In our little Indian Valley, tucked away in North Eastern California in Plumas County, each year around my birthday we have the Valley Wide garage sale. And although when I was younger and I hated garage sales, I love them now. It’s the hunt, searching for that unexpected find!
One year, my friend Judy Johnson, asked if I wanted to go with her to the garage sales. Now don’t get me wrong I love Judy, but she was. . .well. . .she liked to take her time. She lived by her own clock, and that clock certainly didn’t go fast enough to get out to the best yard sales first!
“Ok, let’s meet at 8:00 am sharp!” I said.
The next morning, I drove over to Sierra Sunrise at 8:00 am and met Judy. She was right on time. Great! I was driving, so I thought I had control of the day.
We drove to the first stop, got out and I rushed around the yard sale. After a few minutes I knew there wasn’t anything there for me, so I tracked down Judy and asked her if she was ready to leave.
But Judy was on her own time. She was chatting away with the homeowners about how wonderful a plow attachment could be for her mini tractor. "I'm thinking I might get it. Its the right color, it might fit but…" she wasn’t quite sure.
So I stood there, impatiently waiting and listening to her chat away. Just then Ray walked up. We exchanged hello's and I mentioned I was 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, so we climbed into my car and left.
At the next house, I cruised thru the yard sale, but I didn’t find anything. So I turned and looked for Judy to see if she was ready to leave. I spotted her across the yard, chatting with someone, so this time, I found a spot along the fence, sat down and watched.
We spent a good 25 minutes at that same house, and Judy talked with everyone there. She was truly enjoying herself, chatting about the tools she found, asking what they used to cook with the crock pot they were selling, talking with everyone she ran into.
To Judy, the day wasn’t about rushing from yard sale to yard sale finding the best deals. For her the day was about visiting with everyone, seeing old friends, catching up with people she hasn’t seen in a while. It was about connections
That day was one of the biggest learning experiences for me! Life isn’t about rushing around, trying to find the best of something before someone else does. It’s about the quality of your relationships with friends, family and even strangers.
Theodore Roosevelt once said “The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.” Isn’t that the truth! And it took a 70 year old, very talkative woman to teach me that valuable lesson.
Thank you Judy Johnson!