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April 8, 2013

KNISELY: Forcing spring’s arrival

Winter has had its reign for far too long. It’s time someone took control of the situation, so I did just that last week.

I had a rummage sale. For those of you not from east central Indiana, that means yard sale.

When I asked my friend if she wanted to have a rummage sale with me, she asked if I meant yard sale. I said no, I meant rummage sale. My usage of this term annoys her to no end. She claims it doesn’t make any sense. I say it makes perfect sense. You put your old stuff out and let people rummage through it. In that case, she argued, yard sale makes as much sense, but I countered that technically we’ll have the tables on the driveway. I continued that driveway sale sounds dumb, so rummage sale it is.

Anyway, with my impending move, I’ve been finding a bunch of excess junk while packing. And I don’t want to move all that junk to my new house because that’s too much work. So, instead, I cleaned the items, priced them, packed them into boxes, packed the boxes into my car, drove to my friend’s house, unpacked the car, set up tables, unpacked the boxes and displayed the items for sale. Yeah, that was way less work than moving the boxes to my new house. So far this was a brilliant idea.

Despite the cold morning — the temperature was hovering around 30 degrees — we decided to go ahead with the sale. It’s April, we balked. We’ll act like it’s spring even if Mother Nature won’t, we groaned through our chattering teeth as we set up tables. I’m a seasoned rummage sale girl, but this is the first time I’ve ever had to wear gloves while setting up.

If you’ve ever had a rummage sale, you know that early birds are something you just can’t escape. They’re a breed that doesn’t mind you’re not yet ready for visitors. They don’t mind picking through your boxes if you’re unpacking too slowly for their tastes. I should have known we were in for a long day when we didn’t have a single early bird.

By 8 a.m., we had everything set up. We pulled up lawn chairs, covered ourselves in blankets and waited for customers.

And then we waited.

And then we waited.

It seems the rest of the world was on Mother Nature’s schedule and not ours. There were plenty of people driving by, presumably enjoying the heaters in their cars. An hour went by and still nothing. At this point, we were closing in on completely annoyed.

Finally, we had a customer. I actually cheered when the van pulled into the drive. A man and a woman got out and starting looking around. They picked up several items, but settled on just one measly 50-cent item. And then, to add insult to injury, he shorted us 10 cents! So, by my calculations, we were making about 10 cents an hour. This rummage sale might be the best idea I’ve ever had.

It wasn’t all bad. By about lunch time, the sun was shining and it actually started to feel like spring. I’m not sure if it was the warmer temperatures or our sheer look of desperation, but people began stopping and actually buying some of our junk.

In the end, we came home a little richer and a little lighter on junk. But next time, we might wait and operate on Mother Nature’s schedule and not our own.

Misty Knisely is managing editor of the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5155 or via email at misty.knisely@pharostribune.com

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