Wednesday, July 15, 2015

My friend Pam's estate sale. It's about freedom

Editor's note:
Pam is among my best friends. When she lost her husband a few years ago, she wasn't sure where life would take her next. She's been working toward a new life for awhile. As part of that new life, she held an "estate" sale this past week where she sold practically everything she, kitchenware, outdoor equipment. You name it, she sold it. It's all part of downsizing to a much much smaller place. It's all about freedom. I'm am proud of her. Below is Pam's note to her friends about the sale and about her future. - Julia

Ladies of my life.  
It is morning, and I’m starting to feel human again…. After weeks of preparation, or maybe it was months…oh get real Pam, it was years.  It is done.   Half way through, I realized why people hire estate sale companies to do this. But you know me, frugal to the end,…I said, “I bought it, I stored it, I cleaned it, now I’m going to sell it.” But it took a crew of dedicated friends and family to help me pull it off. Jeni and I worked alternate Saturdays and some Sundays for over 3 months.  She was my Angel and Sale nazi,  knowing how to keep me focused.  I most often got a severe case of “Squirrel” and my attention span was in a hurricane of overwhelm and HOW we could ever get it ALL done.

 Without her I’d probably still be hacking away at it.  I am so blessed to have this girl/woman child that knows me so well and puts up with me and we still we laugh. The son, he just said burn it all or send to dump.  And they both came out of the same shoot…..
Throughout the last 2 weeks, I ran shifts, scheduling like a factory boss, then panicking, that I would not be able to find enough willing souls to help.  LynAnn put in some long hours with me, and the nice thing that comes of that is being able to visit while sorting.  I’ve heard from several friends, that my experience was a huge wakeup call as to what they also needed to do.  So my time will be coming when I can pay them back and help with their efforts. 

Last night when I was really and truly at the end of my thin rope, hunting for any kind of a box and  also realizing I left the tape roll I purchased earlier in the day which was now at the “SHOE” (our name for the 5th Wheel)  the tape that would allow me to reassemble several flattened boxes….needing to put that which remained, ready  for the truck from the Humane Society Thrift store which comes tomorrow and actually finishing the task, here comes Kay, with a home cooked dinner of roasted teriyaki pork loin, salad, sautéed green beans, garlic bread and OMG, Champagne!!!  It would have been  childish of me to throw myself on the floor and just start crying in gratitude, but I sure felt like it.   Lucky for us, I didn’t sell the kitchen table and chairs, so we dined outside on the porch amongst a cool breeze and a visit from friends Julie and Ken, to toast the end of this chapter.

6 more bags of Garbage collected, I would have had more garbage, but Joann sold my garbage bags right out from under me! Our cars full, we headed home in the dark, with plans for this afternoon to FINISH the project. 
I am happy with the sale profits, and the experience had many aspects that were enjoyable. I met neighbors I never knew, people who knew Dale and shared some good stories.  So many people asked me throughout the 3 days, “ Are you sad to give all this up?”  “Is it hard to give all this away?”…  and each and every time from my heart, I responded, “No, not all,  I am relieved to rehome all this, and move into a streamlined life of possessions”.

As we emptied the cupboards, closets, and staged the house with tables and racks (I’ll have to count how many we used) It began to look like my home had regurgitated itself….oh boy if that wasn’t a wake-up call.   As we sorted,  I was flooded with memories. The good, the sad, and the bad.  I said silent goodbye’s often to things that I no longer needed or wanted or had used and loved but no longer needed.  Gifting things made for a good feeling.  Making big tote bins for the Grandkids was also a help, as I had a place to share special memories and then they can keep or purge, but at least they knew the story of that particular item.  I will keep Samye’s in the shop, and she will find many treasures of her days with both Grampa and Gramma, she may be 60 before she grows up, but I will have done my part to let her know she was/is loved by both of us.

After all was prepped, I took a few minutes to walk through the house, barn, outbuildings, and thank it and all the possessions for their service to my heart and my life. I had found a prayer to Thank the house, and I read it with a happy heart,

Then Thursday Morning, and I was up at 5:00 am to place the signs and begin……
By 8:15 am on Thursday we had 40-50 vehicles parked on both sides of the street, all over the front yard, up the driveways as far as we’d allow, even at the empty house next door.   Jenica, was brilliant in devising a pattern, where no cars were parked in back but ours.  People were directed to walk down the driveway on the east side, and begin the process shopping the barn, outdoor items, items under the carports (of which I sold two) then leading to the backyard, and then into the house.  Final stop was the garage with more goodies and the checkout register (Again, Thank you Brian for your table’s, clothing racks and register)

 Auntie Jo, was a trooper and handled the checkout for all 3 days, as Jeni and I ran back and forth as the answer Guru’s.  We kept the Master bedroom locked and so we had a place for potty, food, and if you couldn’t figure out where to put something it got thrown in there. That first morning was a MOB, and we could have used more help than the 6 people we had, but it settled down and overall it all turned out just fine and we had a steady stream until close on Saturday at 5pm.
Another trip back out today to finish up the last of the boxing for the thrift shop.   Trying to contact the VA Hospital as I’m looking for an appropriate place to donate my big massage chair. No takers at the price I wanted, so a write off and comfort for someone hurting would be the better route.

I’ll never forget how dirty the house actually was as we cleared it out.  No wonder my allergies were awful, and it wasn’t just dog hair! 

We are going to re-home the cats to here at Birkenstock, next week when Brian comes home. They will have lots of room to explore and we are hoping that will go well.

Zoe has been a trooper, missing her daily walks, (as I) and her exercise has been in the form, of getting up and finding a new sleeping place after we tripped over her a million times a day.  During the sale, she generally laid on the back porch, waiting for someone to pet her, or step over her, but everyone loved the Zoe.

So that’s it’s. Now I have bins in the Shoe waiting to find a new home or possibly discarded, or sent to the special closet on the top floor of the Birk store. We’ll see.

Brian is in Chicago at a conference and while we wasn’t here to help with the majority of the sale, he did tons of prep work, and used his employees to transfer tables and racks, and move that which I was moving into the storage trailer, and that saved my back and his a lot of stress.   I was actually glad he was not here at the sale.  It felt like something that I/we as a family needed to do and process.  Now I’m ready for the next chapter.  After the house clean up, then next I’m working on selling Wild n’ Wooly (Pam's marketing company). .  

So that is it, just wanted you to know we made it through, and  now I’d better get on to the work that I’ve ignored most of last week.

With love and gratitude for you all, 


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