The world’s longest yard sale was this past weekend.
If you’ve never experienced it, you totally should.
It’s a people-watchers paradise and a frugal fella’s jackpot.
I love it for both reasons.
This year, the sisters and I opted to sell verses shop. I also considered it a prime time to teach the boys a couple of life lessons:
#1 need verses want
#2 if you do not have the money to buy the said treasure, you cannot have it.
We set up early Thursday morning. The sea of temptation engulfed us from all sides. There were yard sales on both sides of us and across the street as far as the eye could see.
The boys started the weekend with five dollars in their pockets.
One child in search of cowboy boots, the other wasn’t exactly sure what he “needed” but was sure, “When I see it Momma, I will know.”
Within the first few hours the one that said, “I will know” had spent three of his five dollars on food and drink and the other had spent two, lest they die of starvation or dehydration. I reminded them, “When your money’s gone boys, it’s gone.”
By late afternoon, one had one dollar and the other had none with a handful of cracker-jack type toys to show for it and two days of yard selling to go.
The next morning I reminded them to pack a snack because of their limited and/or lack of funds. Together, they made a half-gallon of grape Kool-Aid and packed a lunch box full of non-nutritious snacks. Lunch packing will have to be another lesson for another day.
The short version of that VERY long, HOT day two of yard selling was this: One had no money and saw so-very-many things that he “needed” and the other went through the whole day with one dollar still in his pocket. The child with no money and I had the ALL-day-long-conversation, “Son, I’m sorry. I love you and am teaching you things you will thank me for later.” (yada-yada-yada)
“Well Momma, it sure doesn’t feel like you love me.”
#1 this conversation with this child went on ALL-THE-HOT-HUMID-DAY-LONG.
At least every quarter-hour, a repeat of the reason and the whys.
#2 the cowboy had been at the store and had no idea what the day had looked like or sounded like in my head.
Late that afternoon I told the boys that I was going to ride up the road TO LOOK at a yard sale where I have bought clothes before.
As it turned out, that yard sale, that day was a toy tractor-digger man’s PARADISE!
It was a yard full of old die-cast excavators and tractors in mint condition! and
“FOR THE LOVE MOMMA! THEY ARE STILL IN THE BOXES !”
Guess who LOVES tractors and diggers??
Yep. You guessed it. The child with no money.
With a smile and as much grace as I could muster I reminded him, “Your money is gone son. Maybe next year.”
To say that he had the heart-dropsies OR to say that I felt like the meanest momma in town because they really were the best toys we’d seen would be like the understatement of the century! . But as we walked, empty-handed back to the car, I reminded us all of the two lessons: #need verses want and #2 if you don’t have the money you cannot buy it.
Life lessons stink sometimes.
After that last LOOK trip the boys were over the yard sale and over me and my stinkin’ life lessons. They were ready for home. The cowboy showed up just in time. I passed the boys off to the cowboy headed for home, or so I thought….
PS… PART TWO COMING SOON…
Jodie Dye says
Too cute! Love those lessons learned.
Kathleen Esperdy says
You’re a good mama… I would have gone undercover, bought the toy tractor & digger and then given it to the cowboy so HE could have given it to the cubs… Course I would then have to go into witness protection for breaking the rules, lol. Can’t wait to read part 2.