Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Just Ducky

Things are moving along both at record-breaking speed and excruciatingly slow. I have a giant laminated calendar in the stairwell for the months of May and June, and the boys take turns making big X marks at the end of each day, getting us that much closer to Michael's return. And while I'm happy to see 27 big X marks up there, I'm also reminded that time is marching on and there is still so much to do.

We had a garage sale on Saturday at my in law's house. This was the first garage sale I've ever done without Michael, and my amazing Mom offered to come down and help. I'm so grateful. Mainly because I'm terrible with bargaining. If you're hugely pregnant and I'm selling baby clothes and you ask me how much they are, I'm likely to just gather them up and hand them to you, adding in some crib sheets and maybe even a car seat. Horrible! There are always two ways you can go with a garage sale: make money or get rid of stuff. My goal this time around was to get rid of stuff. Which I did!

We advertised that we were going to start at 7 a.m., and at 6 a.m. we started pulling stuff out. There were several people there already (the professional garage sale people who resell what they get from you) trying to snag deals. I don't mind the early birds, but I didn't exactly make it easy on them either. So I always double my asking price for anyone who is there before we start, and no bargaining. Take it or leave it, the day is long and there will be other customers if you don't want to pay that price! The crazy thing was that whatever price I gave, they took, and when I looked at my watch at 7:30 a.m., I'd already sold about 85% of the non-clothing items I had for sale. At the end of the day (we always stop at 1:00 p.m. because by that time you're only getting one or two people every 20 minutes), I took two grocery sacks of clothes and two small boxes of stuff to the Salvation Army. I was absolutely astounded to have had so much success. It was cloudy, windy, and even sprinkled a little, but we had a very steady stream of people. The boys were hoping to sell bottled water, but only managed to sell four bottles because it was so cold! Now if they'd been selling hot chocolate... that would be a different story!

Unfortunately, I still have so much stuff to get rid of! Saturday's garage sale was just the easy pickings. Now I have to make more difficult decisions. Every item I touch I have to ask myself, "Do I want to pay to store this for two years, maybe longer?" At the same time, I have to make decisions on what is worth paying to have shipped over with us. Despite my new Kindle, books (especially kids books) are at the top of my list. English-language books are incredibly expensive and in short supply. I can't take all of them with me, so I have to make good choices on what to bring.

The only other news to report is that it looks like we may have found a home. In fact, right as I was typing that last blog post, Michael was walking into a place that he said felt "like the skies opened up and the angels started singing." I'm not going to post any details until all the ducks are in a row as far as the contract and deposit go, but as soon as the ink is dry on the lease agreement, I'll spill the beans! I will say this... remember our wish lists? They've all been granted! Crossing fingers and saying prayers that it all works out perfectly!

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