Monday, August 9, 2010

Homemaker Monday: Yard Sale Adventures in a Border Town

Welcome to the 100th weekly edition of...

Thank you for joining us! If you're new to this carnival and would like to enter your post, please check HERE for the rules and regs.

YOURS: This week's "YOURS" goes to "Goodbye, House! Hello, Home!" When I read this post, I knew there was no choice to but share it with you. Hello Home shares her superbly organized method of selling trinkets, knick knacks, dishes, and clothing on Ebay. I totally want to copy her...


And this is just one photo of many she shows on how she organizes her Ebay business. And you have to go to her blog to check out her bulletin board. It is the cutest thing ever. Thank you so much, Hello Home, for your inspiration! I have just recently starting selling on Ebay, and I know that if I used your system, I could save lots of time and bring in some extra income. Thanks for the inspiration and please feel free to grab the "I Was Featured" button from my left sidebar! For Goodbye, House! Hello, Home's entire post, click HERE.

MINE: When a father dies, he leaves his legacy to his children. Once my father took me outside and waved his outstretched hand over his estate, and said, "Jennifer, when I die, all this will be yours." Here is some of what he was talking about...


It's been two years since his passing, and his "legacy" is still some pretty bad feng shui at my mother's house. Now, let me explain, for my mother's sake, that she fought this every step of the way. My father even built a large, high wooden fence around all of his treasures so that my mother would rarely have to see them. Her part of the yard looks pretty nice with pots of flowers, a cute pond with a well top and bucket, and wrought iron patio furniture. My father's collections are probably what caused the most contention in their marriage over the years, that and when my father did things like call my mother from the living room, while he was in the kitchen three feet away from the fridge, to tell her to get him the ketchup.

Recently, my mother has expressed that she feels overwhelmed at the thought of living amongst all of this junk and that it feels oppressive to her. She has few family members who live near enough to help her, so I decided that while I was visiting her, I was going to get something done.

I called the first salvage yard listed in the phone book, and asked if they would come over and look at the 23 cars we have, which don't run, including two buses. They sent a young man named Efren over and after wandering through the property, he stopped, sat down on an old rusted tool box, but his face in his hands, and said in a thick Spanish accent, "I've been doing thees for a long time and I have never seen anything like thees." I gave him some time alone to think about things, and spend more time with the cars, and after spending 2 hours in my mother's kitchen looking through my father's folder of at least 50 car titles, Efren offered my mother what we felt was a fair sum for the acquisition and removal of the vehicles, including the buses, remember, like this one...


...which has pretty much become part of the landscape. She accepted. We realize that had we listed each and every vehicle individually, we certainly could have gotten more, but after having my father's friends come over and tell her that there was really no valuable cars on the property, she thought that it would just be nice to get them out of here and get a little extra cash in her pocket in return.

The next task was to try to sell some of the items my father had accumulated in a "great room", this room...


He had been in the process of building it for about ten years. This great room connected the main home and the garage, and was built with a Native American totem pole as it's main support, then metal poles as the frame and ceiling rafters. He had planned to install these cabinets...


...which have been sitting there for at least three years, and had had many other grandiose ideas for this room. As you can see, he dreams were never realized, thus, five days of yard sales.

To say the least, the yard sales were entertaining. Because my mother lives in a border town, 80 percent of the population is of Hispanic origin, and many of the yard sale attendees did not speak English. Now my Spanish isn't fantastic, but I can get by, and this really helped.

The first few days we sold several hundred dollars worth of items, but by the last day, I started noticing that people would wander through the garage and "great room", look around in disgust, then leave. This is the point at which I put my well-thought-out plan for getting rid of this trash into action.

As the next family entered, I cheerfully said, "Buenos Dias!" They replied likewise, then I said, in Spanish, "Do you have a truck?" When the father answered yes, I told him that if they filled their truck up, there would be no charge for any item, that everything would be "gratis" (free). He looked around in confusion, then picked up an old range hood, and asked, "How much for this?"

I said, "Gratis, if you fill up your truck." They looked around doubtfully, then the father said something to the wife and boys, and they started loading up their truck. My plan had come to fruition!

This worked one other time. After I was no longer able to get people to fill up their trucks for free, I just told everyone who came that everything was "gratis" no matter how much they took. This helped in clearing out a little bit more.

