Sunday, August 21, 2011

When Once Can Be Enough

Often Tom and I have driven to huge yard sales in the country where lots of smiling bargain searchers stepped through dark barns crammed with old junk and then picked through yards full of cardboard boxes and stuff on tables. We've come away with trinkets, or even better, lovely new memories and a rather enchanted old-fashioned feeling draped over our shoulders for the day's (or week's) remainder.

This weekend Tom and I held that type of yard sale, ourselves.

That's what came to me while I laid back on Naomi's retro orange chaise lounge in our own dark barn near the end of our sale, so worn-out but happy, with my thoughts of the hundreds of fun, nice people we'd met over two days. The way we were able to actually give them (I hope) a rather enchanted old-fashioned feeling. Probably thirty people even returned for more (items I flung away for free? ambiance? laughter? a listening ear?), some of them even three times(!)

It was a bittersweet feeling, though, for never again can Tom and I provide that country sale experience for others. Though yes, one should never say never, but oh! This weekend we were permanently cured of owning tons of junk (sooo exhausting)--and earlier this year--we were cured of ever wanting a farm again, gratitude for living-out long held farm fantasies, aside. Never, ever again on both counts.

So I'm thinking never does mean never in this case.

And you know? At first I felt sad about the never-again-ness of it all. I mean, you realize how we people tend to be, right? If we have a terrific experience we want to have fifteen more exactly like it.  Or pick up one pretty plate at a shop and suddenly we must collect an entire matching set. Yet immediately (almost) I asked myself, "Why not just treasure this gift of a weekend I'd been given? Why not just memorize it and be grateful that at least God gave me this one opportunity to live-out this huge-yard-sale-on-an-old-farm dream?"

So often one magical, memorable time can be enough for a whole lifetime, especially when we're contented with our everyday living. When we're balanced and traveling with eyes wide-open to new magical experiences and not expecting the same Life Highs with the very same people in the very same setting, doing the very same things as before.

And that is what I'll remind myself. Especially as we move away from the countryside, back to the suburbs and into a tiny house. There'll be amazing, memorable times there, also, and more Life Highs, only in different, unique ways still very unknown to me. Lovely surprises yet to come.

It's becoming harder and harder to wait!



Odie Langley said...

Bittersweet was the right word Debra as I am sure some of the items were thought of as treasures at one time. But times change and so do people and their values of things. Smaller will be better.

Rita said...

It is going to be fun to walk through this new phase of life with you. A smaller home with more time. Also, at this point you know what you want and what you will use and what you will not. It is a little easier to decide hence less junk. You will have your space, hubby will have his. This is a very nice time in life.

Deborah Raney said...

Such great thoughts, Debra. This might sound strange, but your post, and especially your conclusion, reminded me of the summer (and fall) that we hosted 2 batches of kittens at our house. The first outdoors on the deck, and the second in the basement (so Mama Kitty could be contained and there would not be a THIRD batch!)

When the next-to-last kitten (we kept one!) went to its new home I was SO sad. Because, like you say, of the neveragainness of it.

And yet, though that was 4 summers ago, I still have such wonderful memories of that summer. And I know I'll always carry them with me. (Not to mention that one of those cats now lives just up the street, and several others live with friends who keep me updated.)

So glad you got to have those experiences in your lifetime. They helped you know what you don't ever want to do again. Yet they are memories you can treasure. Win/win!

Anonymous said...

Yep, treasure the moments, tis so true. So many never come again, at least not in the same packages.

Looking forward to hearing about your new place once you are in it.

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

I'm thinking, "That's Debra, growing in wisdom, age, and grace!"

Elizabeth said...

Debra, I want to be just like you when I grow up lol!
You see the good in everything.Here I am so afraid of what the future holds for us. I do not like change. I know that we must downsize but I am not liking it at all.