Re-launched, but still slightly under construction. :-)

Sunday, March 25, 2007

She's Going the Distance...

What happens when you hold a yard sale to raise money for cancer and no one comes?

6:30 a.m. - Amy and Nola arrive at my house with a truckload of stuff. I am still frantically hopping around shirtless with one leg in my jeans, hair wet, as they arrive, looking fresh and rested and super freaking cute. I can't even imagine how Amy manages this every day of her life. Sometimes I want to poke her with my copy editing pen. But not hard.

6:45 a.m. - We begin setting up in the pre-dawn light.

7:30 a.m. - the clothes rack goes up. Thanks for the loaner, Tom and Maryanne.
7:31 a.m. - the clothes rack falls over. We pick it up and meticulously brush off the clothes.

7:59 a.m. - the clothes rack falls over again. We pick it up and carefully brush off the clothes.
8 a.m. - the yard sale is officially open. We survey our work. Meh. S'okay.

8:30 a.m. - we sit and listen to birds chirping. It is a beautiful morning, and Emerson and Nola and having a ball together.

8:35 a.m. - the clothes rack falls over again. We laugh and pick it up, brushing the clothes off some.
8:45 a.m. - our next-door-neighbor donates a cute leather modern chair and matching ottoman.

9 a.m. - we sit and listen to crickets chirping. My stomach starts growling.

9:15 a.m. - a tumbleweed blows through the yard.
9:16 a.m. - in its wake, the clothes rack falls over. We glare at it in disgust. Then we pick it up again.

9:30 a.m. - Lo! A customer!
9:32 a.m. - Goodbye, customer.
9:33 a.m. - The scent of desperation wafts through the air.

9:35 a.m. - A car rolls by slowly.
"You know you wanna stop, bitch," I mutter. I hear Amy snort.
"That's my mad sales skills there," I say.
"I see that."

9:45 a.m. - Amy goes for McDonalds. Probably to get away from my incessant talking.

10 a.m. - My parents arrive from Atlanta. The inevitable decline into sugar overload begins for the children.

10:30 a.m. - Amy returns from McDonalds. We all go in the house and eat breakfast, watching the yard out the front window. Like we needed to.
10:34 a.m. - The clothes rack falls over. Eh, fuck it.

11 a.m. - Lo! A customer. We rush out and pick up the clothes rack.
11:10 a.m. - Hey, $5. Rock on. Surprisingly, none of it was off the clothes rack.
11:11 a.m. - Which just fell over again.

noon - We're sitting on the porch with my husband.
"Y'all need to let me do this," he says.
"Oh, okay, genius. Go sell something." (To the masses of people NOT wandering through the yard.)
A van pulls up and three women get out.
"There's your chance, Scott," Amy says.
"Yeah, get on it, honey."
"Just wait. You have to give them a minute."
"Oh, he's got a whole philosophy of yard sale-ing."
Scott sucks on his cigarette thoughtfully, then ambles off the porch. "How you doing, ladies?" he calls as he approaches.
"Yeah, be sure to tell them all about the cancer research with the cigarette in your hand," Amy says quietly and I snort-laugh.
Scott does make a nice effort, but in the end gets called away by other things. I move in to close the deal. The haul is $50: $20 in sales, and $30 in donations. Gee, it's too bad I'm such a shitty salesperson, Scott, or they might not have been the largest sale of the day.

1 p.m. - A blond man in cargo shorts arrives outside.
"Hey, you have a customer," dad says from the couch where he and Mom are watching "Shaun of the Dead." I peer hopefully outside.
"Nope. That's just Amy's husband."

1:25 p.m. - We muse about how much longer we should make this effort. The clothes rack long ago collapsed in the gravel and no one has made even the slightest move to pick it up.
"Y'all are the only people I have ever known who held a yard sale and ended up with more stuff at the end of it," Scott laughs. Perhaps it was a mistake to solicit donations from the community.

2 p.m. - In the end, three truckloads go to the Salvation Army. Maybe they'll have better luck. The final total: $150. Among the surprising leftovers that remain to be ebay-ed: two computer printers, one with two ink cartridges included, two lawnmowers, a set of golf clubs, 250 CDs, 100 books, four huge garbage bags of clothes, a really pretty crib, a $300 jogger stroller, an unopened tabletop grill...

and one clothes rack.

But you can still help. If you read this blog (and I know that 800 of you do a month, you bunch of weirdos!) see if you can click here and find even just $5 to donate to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Someone in your life has been affected by cancer. You know what a horrible disease it is. So do it for your grandfather, who you never got to know like you wanted. Do it for John Edwards' wife, who has two young children to raise while batting bone cancer. Do it for my husband's father, who died when Scott was just 12 years old. Do it for my grandmother, who died of breast cancer long before I was born. Do it for my aunt, who had part of her face cut away because of skin cancer. Do it for all the women who have died of cervical cancer over the years, because no one considered that a virus might be to blame. Do it for all of people who fell prey to Big Tobacco. Do it for yourself, because you never know who will get it next. And wouldn't it be nice if they found a cure?

Consider all of that, and then, again, click here and see if you can find the amount equal to these things for which you may already make room in your budget:

a soda from the vending machine: $1
a Starbucks beverage: $3.50
one movie ticket: $8
a new book: $15
a casual meal for two: $25
a detail on your car: $50
a trip to Sam's Club: $100
a weekend in Hilton Head: $500
a week in Orlando: $1,000

Those are nice things to have, but so is the ability to watch your kids grow up.


  1. Awwww... thanks, Stacey!

  2. That's awesome.

    Especially the part about cigarette smoking for cancer research.