A to Z Theme 2016

For my 2016 A to Z theme I used a meme that I ran across on the blog of Bridget Straub who first saw it on the blog of Paula Acton. This meme is a natural for me to use on my memoir blog. It's an A to Z concept and it's about me. No research and nothing complicated. I'm given twenty six questions or topics to discuss that are about me.

In April I kept my posts short and uncomplicated. In the midst of it all you might learn a few things about me that you didn't previously know.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Yard Sale Memories


Not the most professional signage, but it was a beautiful morning.

         Today I'm driving over to Nashville to visit my brother.  He's been diagnosed as a schizophrenic unable to live outside of a care facility so he's been living in an institutionalized setting for over thirty years.   It's been a few years since I've seen him.  I would always visit him when he was staying in Knoxville, but since they closed the state mental hospital there he's been moving around to various group homes.  He's been in a care center in Nashville for the past couple of years or so.

         I've been wanting to visit my brother for some time, but I've just not been able to make it over there in the short visits I make to Tennessee.  This year with my wife visiting in Houston and flying up to meet me, it was more economical to fly from there to Nashville and it afforded me an ideal opportunity to visit my brother.  Too bad that he is so inconveniently located for me, but that's the way it is and not much I can do to change that.
Maybe a sale in the basement is not the best for drawing customers, but it was cool inside on a hot July Saturday.

        In my previous post I mentioned how I was organizing a yard sale at my mother's house in order to clear out some of the accumulation of unneeded things.   The sale was a bust.   We had about 12 visits with a total sales of $11.50.    It was basically an experiment for me and a clean-up mission.  I think I took a pretty effective marketing approach with listings on various internet sites, but there was not much signage.  This lack of signs might not have mattered too much since there didn't seem to be much traffic in the neighborhood.  And we seemed to have a lot of competition in the area.   One visitor said he had 23 sales to go to that day and mine was number 14.   Looking at the yard sale location maps on a couple of web sites confirmed that there were indeed a ton of sales going on that day.
A pool table served to display some of the goods.  What a jumble!

        There were other factors which I realized would probably keep visitors down and my fears were confirmed by the outcome of the sale that day.   No worry though.   My brother's family and my sisters are planning a much larger sale in the fall and I helped get part of the merchandise organised for them.  They'll have a bigger draw since they will be adding tools, furniture, and baby items to the inventory.   Those things always seem to attract more potential customers.
There was some pretty weird and obsolete stuff in our sale.

        I've never been one to hold big yard sales or shop at them for that matter.   I've probably visited not more than 8 yard sales in my life and bought very little except for one time in Richmond, Virginia when I was buying furniture to put into a decrepit apartment my girlfriend at the time and I were moving into.  I'm the kind of person who generally prefers to buy everything new.  Yard sales and thrift shops are typically not my thing.

Had a lot of books on sale.  I think I'll be taking some of them back home to read.
       As far as my own yard sales I guess I've only done about four of them.   I've never had too much to sell at them so consequently I didn't make much.   But it was a good way to get rid of stuff that I didn't need and pick up a few bucks in the process.  My most fun sales were two that I had when my daughters were still living at home and they helped me with them.

        Yard sales?   I could certainly stand to do another one at my own home.  So much stuff to get rid of and I hate to give it all away or throw it out.   That's probably what I'll end up doing, but it's kind of fun to think about having a yard sale.   It's usually less fun to actually do one.

          Have you ever done a yard sale?    Do you ever shop at yard sales?   How do you prefer to get rid of the stuff you no longer need?


  1. Might want to wait for an "association sale" or set up a booth at a church rummage. Small private yard sales crap out a lot.

  2. I've never held a yard sale...it's just easier to bring everything to Goodwill and get the tax write off. I love to shop at them though!! But I won't go to one where all they have is clothes. Seriously, who buys clothes at a yard sale?

  3. Donating stuff works well if you are not wanting to make any money and just want to get rid it.

    I did just that when we cleaned out my mom's home two years ago. We recycled some things, but donated a ton of stuff so we would be rid of the clutter.

