Monday, May 4, 2009

Saturday Morning Fun

I woke up Saturday morning with a bug to go yard sale shopping. I've never been much of a yard saler, but I was desperately in need of some more pots to put my plants in (it's amazing how big little tiny seeds can grow, I wasn't properly prepared). I also wanted some paintings if I could find them cheap because I live in a white apartment and am so bored of white walls.

So, with coffee in hand, my dear husband humored me by getting up early and setting out to peruse the near-by neighborhoods. It was May 2nd, a beautiful sunny Saturday that defines everything I love about spring. I was certain we'd find a yard sale on every block.

Except, we didn't. I'm not sure if it was the neighborhoods we chose or what, but I didn't find a single yard sale anywhere in town! We drove through several different neighborhoods without any luck. Then, right before we gave up and went home, a little sign caught my eye: "Public Auction Today." Shaune turned to me in excitement and said, "Let's Go!"

We got there a little bit before they started, so we got to wander around and see everything that would be up for sale. An older lady had passed away, and her family was clearing out her house. Some of the family members were around helping set up. I saw so much that I would love to own! So I registered for my number, sent my husband on to his meeting, and waited for the excitement.

The sale was one of the most exciting things I've ever been a part of. I've never been to one before. It was so hard to not stick my number up for every item -- but I guess that's exactly what the auctioner wants. I got some great bargains on the things I needed and then some: $22 got me about 20 flower pots, three paintings, two boxes of cooking and sewing books, a couple of decorative plates, and two little figurines for my mother-in-law's Mother's Day present. I've still only sorted through half of the books but the ones I've already seen are excellent! A Vogue book on fit and alterations, cookbooks from the 50's on how to be hospitiable on a budget (!), even one on inexpensive flower aranging to decorate the house. All my plants have new homes and I have pots left just in case I want more. All for $22...

About half-way through the auction, tho, I was hit by extreme sadness. Someone had spent years gathering all these mementos, books, craft projects, furniture, everything that was laid out for sale. And yet, when she died, it was left behind to be picked up for pennies by strangers. She had a lot of half-started craft projects that no one wanted -- the auctioner threw something like 5 boxes together as a single lot that sold for $3. I felt like crying. This auction made clear for me something I've read before but never internalized:

Matthew 6:19"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal."

Luke 12:16-20 "The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. 17He thought to himself, 'What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.'
18"Then he said, 'This is what I'll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19And I'll say to myself, "You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry." '
20"But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?'"

This auction set these verses firmly in my heart. They have become real to me in ways I haven't experienced before. It's not that we shouldn't have things in this life, but we shouldn't put our heart in them. Because, after we die, they could be sold for pennies or even thrown away. Material things have no eternal value whatsoever. So, let me encourage you to:

Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. (Matthew 6:20)

1 comment:

Sarah Jane said...

It *is* sad to see collected items that were once dear to some person be so roughly handled and disrespected. :( But it is nice when we can find things that we love that someone else once loved too - like finding a "kindred spirit"! A friend recently gave me 3 boxes of fabric and inside were several half completed garments with the other pieces already cut out and neatly folded, ready to be finished. It is fun wondering about who started these things and where she was going to wear them and to wonder why they never got finished.

I have only been to a few auctions but I LOVE garage or yard saleing. We are having our town-wide garage sales this coming weekend and I can't wait to go out and see what I can find!