After a whole week of rain we finally had a comfortable, beautiful Summer day outside. My family and I were driving to a nearby town when my daughter spotted a yard sale. A few miles down the road we saw another and another and another. In all we counted 21 yard sales on our drive. I joked that they pop up like flowers when the rain ends. We saw tables full of nick nacks. We saw plates, glasses, and silverware. We saw old toys and a couple of guitars. We saw huge piles of clothes and even a piece of furniture or two for sale. Most of all we saw lots of smiling people talking, laughing, sitting, and standing in the sunshine.
Seeing all of this brought back memories of my childhood. Most of the clothes in my closet back then came from yard sales. My Mom was a talented yard sale shopper and when I was little she would drag me along with her. I used to hate going to them until one special day when I saw that they also sold old books at them. After that I always browsed the books until it was time to go and sometimes Mom would buy me one too. Soon a large part of my at home library came from yard sale books. To me they were more priceless than first editions.
Why do we have yard sales? It certainly isn’t for the money. For all the time and effort people put into them they would hardly make minimum wage from the sales. I think rather it is that yard sales bring us together. We get rid of our old things and we buy “new” old things. We talk and catch up with old friends and new neighbors. We get a chance to help and give and share without seeming to. We connect in kindness and love amongst all the old stuff.
I think yard sales teach us something about life too. We can’t really own anything here, after all. All we get is temporary possession of our stuff. Then it is time to let it go and pass it on. Then it is time to leave this world and return home to God carrying only the love within us.
Joseph J. Mazzella