Rummage Anyone?

Posted: Thursday, April 30, 2009 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
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I was startled out of sleep early this morning by the sound of slamming car doors and the shrill voices of women talking rather loudly as they walked by just a few feet away from my window. Okay it was 8 o’clock..but still..when you’re a retired guy who desperately needs all the beauty sleep he can muster, that’s awfully  early and inconsiderate.
“What the heck is going on outside?”  Then it dawned on me. Oh, yeah it’s time once again for the annual neighborhood Spring rummage sale that brings all sorts of bargain hunting strangers into our neck of the woods twice a year; May and October. 
It’s not supposed to start until Friday, but  many families want to get the jump on their neighbors so they put their stuff out a day early. The experienced rummagers know this, of course, and start showing up shortly after first light before everything’s picked over.  
It’s been really busy too. The traffic in our normally quiet little corner of town is suddenly like drop-off time at the elementary schools.I suppose it’s because of our lousy economy; lots of folks trying to get some extra cash by getting rid of their extra crap..and plenty of others willing to wheel and deal for that crap because they can’t afford it at the store.One of my neighbors has hand carved wing flapping birds for sale.I once suggested to Linda, who is always complaining about the excess junk we have piling up around here, that maybe we should join our neighbors; hang some streamers from a step ladder in front of the house and turn our garage into a discount center.  It turns out that she would rather stick needles in her eyes than go through the torture of holding a rummage sale. I made the foolish mistake of asking “Why honey?”
“Doug, you have no idea of how long it takes to organize everything..get things sorted..clothing sized..tables borrowed and set up..deciding what to charge and getting those stupid price stickers on everything. But that’s not the worst of it..you have to sit out there from dusk till dawn watching total strangers paw through your possessions like hyenas over a fresh kill and then try to get a nickel knocked off something marked 10 cents. No thank you! I’d much rather give it away to Goodwill or the YWCA and get a receipt for taxes.”
“Oh, okay then.”
Linda doesn’t even like to go to rummage sales.
But, you know what? I do.     
You can’t drag me to a shopping mall but I absolutely love rummage sales. I’m not sure why..I really don’t need anything. It’s just fun to jump on my motorcycle and tool around the neighborhood looking for bargains from other people’s excesses. I’ve never been too interested in clothing or toys but if there are tools, musical instruments or sports equipment sitting in the driveway, I’m there ready to do a deal.  In the past I’ve brought home golf clubs golf balls and golf bags..fishing poles and lures, drums and cymbals, a couple guitars, a cowboy hat, a trumpet, a lawnmower, and several bicycles. Heck, I even bought a car at the spring rummage in 1986 and gave it to my daughter for her high school graduation. She drove it pretty much trouble free all through college in Brookings and for several years afterward.
Well, I gotta wrap this up and go see if I can find any long folding tables for sale just in case Linda changes her mind about a rummage of our own next Fall. I’ve been in the market for a Jeep Grand Cherokee like that one on the right..time for a closer look.

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