Monday, August 3, 2009

Life Lessons at the Estate Sale...

I can't believe I'm going to write this. It is totally sappy...but I can't seem to help it. The weirdest things seem to linger in my mind these days and this one just won't go away so maybe writing about it will help.

As I mentioned in my last post, I went to an estate sale on Saturday. Big deal, right? It wasn't special or even a fabulous sale...just an ordinary house-cleaning sale. Something just keeps nagging at me and I can tell you, it isn't because I have nothing better to do because I have way more important things to think about. So what's the deal with this sale already???

It was held by the grown children of a woman whose husband had passed away years earlier and she had recently moved into a nursing home. The house was full of some beautiful items and a lot of junk...probably a lot like my house ;-)

Most of the stuff was priced very cheap...less than $10. There was some furniture and other items that were priced more but this was not going to be bringing in thousands of dollars or anything like that. I can't even believe that earning money was the reason for this sale, as this tiny, old shabby house was for sale and will sell quickly. It is in an area of our town near the beach where these old houses are bought and either gutted or torn down and a mansion built in it's place. The selling price was $800,000 but these houses often go higher in a bidding war...and they sell very quickly, even today. You get the picture.

Anyway, estate sales kind of give you a peek into the person who's belongings are for sale and this one was no different. Clearly, this woman loved china...and teapots. She had many beautiful sets. She also collected vintage cookbooks and there were many other amazing old books...all scattered over the floor of a dirty garage to sell. The husband must have loved building things and had an amazing tool bench with many old tools. There was a lovely old dollhouse for sale that was made for the grown daughter but it was she didn't want it. SERIOUSLY??????? I almost bought it as I am on the lookout for 2 dollhouses that I can refinish in a shabby chic way for my girls. This one wasn't what I was looking for but I would have bought it...just because...until another lady came up and she seemed to love it so I was happy to let it go. But what was that girl thinking? She said she was never into dolls. Who cares...your dad made it for you. Geez!:-)

The thing that got to me the most though was the room with all of the quilts. I mean, these were beautiful handmade quilts in perfect condition. She was either a collector or a very talented quilter. I don't know much about quilts but thanks to my sister Kathy, who is an amazing quilter herself, I know a good one when I see it...and these were good ones! They were priced around $50 each and nobody seemed interested. They were probably like me...holding on to that $50 in their pocket and not wanting to spend it all on one quilt...a quilt that could have sold for much more. Didn't her children want them? Maybe they already chose their favorites, who knows. But to leave the rest stacked in a corner of a dusty bedroom for people to paw through at a sale and then discard seemed such a waste. I wish they had bundled up all those quilts and taken them to a Hospice or somewhere like that to bring a little warmth and cheer to a person desperately needing it. I bet that would have made the lady of the house very happy.

I learned something from this estate sale. I learned that we can collect all kinds of "stuff" in life...but "stuff" doesn't really matter, does it? This woman had to leave it all behind as we all will. I also think maybe we should only collect what we really love...and then use it or show it off...enjoy the stuff we love:-) I learned that what is valuable to me may not be valuable to my daughters and they can get rid of my "stuff" any way they choose. But for those few things I really love, I hope they find a special place in the world for them and if they really can't do that, I hope they'll share them.

I wish I could go back to that estate sale. If I could, I would walk in that back bedroom and buy the prettiest quilt I could find. And, Kathy, if you're reading this, I think you should display your beautiful quilts all over the house!

P.S. I think I know what I'll be collecting...


Maui & Freddy
...sorry, I just can't resist showing off my boys at every chance!


  1. That is so sad to think they didn't want any of their parents stuff! I would of definitely taken the quilts!

    What cute dogs!

  2. I think that's horribly sad and I probably would have been thinking the same thing. When my grandma passed away I just hated having that sale afterward. We had already gone through and sorted what everyone wanted, but it was still heartbreaking because even though they were just old Christmas decorations, they were HERS!

    I hope the quilts find a wonderful home!

  3. how sad - i hope my kids appreciate my things more. you're right about only keeping the things we love :)

  4. How sad that her kids didn't appreciate what they had right there in their hands. Over the years, my Grandma has slowly been giving away things that she loved to people in the family that would actually appreciate and love them - partly to avoid that very scene. I am happy to say that I have numerous wonderful possessions that once brought her a lot of joy - from dishes to furniture to jewelry. I will treasure each one forever. As for your pups - absolutely adorable. :)

  5. Ooo I'm a bit misty!

    Really good post, makes you think.

    On another note ... you could post as many pic's of the boys, just adore them. Look at those button eyes and Freddy's little mouth. They make me so happy.

  6. very tragic but real problem...

  7. You know, I am sitting here at work, on a break, and i just happened to scroll down to this post, and i have to tell you, it is a very good post. Its poignant and sensitive and thought provoking.
    At least, at the very least, I hope there were other women there, like you, who recognized that these were someone treasures, to be respected and cherished by whomever inherits it next, even if you gotta buy it.
    And in the end, they are all just things....
    and we all could use more puppies.
    Thank you for this post!
    XOXOXOX Rhonda Roo

  8. Wow, they are sooooooooo cute. hehe


So, what do ya think? Do tell...I'd love to hear it:) Be Happy...

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