At one point a couple of about sixty years of age came in with an older couple, perhaps close to eighty, and a younger man of about forty and begin loading up boxes of the free stuff. Previous customers, mostly women, had been pining over the 4-month-old baby I had been hoisting around on my hip most of the time, and had said how "precioso" and "hermoso" and "gordo" he was. This time, however, the 40-year-old man from this family came up very close to us and began playing with the baby and babbling to him and even kissing him over and over again. I had never see a man this age behave this way around any of my babies, so it was a little awkward, but as long as his parents and grandparents were hauling off my dad's trash, I was okay with it.

Once, while the 60-year-old man was about to hoist up a large box with his wife, he let one rip, you know, some wind, and it was loud. In a normal circumstance I would not have thought much about something like this, as it's a natural body function, especially if you are older and are about to hoist up a heavy object. However, when this man exclaimed, because of the passing of his wind, in a loud shout, "Ay que la!", I found it very difficult to contain my laughter. I don't know what "Ay que la" means in Spanish, but it is something many Mexican people say as an exclamation. I hope it's not a curse word. When I accidentally pass wind, I usually just say a quiet "excuse me", but I think that from now on I may just shout "Ay que la!"

I'll post more about our yard sale adventures later in the week probably, and I'll introduce our new "agent" when it comes to all things manly, like metal pieces, car parts, towing things, and the like.

Thanks for listening!

OURS: All right, can't wait to read your Homemaker Monday tips today! Thank you so much for linking up and visiting and I hope you have a wonderful Homemaker Monday!

Today on....
-life in mexico {and other places} a picture a day: {two girls on staten island ferry}
-365 Days of TV-Free Toddler Time: No-Cost Arcade Time!
-Fotografia Colonia: Savannah - 9 Days Old


alessandra said...

May be I would have kept the bus, looks so pretty!
And what was your reaction when your father told you about your legacy?
He was funny, for sure.

alessandra said...

P.s.: I noted that often my comment is the first, but it's not that I'm showing off, it's a time zone thing.
( you see, me so humble, haha )

April@The 21st Century Housewife said...

What a challenge! It's amazing how you managed to clear things out for your Mom. It sounds like mercifully it might have been a little bit of fun from time to time too :-) Thanks for hosting Homemaker Monday!

Kristen said...

What a huge undertaking! I am sure your mom is so glad you were there to help!

Mom2my10 @ 11th Heaven said...

Ale, I can't remember my reaction, but internally, I was disgusted and just started wondering how I was going to get rid of everything! Also, I know that you are up when we are all sleeping over here in the U.S. and that's why your comment is always first! It's always nice to wake up and see it!

April, yes, it has actually been quite fun and very rewarding to be able to start getting rid of things and bring in some cash for my mom.

Kristen, yes, huge, but very worth the effort!

Jenny said...

My parents are both like this. When it came time for mom to retire, then see them move from CA to Texas. My poor sister had a dumpster parked in front of their house. Which was refilled a few times over. I find it interesting that what one person treasures so much would be trash to us.

annies home said...

wow wish I was closer I would of filled a truck up gladly my father did the same sort of thing in collecting but we flea market for a living. Very cool I wish you best of luck

Karen said...

I am sure that your mom is so grateful to have a lot less stuff sitting around. It can be overwhelming.

AmberLou said...

Wow. Thank you. This makes me feel a lot better about the mess I'm going to inherit! :o)

Jenna said...

Your mom is a saint. Seriously. What a nightmare to have to deal with all of that! You are a blessing to her for sure!

Jerri at Simply Sweet Home said...

Congrats on 100 weeks of Homemaker Monday! And thanks for being such a great hostess!

Victoria Anne said...

AH fond memories of your mom and dads house! Wade being bounced/jumped into the pond, me and Beef making the travel trailer into our club house. Sneeking up to the horse tooth. And spying on your sister while she was sleeping! Those were the good ol days lol!

Leslie {Goodbye, house. Hello, home!} said...

I didn't know you had featured my lil ol' closet until I checked my google analytics :)
I am honored and very touched that I inspired you!
I am still writing the up? What and what not to sell--probably write it by Friday--but you know how that goes once school starts (ours started today)!
I just read your post about all 10 of your gorgeous children! What fantastic, beautiful blessings! You are blessed!
Again, I thank you!
~lil ol' me!

Leslie {Goodbye, house. Hello, home!} said...

Hey!! I wanna see the after pictures :)