Travelchick

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!

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

To Misery or Missouri?

Sardines are lucky. I was jealous of sardines. Sardines were packed in liquid so that, unlike me, they could slip around a bit. Five people. In one car. For 14 hours. Our annual trip to Missouri is never what I would call a pleasant experience, lengthy car rides not being my favorite mode of travel, but this one took the cake. Add one more person to our party and BAM! I was sitting in the middle in the back, with one foot on either side of that inevitable hump between the seats (As an aside, does anyone actually know why that hump is there? Is there a valid purpose for it, or is it put there just to make the middle-seat rider especially uncomfortable and serve as a constant reminder that they are, in fact, sitting in a middle seat?) We not only had ourselves packed into the front and back seats but, because the trunk was crammed with suitcases and bags and packages and who-knows-what, we had computer bags and backpacks and pillows and food bags packed around our heads and feet. If we had a wreck, only the driver would have moved. The rest of us would have melded into the luggage and metal and whatever tree we hit to become a sort of instant spectacle: travelers in amber.

My dad’s feet were cold. The entire trip. Constant calls from him to “turn up the heat!” left the rest of us feeling as if we were stuffed into a pressure cooker. I’m giving that man some wool socks.

My grandma, aunt and uncle, great aunt and uncle, and at least four cousins live in Missouri, making it a traditional gathering place for Christmas celebrations. Before my grandpa died, he and Grandma lived in a huge old house that had been standing in its spot for more than a hundred years. It had seen World War II soldiers bunking under its eaves as well as it had seen babies bouncing down its curving staircase. For years I had strange and fantastical dreams about that house, with its mysterious attic rooms and shaky narrow walk areas by the second-story windows. I actually put my foot through the upstairs floor once, and it lent an aura of danger to the entire experience. After that it was understood that some areas just weren’t safe to walk on. I would dream that behind the shady doors were more and more flights of stairs that led up and up in never-ending levels to curving passageways and hidden treasures.

Post-Grandpa, Grandma sold their antique business and moved from the big old house into a tiny apartment. Now when we visit Missouri we stay with my dad’s brother and his family in the house they built out in the middle of nowhere by a small lake. It just isn’t the same. Still, it’s great to spend time with family, especially if the other cousins show up. And then there’s always Grandma’s pumpkin pie, to which no other pie can compare.

This year, however, I knew that the cousins who lived in non-Missouri places would not be there. Even worse, Grandma was in a nursing home and would not be making any pumpkin pie. It would have been helpful to have pumpkin pie to look forward to during 14 hours in a middle seat. To make up for the pie, and to appropriately dull my senses, I took a nausea pill supplied by my sister (who should really look into drug dealing as a career) and promptly zonked out for pretty much the entire trip. Much to my annoyance, we took frequent bathroom breaks and food stops. I just wanted to sleep undisturbed for 14 hours. The drug kept me asleep enough to avoid becoming as completely tired of the drive as my travel companions, who were battling the rain that slowed us down considerably. Toward the very end of the trip, I woke up and began to watch Pride and Prejudice. “Why have I never seen this incredible movie before?!” I thought. And then, finally, we were there.

December 23, 2008 Posted by | Travel, United States | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

   

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