. It took hours. Ok, so it was only 2 hours, but still it took TWO HOURS for me to get from Dallas to Ft. Worth to a region I THOUGHT was close to my friend’s house. When I finally wearily stopped at a Taco Bell to ask for directions and a burrito, I only got a laugh. Apparently I was so far away from the street I was inquiring about that it was funny. Giving up for the time being, I crawled into the back seat of the car and fell asleep. Two or three hours later…

I woke up to the sound of boisterous Taco Bell patrons. Do burritos really give people that much energy?! Calling my friend to confirm her presence at home, I started off again on my search. Wow, I had been far away! After another hour (and many stops and turn-arounds and puzzled faces and frustrated words), I finally found my destination. Chatter, gossip, catching up- it was wonderful! I had been a full four years since I had seen the girl who’d been one of my closest friends through high school and the first part of college and it was magnificent to see her again! Guess what she had done since I’d seen her last: a) gotten married, b) moved three times, c) had a baby, or d) all of the above?! ALL OF THE ABOVE! Thankfully, her moves had finally brought her back to Texas where I could see her again. I felt so honored to meet her beautiful baby and friendly husband. And so much better now that I had reconnected to a friend that I never want to lose.

Long Lost Friend

I next had dinner with a friend I had gone to school with, oh, maybe six years ago, but had never really gotten to know. We had some wonderful vegan food before running around the frigid innards of Ft. Worth, bumping into female Santa Claus and reading random children’s books. It was a relief to have someone else drive me around. Getting lost is only fun for awhile. I tried to fool him, but I think he could tell that my energy was running low at that point (ok, I really didn’t try to pretend at all- oops!). After he dropped me off I went back and had another chat with the first friend (an hour before just wasn’t enough in which to fit two people’s last four years!).

At the last minute, I decided to drive down to Keene, another hour out of my way, to spend just a few minutes with a couple of friends whom I hadn’t seen since last Christmas. It was pretty late by the time I left Ft. Worth, but I knew that if I didn’t go I wouldn’t see them again until next Christmas and would probably regret missing my chance. I mean, sometimes people die. It’s morose but true and I don’t want to be haunted by the things I didn’t do when they were alive. Not that I thought they were going to die. Not that I thought about that at all, if we’re being honest. Truthfully, I think I just wanted to make the most out of my trip. I figured I might as well push to my limit. So I took off.

Miraculously, I got to Keene without getting lost (not counting the trouble I had getting out of Ft. Worth…)
Unfortunately, the directions I’d been given were missing at least three steps, so finding them once I was IN Keene was not so simple. Envy of my dad with his new GPS was growing. I spent only an hour with them, but it was a wonderful hour! Those people make me laugh so much. And they’re always on my side- how perfect! I was completely stressed over my family’s annoyance that I hadn’t come home early, but their hilarity relieved the tension for me. He is actually my sister’s ex-boyfriend and someone that I basically grew up with- have known him since I was fifteen. He’s been married now for three years and his wife is marvelous. I enjoy her more every time I see her. Their silliness (and a high-jumping dog) was the perfect ending to my hectic but wonderful day.

Oh, but it wasn’t over yet! I still had a three and a half hour drive home, which I started at 11PM. For a few hours, I was doing just fine- thinking about life, listening to Christmas music, talking out loud to myself. About an hour and a half before I got home, I started to get sleepy. I then embarked on a repertoire of stay-awake techniques that would surely impress the most creative trucker: talking on the phone, turning up the music, blasting the heat, blasting the air, pinching myself, slapping myself, country music, Spanish music, road rage, eating, drinking (juice, that is), screaming, singing, changing lanes, trying accents, car dancing…..

I finally made it home. It was so exciting for me to note that although I had driven from Jefferson to Dallas, to Ft. Worth, to Keene, to Jefferson, and gotten lost numerous times, making a total of 10 driving hours for the day, I had only spent about $35 on gas! I felt kind of like an adventurer who had conquered great things and made it home with virtually no losses. Not unlike the time I was lost hiking in the wilderness for hours in the total darkness without a flashlight…. heh… but that’s another story.

December 22, 2008 Posted by | Travel, United States | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment


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