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Garage sale — Sweet Al is in his glory

I opened the door to Al’s garage, shook my head, rolled my eyes, and said, “Take a gun and shoot me. How can one man collect so much stuff?”

I pulled down the door and prayed, “God, deliver me.”

I promised to help Al with a garage sale for the past two years. There’s no getting out of it. Last summer got away from us; meanwhile, stuff continued to stack up.

My Al was beside himself. He couldn’t get in his garage and he knew I would probably poo-poo it like I did the year before. He was wearing me out talking about it.

I told him, “It’s all in the timing.”

The first of the summer we had those terrible bugs. I refused to be bitten and knew it would not make for a good garage sale.

Then, the rains came every day.

Of course, there was my book signing and presentation.

I was running out of excuses. No one was going to take me out of my misery.

So, I bit the bullet and told Al, “Let’s just set a date and do it.”

Next, I needed to take a look at all Al’s stuff and organize it in my head as to what he had and how we should set it up. Oh, me; I got weak and almost passed out when I tromped through his treasures and saw what he had been storing up.

Our friends Gloria and Maynard from Arizona came to our rescue; they offered to help. We had a guest in one of our cabins who wanted to do something to return our kindness; she offered to help, too.

God’s answer came through our friends. It wasn’t quite the answer I had in mind. I just wanted it to all disappear.

Five of us braved Al’s garage the week of the big event. I had to pray to keep from shooting Al. He got stuck on little things, like getting his generator set up in case he needed to test a motor, sorting through his tools, fiddling with his stuff and painting a sign.

My friend asked, “Where did Al go?”

I told her he got lost on memory lane.

The day arrived. I jumped up early knowing we were going to have early shoppers. Eight o’clock wasn’t earlier enough. They started coming at 7:30, but we were ready.

Gloria manned the money bag and Maynard was her backup.

I needed to be friendly. I was still feeling prickly over all this stuff, but I put on a smile. Al was in his glory among all of his junk. He loved talking about his stuff. He sprung to his feet; he wanted to tell his stories to everyone.

I survived it.

We see most of our neighbors when we have a garage sale. Some of our friends came to support us. I met some really great people. There were several young builders who were looking for building supplies. These young people struggle to keep their businesses going in Pagosa. We gave away a lot of stuff for nothing and they were appreciative. In my mind, we were making more room in the garage.

Final brushstroke: The garage sale is over. Al is talking about the next one. Some things will never change. Maybe Al has missed his calling. I envision Sanford and Son.

On a side note: David called. He’s out of jail.

In jail he gave his food to the other inmates and made friends. His parole officer is supposedly a good-looking woman whom he is happy with. He worked off his community service by driving his truck for a thrift store, delivering their junk. Maybe he could come pick up Al’s leftovers from the garage sale.

He made some new friends in low places.

I asked him if he had learned his lesson about women.

He said, “No, and I don’t want to.”

And there you have it: it’s all in the family. David is not going to turn loose of his women and Al is not going to turn loose of his junk.

Artist’s quote

“Blessed is the person who sees the need, recognizes the responsibility, and actively becomes the answer.” — William Arthur Ward.

Readers’ comments

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