Garage sales and auctions require friends

Published 8:59 am Monday, June 25, 2012

Column: Something About Nothing

I love auctions. I love garage sales. I don’t usually buy anything amazingly good at garage sales and auctions. I seem to gravitate to what other people would call junk (my husband, my sons).

Recently, I haven’t brought home as much junk from my junk-scavenging adventures. I miss my friend Dianna.

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Dianna moved away two years ago and my garage sale and auction adventures don’t seem to have as much heart as they used to. Dianna tells me the same thing is happening to her. We could attribute it to us getting older and not wanting to add more details to our lives. Unfortunately, I feel that is not the case.

Dianna and I used to attend auctions. We would take her big van. We would tell each other we weren’t going to bid on anything. We would get a number just in case. Dianna had a problem. She would feel sorry for things that weren’t getting any bids and so she would always bid on the unwanted for a dollar or two. Then I felt bad for the unwanted and I would do the same thing. Who knows what is hidden in those treasure boxes?

Occasionally when the auctions were close to home we would fill up her van. She would drive to one of our houses and unload it while I held down the auction fort and she would return so we could fill it up again.

Everything seemed to have potential. Old furniture could be recovered or stained. Paint by number pictures could be sold on eBay. The most priceless thing about the auctions was the friendship we shared.

We also did the rummage sale circuit usually weekly. I do the circuit now but usually by myself or with my other half who does not enjoy rummage sales or shopping.

There is a difference in who you take with you to a garage sale. Dianna and I always made a pact. We wouldn’t buy anything we didn’t need and we would remind each other of that fact.

I would say, “Do I need this or do I want this?”

Dianna would say, “Your grandchildren could use that or you could use it for a planter instead of a sink. You always need another planter.”

I would do the same thing to Dianna. We found each other a lot of things we needed.

Then there was always the line, “Julie, you need to get this. It looks like you.”

And, of course, I saw many things that looked like Dianna. I think our husbands plotted to separate us. When Dianna was trying to move and sell her house she was praying about it. What I didn’t tell her was that I was praying about it too but not quite in the way she wanted me to pray about it!

It is not as much fun to go to an auction or a rummage sale alone. I find myself not quite as excited about unusual finds and most of the time I leave the sale empty handed.

On the occasions when the other half goes with me, his banter is different than Dianna’s. Instead of telling me I need something, I hear a lot of, “You don’t need that.” Instead of something looking like me, he says, “Why would you want to buy that piece of junk?” Instead of lingering and looking longingly at a strange object and daydreaming with a friend about what I could possibly turn it into, I get nudged along quickly.

I imagine Dianna gets the same thing from her other half. You will notice throughout this column I did not refer to them as the “better half.” By my viewpoint, “other” makes us equal.

A long friendship can never be replaced. It endures no matter the distance. New friendships take root and become just as important and sacred, but each friendship is special in a different way. We have our path and connection with each special person in our lives that can never be replaced by someone new.  Each friendship has a different path. Our friends are God’s blessings to us.

I suspect Dianna and I have a little more money and a lot more room in our houses and garages since distance has separated us. We will always have our garage sale memories and laughter and joy that those adventures brought into our lives. That connection can never be broken by time or distance but it still keeps us missing each other every time we see that garage sale sign beckoning us to stop.

“Truly great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave and impossible to forget.” — Unknown


Wells resident Julie Seedorf’s column appears every Monday. Send email to her at