National Siblings Day

00019764UJ has posted something on Facebook about National Siblings Day. I was not aware that there was such a thing, but then it sounds like one of those lame, made-up days concocted solely to sell greetings cards or promote Facebook postings.

Not that your brothers and sisters shouldn’t be recognized. After all, you’ve shared all kinds of meaningful moments with them, and they put up with you during the teenage years — when everyone is at their worst. They deserve credit and accolades.

But if you’re going to do recognize your siblings, why not do it in the way most families do — by posting an embarrassing photo from the early 1970s, with a ludicrous white brick fireplace backdrop and chintzy hanging lamps, when everyone looks like an idiot and the clothing selections are sure to humiliate even the most hardened personality — whether it’s a pink tie, yellow knee socks, some kind of quasi-Germanic outfit, or combdown sideburns? Only my youngest sister Jean looks like a reasonable human being in this atrocity.

The Family Garage Sale

When we cleaned out Mom’s condo, we were left with a bunch of stuff that she doesn’t need and no one really wants.  What to do with it?

IMG_0226Yesterday we put it before the general public in a subdivision-wide garage sale at my sister Margaret’s neighborhood in Hilliard.  Cups, clothing, plates, books, pots, Christmas decorations, golf clubs, CDs, children’s games . . . all of it got assigned a price and put on card tables.  And then we waited for the browsers.

My guess is that most people who sell things in garage sales overestimate how much the sales will bring.  They think their stuff is nice and should fetch a good price from grateful visitors.  The reality, unfortunately, is that nothing looks particularly valuable or enticing when it is crammed with other bric-a-brac on the top of a card table or displayed in a cardboard box on a driveway.  When you see stuff laid out in such a fashion, you immediately begin to recalibrate your pricing down to nickel and dime territory.  Our niece Amy led the mark-down brigade.

IMG_0227Garage sale patrons seem to fall into categories:  those who are looking for a particular item they are collecting, those who are hoping to find a bargain to supplement their wardrobe or home decorations, and hoarders.  The people in the first category come early in the morning and zip in and zip out, the second category visit throughout the day and take their time, and by the end of the day you’re just hoping for the hoarders to come and take away whatever they want.  We had an end-of-the-day hoarder and were happy to load up her car and bid her adieu.

At the end of the day, we made $223.95 for hours of work, met some nice people who were happy with their purchases, had some laughs, and sold about two-thirds of what we offered for sale.  The remainder got boxed up and delivered to AmVets.