Sunday, October 20, 2013

A Garage Sale in Orlando

A garage sale in Orlando.  A community garage sale that is.  It is much more than just selling old items you know.  You think you might use them again, you might lose that weight.  Then there are those things that still fit you but they don't look the same.  It's not the clothes; it is you who has changed.  For what ever the reason, it is time to give them up and why not make some money doing it?

That was my reasoning.  It turned out to be so much more.  Being a Language Arts teacher, I love words and a little bit of linguistics.  I love the sound of languages and yesterday I heard so many.  Of course, English.  My neighbor Pat came to chat and gave me a helping hand when I most needed it.  Following that, my next door neighbor put out their music speakers, a motorcycle seat,  and some plumbing and decorating items.  The neighbor's voice carried into my driveway when he refused to haggle with the shoppers. While that conversation ensued an older Indian woman and her daughter spoke Hindi as they strolled down the middle of the street, the mother dressed in her beautiful teal saree.

Next I heard Spanish. There were various dialects of Spanish from men and women from Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and even Argentina as they told what they were looking for, peeked at my paintings, shifted my dresses, or tried on shoes, and said "Hola!" I played the game of identifying their accents as they stealthily discussed the merchandise and I secretly knew what they were saying.  I only did that for a minute or two and would say, "O, yo hablo español!"  Only one lady was concerned she had said something inappropriate, but she hadn't.

Later it was a Caribbean lady of Indian descent in slacks that tried on all my shoes even though her feet were too small.  In spite of that she ended up buying some silver flip flops and a set of blue and white dishes that I had bought at a garage sale for five dollars.  She paid the same amount.   Later it seemed like five cars pulled up at the same time and a bunch of people came pouring out.   One group headed to my driveway.   They were four Haitian Creole women looking for bargains.  Haitians are by far the best shoppers.  They know what they want and are keen negotiators.  Knowing this,  I decided that it is better to give them what they want regardless of their outrageous haggling.  One of the ladies purchased a lovely light teal summer dress that just never looked right on me as well as three pairs of shoes and two blouses cluttering my closet. They bought more than any body else but for some reason I did not make that much money and that is okay.

Finally, a gentleman in his middle sixties wearing an American Viet Nam veteran cap came over .  I told him about my brothers and father all being in the service and how Hector served in Key West of all places during the Viet Nam Conflict while Edwin went to Viet Nam. Both survived. Yet this gentleman, said it had not been rosy for him.   He had been exposed to Agent Orange you see.  He said they sprayed it on them.  To this day, he just couldn't understand that his own government would spray a toxic liquid on their own soldiers.  As a result, he said, " I have seen many of my friends' funerals."  It was sad.  I told him my own brother had died of cancer and though I know it wasn't enough,  I thanked him for his service.

It still wasn't over.  When I was picking up early since I really don't enjoy a garage sale after eleven, loading a lot of the things into my car, I still had several heavy items left to put away.  I started with a heavy metal table, and then rolled in my round patio table.  Finally there was the Total Gym.  Since my driveway has an incline of over 30 degrees it was going to be quite the task.  To make things worse, just when I started pushing it up a back panel slipped out and I had to stop.  A gentleman heading to my neighbors stopped and asked me if I needed some help. He was a God send, really. He easily pushed it into my garage! Gratitude is too small a word when you are dead tired.

In summary, there was a parade of humanity that morning I had not expected. There are smiles, stories, conversations, and interesting faces.  I made a couple of dollars selling my odds and ends but I really made much much more.

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