Because of COVID19 the Indian Valley Wide Garage Sale has been canceled, But let me tell you what I've learned from past events
Tucked away in the Indian Valley, in Plumas County, located in North Eastern California, our valley holds its annual Valley Wide Garage Sale. And although I used to hate going to garage sales when I was a kid, I love them now.
I was younger my mom and aunt Mare used to go to garage sales every weekend. They would spend Friday afternoons getting ready to go “garage sailing.” They’d pull out the paper, read over the Garage Sale ads in the classified section, pull out the map to check the best route and arrange a time when they’d meet. They loved spending their Saturdays doing this. To them it was about the hunt, the searching for that unexpected find…and walking away with the good stuff!
But for me, when I was younger, I hated it! But as I got older, I realized it was actually fun.
One year, my friend Judy Johnson, asked if I wanted to go with her to the IV Valley Wide Garage sales. Now don’t get me wrong I loved Judy, but she was. . .well. . .lets just say she lived by her own clock, and that clock certainly didn’t go fast.
But still, I went.
“Ok, let’s meet at 8:00 am sharp at Sierra Sunrise!” I said.
The next morning, at 8:00 am I drove into town Judy was there waiting for me! She hopped into my car, and we headed off to find our treasures.
At our first stop I jumped out of the car, rushed around scanning the tables for “the good stuff.” After a few minutes I knew there wasn’t anything there for me. I didn't find yarn, knitting needles, or roving so I tracked down Judy and asked her if she was ready to leave.
But Judy travels on her own time. She was chatting away with the homeowners about how a plow attachment for her mini tractor might be just what she needed. It was the right color, it might fit but. . .she wasn’t quite sure.
I stood there, patiently waiting for Judy to finish her conversatoin, but in my mind, impatiently waiting.
Just then Ray walked up. Now Ray is a big time antique dealer. He’s always scouting yard sales here and there, then selling them at antique shows or during his own own garage sales. He always finds “the good stuff!”
“Hey Eva. Checking out the sales today?”
Yup I’m with Judy.
“Oh Johnson? Good luck with that” he said as he jumped into his truck and drove away.
I looked over at Judy, still chatting with the homeowners, thinking “OMG, come on, we have to go! We’re missing out!”
After 20 minutes, and without buying anything, she said she was ready.
We arrived at the next house, I quickly cruised thru the yard sale, but again, I didn’t find anything I couldn’t live without. So I turned to look for Judy to see if she was ready to leave. I spotted her across the yard, chatting away with someone. So this time, I found a spot along the fence, sat down and watched.
We spent a good 25 minutes at that house, and Judy talked with everyone there. She was truly enjoying herself, chatting about the tools she found, asking what they used to cook in the crock pot they were selling, where the homeowner found such beautiful plates and why would they sell them!
To Judy, the day wasn’t about rushing from yard sale to yard sale finding the best deals, it was about connections. For her the day was about visiting with everyone, seeing old friends, catching up with people she hasn’t seen in a while.
For Judy the “good stuff” she found during the Valley Wide Yard Sale was relationships.
After 30 minutes or so, she was finally ready to go. She left the yard sale buying one garden tool, a rake. She walked down the driveway towards my car, pleased with her find, happy to have caught up with old friends, relaxed, and ready for the next stop.
That’s when the aha moment hit.
Life isn’t about rushing around, scanning the tables then leaving. It isn’t about racing from house to house trying to find the best deals. It’s about the meeting the people, talking with friends, family and even strangers. It's about the quality of relationships.
Isn’t this the truth! And it took a very talkative, 70 year old woman to teach me this valuable lesson.