We’ve never had a garage sale so I really didn’t know what to expect. After 9 hours of manning my perch by myself on Friday I have learned a couple interesting things.
Had to tell her we probably couldn’t get away with selling the Michelob Golden Draft Light but her marketing instincts are already on the mark.
Second thing is birds have their own social strata. You really don’t see it until unless you’re sitting in your driveway at 7 a.m. with nothing to do. But Grackles are the Whiskey Tango of the bird world. No matter how nice your birdfeeder is or how nice the neighborhood is around the bird feeder, eventually the Grackles show up.
The goldfinches are tending to their nests, keeping them neat, flying over to the feeder to converse with their neighbors the wrens and chickadees. Maybe they chirp awhile about the Robins who moved in up on the gutter and come back every year but aren’t real sociable. Probably a few snide remarks about the Cardinals who have to be way up at the top of the tree, singing away making sure everybody knows they are there.
The Red Winged Blackbirds with that crazy art on the wings, they have to know it’s permanent. But you can’t talk to them about it, they’ll just sit up on the telephone wire making sarcastic comments about how out of it all the other birds are. And what the hell is the deal with the Starlings? They’re everywhere, make a helluva lot of noise, but don’t seem to live anywhere in the neighborhood.
Then the Grackles show up. You don’t notice it at first. But then there’s a few more and pretty soon you’re sitting there going, “Dang, where’d all these Grackles come from.”
Last thing is that completely unbeknownst to me I’ve become friendly. Don’t know how it happened. But I actually had a ball sitting there in my chair, reading my Jeff Shaara Novel “The Steel Wave” centered around D-Day in 1944 and talking with all the folks who strolled up the driveway.
I wore my Steelers hat and and learned that yes indeed Steeler Nation is everywhere. They showed up bought an old Steelers winter hat and talked about how we need to get back to running the ball and pounding people.
I had a nice couple from southeast Iowa take my insulation off my hands. They are fixing up a home in Ft. Madison. It was built in the ‘20’s and has somehow avoided flood damage over the years but has a heck of a lot of rain damage and that there insulation is going to help one heck of a lot when it comes to their house.
The double stroller went to a nice lady originally from Colombia. She has a little boy about to turn two and she’s pregnant with number two. Don’t know what it is yet. I helped her load it into her SUV.
State trooper from Osceola walked off with a big ol’ box of towels and rags. He fixes old bicycles up and gives them to underprivileged kids.
A pregnant woman and her mom showed up and looked through all the baby clothes and didn’t find much. Turns out she’s having a boy. Yeah, she came to wrong garage sale. But a couple with four girls showed up right after that. That guy and I had a few laughs about our collective impending doom.
There was a nice lady who lives just west of here, originally from way out in southwest Iowa, who was looking for some things for her grandkids. They live in Minnesota and Arizona. Her one son, he’s 40, lives up near Minneapolis. Her other son, he’s 42, lives out near Phoenix. Too dry out there for her but she’ll be visiting in a couple weeks.
I had an interesting conversation with a friendly mom and daughter. Kinda reminded of the times my Grandma would get upset and start yelling in Polish. You didn’t know what the heck she was saying but you had a pretty good idea of what was happening. Same with these two ladies. The mom only spoke Spanish. But that didn’t stop us from talking. Not sure what we were talking about but it cracked up the daughter. We used a lot of hand signals. Who knew but the “thumbs up” signal evidently is the international symbol for “you’ve got a deal.” She bought 4 or 5 of Mom’s old shirts.
And of course, there is my new friend Saloo. A nice Indian lady who just recently lost her husband of over 40 years. She asked me to pick out a few kid-friendly VHS tapes for her granddaughters. Her daughter sells real estate. Saloo also has a tent at the farmer’s market. She was telling about some spicy rolls she makes. Made me promise to visit her there. I helped her load some rugs and children’s clothes into her car.
Yeah, I know, the whole day went like that. Weird. I think I’m onto something though. John McCain might want to think about having a garage sale or two to help boost his numbers with the working people.