Saturday, July 24, 2010

Estate Sale: 10-cent items tell your life story

My first time. So many little things for sale (everything 50% off), each one with a story, regardless if anyone remembers it. A price tag marked nearly everything but the electrical outlets in the cute little house on the corner of Idaho Ave. Strangers like us picking through all the things they ever owned that their kids didn't want.

This couple were active Christians. Refrigerator magnets (5 cents) quoted Romans. Titles of books (30 cents) on the shelf contained words like prayer and faith. On her sturdy sewing machine ($25), a wedding gift, she sewed beautiful lace curtains (no price tag) that brightened every window, especially on dark winter evenings. Sitting in a wooden rocking chair ($35) by the little heater ($20), she would sing to her baby or just hold him while they listened to the radio ($4.50) waiting for her husband to come home. When he did, he would take off his winter coat, the really thick, heavy one he got while in the Navy ($20), give her a kiss and welcome the hot tea from the shiny kettle ($5) whistling on the stove.

When their boy was a few years older, he and his dad played with puzzles (10 cents) after dinner. He could pop the states in their spot so fast on the wooden United States puzzle. He liked to finger his parent's pin collection (2 cents each) and remember the summer road trips. On one to Colorado, the boy bought his mom the beautiful painted coaster (10 cents) from his allowance money. Though it was just a coaster, she put it next to the other pretty little figurines (50 cents) he'd given her and would give her over the years for Mother's Day or Christmas.

On Saturdays, the tools ($1) on his workbench stayed busy, except on the days they all went sledding in Como Park, just down the street. He had made the kids' sleds ($5) and sharpened the runners himself. When they got older, he helped wax their cross-country skis ($10). After a day on the icy hills, he helped tuck the kids into bed under homemade blankets ($2) then opened the door to three of his buddies (friends since the second grade) for a few games of poker ($1) or billiards on the pool table ($150) they'd saved up years to buy.

Sundays were special. She wore her nicest pink dress ($8) to church, dawned clip-on earrings (50 cents) and a dab of perfume from the little 2 oz. bottle (30 cents). Before church she practiced on a small organ ($15) at home then later she accompanied the congregation. Sunday afternoons she respectfully set aside the hymn book ($3), opened the sheet music ($1) of her favorite classical work and turned to her beloved piano (no price tag). He would sit in his favorite comfy chair ($25) listening to her play, flipping through his pictures of ducks (10 cents) and dozing off now and then. When the kids were asleep and all was still, he would quietly put on a favorite record (25 cents), gently guide her away from the dishes (50 cents) and dance a few songs in the kitchen. As they circled, she would glance at the wall hangings ($1) - adages about seeing miracles in the ordinary, and she would smile (no price tag).


Kiley said...

:). Thanks.

Emily said...

Ah, how sweet. :)