    I'm sorry to hear about your brother, too. Sending you some hugs!

  4. Oh, I forgot to mention that you could also advertise in the newspaper an "open house" sale. That usually attracts buyers if you want to make a few bucks.

  5. LEE ~
    That's pretty heartbreaking about your Brother - I had no idea, of course.

    I got your E in response to my question. The reason I axed is because I will be closing up shop very soon at F-FFF but I will be starting a new blog devoted solely to 'Battle Of The Bands' and I will debut this new blog for the August 1st 'BOTB'.

    Once I have the thing set up and ready, I will Email you a link to it so you can change the link on your own 'BOTB' posts. (Our mutual friend DiscConnected suggested this idea. At first I dismissed it, but the more I thought about it, the more I came to realize that it was actually a very good idea.)

    Anyway, I hope to get things set up pretty well over my next two days off and, at this point, I am only intending to post two more blog bits at F-FFF before moving on to 'BOTB' ONLY.

    Have a safe trip home, McBuddy!

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  6. Jeez, Stephen T-you don't have to sound so freakin' SURPRISED!!!

  7. We've done two or three. Each time, we carted whatever didn't sell to our recycling center. But still, we have too much stuff.

  8. CW-- Association sales are the only kind I can do in my neighborhood, but usually they've been scheduled when I've been away. Hope they do one in the fall.

    JoJo-- Surprisingly I've seen women's and children's clothes sell pretty well at yard sales. I'd never buy any clothes at a yard sale, but I guess some budget minded and low income people do.

    Lorraine-- I checked out newspaper ads. Garage sale ads used to be free in the local Tennessee paper where my mother lives, but the ad I was going to put in cost $44 and I wasn't willing to spend that much. Maybe for the bigger fall sale they'll do an ad.

    StMc-- Will be sad to see FFFF go, but the new BOTB blog will be interesting to keep an eye on.

    Liza--The stuff seems to multiply.


  9. I had a yard sale once and it was pretty successful. But I really don't care to do another. Most of my stuff I just tale to Goodwill or the local thrift shop for a pet shelter.

    When my brother died I had an auction place take care of it. He was a hoarder..yes, like you see on TV...and way too much for me to sort through. Made several thousand dollars. Really!

    Sorry about your brother. It is good that he is in a safe place and cared for. My brother was mentally ill and it was a nightmare trying to get help for him.

  10. Hi Lee - I feel for you with your brother and those distances - not at all easy ... I hope that the visit was a happy one ...

    Re Yard sales - they do have them here ... but I've always taken excess to the Hospice shops and they've always been very grateful .. some I've given away locally or to friends for a good cause ... I guess being on my own - it's not an easy thing to manage ..

    But that's good you can join in with your family in Autumn ..

    Cheers Hilary

  11. Hey Lee! I'm with you on garage sales/yard sales...whatever you want to call them. I never have them, and rarely shop at them. I don't like the idea of wearing someone else's old clothes, or sleeping in their bed...Idk...guess I'm afraid of the cooties! I do like to donate unwanted items to thrift shops and the like though.
    So sad to hear about your brother. That's a tough road.

  12. Hi, Lee. I'm back to blogging on a limited basis to connect with some of my past Blogger friends. You're on my list! As for yard sales....when I moved from Virginia back to Utah in 1996, I had one. People basically want you to give the stuff away. At least that's been my experience. IMO a lot of time involved for so little money. But it IS one way to get rid of stuff, and if you like to socialize with some usually nice strangers.... As for your brother... reminds me of my schizophrenic aunt who was in a mental hospital in Oregon for over 40 years, released finally when modern medicine came on the scene. Such a difficult trial for those afflicted with it.


Tell your story. Express your thoughts. We want to hear from you. This blog no longer accepts comments from "Anonymous"--That guy is really starting to bug this blog. If you want to leave me a comment then please register if you aren't already--it's easy to do and I really want to hear from you.

Arlee Bird