The notice in the paper said “Multi-family garage sale.” We tried that a few years ago.
Great Aunt Molly called all the family to tell us she was having a garage sale and that we should get things ready to join in. It would be a great day for visiting while we sold all our white elephants. She’d have cinnamon rolls ready at five ... that was a.m., not p.m. ... and anything we ate before daylight didn’t have calories or fat grams. I moaned a bit but she told me quite sternly I was being like my lazy father and that she wouldn’t tolerate such an attitude.
“You’ve got a whole week to get your spring cleaning done, price the junk and you’ll be here with the rest of the family to sell it on Friday morning at The sunrise won’t blind you. I’m living proof. Uncle Moe has been making me get up at five for nigh onto a hundred years it hasn’t killed me yet, and I can still see right well.”
“Yes ma’am,” I said, not about to upset Aunt Molly. But she hadn’t convinced me about that sunrise business. Not by a long shot. I got my will in order and made sure my sunglasses were in the console of the pick-up truck.
I started with the kitchen cabinets. I didn’t find a single white elephant but there was a spider or two and lots of junk. Midway through the job I called Aunt Molly to ask her if I could just bring all my stuff over the night before and give whatever profit I made to her teenage granddaughter.
“You’ll be here at sharp, young lady. You aren’t giving a dime to Georganna. She’d just spend it on candy and that would make more pimples on her face. Get busy,” she ordered.
I finished the cabinets, boxed the merchandise and opened the closet doors. Those cinnamon rolls were getting more expensive by the minute.
By Friday I had the pick-up truck loaded and ready to go. I set the alarm for and I’m sure the mechanism inside about went into acute shock. It had never had to ring its little buzzer at that time.
When it did buzz, I thought I was dreaming about fire sirens and covered my head up with the pillow. Husband shook me a couple of times, reminded me of my obligations and then kicked me out of bed. I made a cup of instant coffee to drink on the way across town. I donned my sunglasses on the way ... just in case.
Of course I was the last one there. Everyone else was already eating cinnamon rolls with one hand and using the other to fill tables set up all over her front yard.
“What’re you doing in sunglasses before daylight?” One of the cousins asked.
“I’m not taking any chances on the sunlight killin’ me graveyard dead at this time of the morning. Why are you selling that ugly lamp? Aunt Clairee will have a hissy if she sees it in a garage sale. She gave it to you for a wedding present and Aunt Molly said she’d be one of the first ones to get here. Did you forget?” I was aghast.
“Good grief,” the cousin grabbed the lamp and shoved it back in the box from whence it came. “Whew, that would have been a disaster.”
The news got around the circle of tables that we’d better be careful what we were selling or else face the wrath of Aunt Molly. And wasn’t a one of us up to that feat. We’d proven it when we were setting up a garage sale in the middle of the night.
She’d advertised that there would be no sales before and signed her name to the ad. Evidently no one else in town wanted to face her wrath either because there wasn’t a single car waiting on the curb for the sale to begin when we finished getting things set up.
We had two hours before the sale began. We used our trusty flash lights to check out each table. Great Aunt Molly was selling those cute little doilies Granny Jemimah made when she was waiting for Grandpa to come home from the war. I bought them. Cousin Hortense bought my fruit jars. Aunt Mathilda bought her flower vases. At the first customers arrived on the scene to find us taking the tables down. We’d managed to sell everything we had ... and buy everything every one else had.
The multi-family garage sale had turned into a multi-family swap meet and we went home with more stuff to find a place for. When Aunt Molly called the next time and said we were doing another garage sale, Cousin Hortense planned a root canal. Aunt Mathilda had a hip replaced. Several other family members were off on vacation, and I was in the middle of s a double deadline on my books.
We don’t do multi-family garage sales anymore. Besides I lost my sunglasses!