I'm not sure that there is anything more exhausting than spending three days on your feet selling the contents of the house you grew up in to friends and strangers. It is also cathartic, sad, funny, and odd. But most of all, it's exhausting. I got home at 7:00 last night, and was in bed by 8:00.
While the chief proprietors of the estate sale were me and my two siblings, lovely friends came and helped out, like the (gay male) matron-of-honor from my wedding, and my (also has a blog) best friend from college. Neighbors floated in and out, bearing cream cheese be-smeared bagels and pumpkin oatmeal cookies. Old friends carted away trinkets and clocks. More than one person needed stuff to replace stuff lost in the hurricane. A lady bought two percolators and two coffee grinders, and told me she was going to mail them to family in South America - so my sister threw in some coffee filters. One woman was the first one in the door on Saturday morning, and berated us because the cast iron skillet she'd seen hanging on the wall (in a picture on the internet) was no longer there. Sorry, lady, we sold it! You should have come on Friday!
Friends from inside the computer showed up - and tweeted and blogged about their purchases. Nice to have seen you, Jean! Great to have met you, George! Thanks for hanging out, Heidi! Glad you got that shell, Jane!
A strange woman came up to me and told me that Kathy from California had sent her. I was momentarily flustered, until the gears clicked into place and I blurted out "Kathy With Cats"? Yup - someone I know on Facebook had forwarded a link to a friend of hers who lived not too far away. It was like Kathy by proxy.
Tom came a couple of times and bought a mess of stuff. I'm sure he made out like a bandit, but whatev. Somehow, I can't remember why, he ended up with my phone number. My cell rang at about 9 on Saturday night; it was Tom. "I unpacked all my stuff, and remember that little pepper mill? It's not there. Remember that guy who picked it up from my pile? I think he boosted it." Tom wasn't calling to ask for his money back or anything - he was calling to caution us about the people who don't want to pay for anything, "they boost stuff all the time". [There was a little racial profiling going on, but his impulse was well-meant.]
Amanda came a couple of times and told us her entire sordid life story, and bought a mess of stuff. She might have boosted something; we know she dug the sterling ice bucket out of the liquor cabinet, but we reclaimed it.
Tracy came back three times, the first two times buying for her boyfriend, the third time WITH her boyfriend. They were great and enthusiastic and charming. Also, I loved her raincoat. They probably took us for a ride too, but again, whatev.
My high school flute teacher bought my grandmother's punch bowl and its dozen matching cups. Someone I babysat for bought the dresser from the front hall. Darius, who I'd never met before, but whose sister went to college with the woman I babysat for, asked me if I thought he could sew a cell phone case from a piece of leather he scrounged up. I told him how, and gave him the leather.
When we weren't selling and schlepping and talking and learning the names of almost every single buyer, we were running up to Starbucks and the train station and nailing signs to trees. Starbucks was supposed to be open at 6 on Sunday morning but when we got there at ten to 7, they were locked up tight - with all the lights on. I banged on the door, needing that double shot skim latte, stat. Finally, a woman came to the door. Apologetically, she told us she couldn't let us in, because no one else had shown up to work. But she took our orders, locked the door again, made the coffee, and came back with the two cups. Free! Brownie points to Starbucks for doing the right thing.
And in a fit of debauchery after dark, we drove around town with a slit-open dead feather pillow, sprinkling feathers up and down the streets, hoping people would think some chickens had run amok. Some of them are still there.
Almost. We're almost done.