Saturday, January 26, 2013


Trash and Treasures is the elegant name given to our once a year substitute for a yard sale, bring and buy or flea market. It is held on the last Saturday of January every year and it is usually a smashing success -- depending upon how you did.

First you scramble to get a table inside. If you don't get to the event planner quick enough you are stuck with a table outside. I say stuck but lots of residents prefer an outside stand. Perhaps it gives the whole thing a more rugged ambiance  Still, I always try for a inside position. I made that decision when I first took part in the Trash and Treasure event because before this particular one in January 2013, I promoted my books and, since it's usually damp (our clubhouse faces a lovely lake and January can be damp in the early morning hours, and books tend to curl up when damp), I fought valiantly for an inside space, and succeeded.

But, this time was different. I didn't even bring a book to this years Trash and Treasure because I was determined to get rid of lots of treasures. I don't know of anyone who participates ever considering their wares as trash. So for the past few months I've been poking into closets and casting a wary eye over treasures all around the house. When they had been collected and put in the shed, they amounted to an enormous pile of treasures. But, I soldiered on, promising myself that I wouldn't really miss any of them. The next step was to box and package these items. That took a lot more time than I thought I'd have to spend and when they were all contained in boxes of various sizes, packed so as not to spoil anything, I stood back and wondered what in the world I was thinking.

But it was too late, the spot has been reserved and paid for, the treasures had been cleaned, polished and lovingly packed in papers where necessary. A dozen wine glasses have a tendency to break when bounced around in boxes unless cushioned with newspaper and paper towels. My special crystal pieces deserved folded paper towels. Anyhow, yesterday two of my friends very kindly volunteered to help me lug the ever-growing pile of stuff (you will note it is now stuff, not treasures) up to the clubhouse. We are allowed to set up on Friday and then market on Saturday. I can't imagine what I was thinking, but the amount of stuff exceeded the table provided so some of it went under the table to replenish the spaces left empty by the sales that were going to be great and wondrous.

This morning I hurried up to the clubhouse and uncovered all my stuff. It looked wonderful, even better in the light of day. The crowds swarmed the building and outdoor spaces. Women with shopping bags on their arms picking up and examining items they had no intention of purchasing, men searching for men-stuff like tools, golf clubs, sweatshirts with their favorite team emblems or just meekly following their wives with wallet at the ready.

We opened at eight o'clock and the stampede petered out at eleven-thirty. The Trash and Treasure was officially over at noon. I had sold a lot of stuff but had an unexpected amount left over. There are two things you can do with leftover treasures, take them  home or donate them to the charity that picks up the unclaimed treasures/stuff. I decided what I wanted or even was able to take home. Believe me this whole thing took a lot more manpower than I thought. I was bushed and as I cast my eyes over what was left, a lot of the stuff didn't seem so necessary. So, I picked out the best of the unclaimed treasures and hauled the other stuff over to the section of the driveway relegated to collecting for the charity. I was amazed at what I really didn't mind giving up.

At what seemed like long last I shoved the left-overs into the trunk and went home. It's amazing how the body reacts to unusual trauma, and standing for four hours, smiling at passers-by, hawking the best of the best on your table takes a lot out of you -- or at least out of me. I collapsed into my recliner and sighed. My husband asked if it was a success and I told him it was. But I had to confess to parting with things that a few minutes ago I could do without and now seemed extraordinarily precious. Oh, well. It was for a good cause.

My legs ache, my feet hurt and I feel as if I had been beaten about the body but I'm sure in a day or two I'll be right as rain again. But for now, it's lean back in the recliner and eat leftovers for dinner.

January 2014 is a long way off.

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