It\’s been said the pain of child birth fades over time. And so it goes with having a yard sale. I forgot the pain. Did my friends remind me? Try to stop me? Negative. They probably took great joy in watching me sweat preparing for this sale, and witnessing my grief over parting with my jun-ah, treasures. Some of these friends went so far as to call me a pack rat. Me, a pack rat? I think not! And as soon as I find the phone, I\’m going to call and tell them, too.

For a solid week I pulled from corner cabinets, closets, the attic, and even took things off shelves leaving nothing but dust rings. It looked like I\’d been robbed. I worked my rear end off! (I heard that…) My sister came to help but vowed never to return unless I learned the difference between “trash” and “treasure.” Oh sure, like she\’d know? The stuffed, practically genuine, artificial moose head she took as a “thank you” will look lovely in her living room. And so, a solid week of working flew by and finally, the big day arrived.

Anyone who\’s had a yard sale knows you rise at dawn and quickly place your “treasures” outside for the dealers who\’ve been sitting in your driveway for two hours. At first, I thought it was the IRS. You see there was that tiny matter over—ah, ahem… never mind.

I stuck my head out the back door and was greeted with, “You having a yard sale?” Since this was before coffee I replied, “Nuh uh, for fun I pull everything out of my house, then put it back.” These dealers swarm down on you like shoppers at an “after Christmas” sale. It was scary watching them race and grab things trying to get ahead of one another. Now I know how General Custard felt. Twice I had to tell them to put down my dog.

And people can be strange. On a .25 cent item a woman said, “You think you could come down off this price a bit?” I thought why don\’t I just give YOU .25 cents to take it? But instead I said, “Well, let\’s see, the money raised here helps buy me a kidney, but what the heck, how about .15 cents?” to which she replied, “I don\’t know, let me think about it.” At this point I\’m wishing I hadn\’t sold the slingshot. But I reminded myself that the extra money she saved is probably going for that new set of teeth she obviously needs.

Somehow I got through the day, but then realized the REAL nightmare was just beginning. Time to take all the stuff back inside the house. At this point it clearly becomes junk, and I confess my “pack rat” sins to the world. Did I finally learn my lesson? Darn tootin,\’ as one of my customers said when asked if he\’d trade my dog for a bowling ball. I now have signs posted on the refrigerator, the side of my computer, my car\’s visor, and on my forehead, which say,

“Chunk the Junk”

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