Saturday, November 10, 2007

Over the Wall

My 85-year-old friend and neighbor, who recently passed away, is responsible for a traffic jam on our street today. Her two daughters held an estate sale. Jean has lived on our street for 55 years.

(Here is a picture of her back yard)

I was up early this morning, as our bedroom smoke detector started chirping at at 5:00 AM. With a flashlight and a stepping-stool I extracted the battery and went back to bed. So much for my one morning a week to sleep in!

Since I had told Jean's daughters I would help with the sale, I headed next door fairly early. I was given an apron with big pockets and told I was in charge of the glassware and kitchen misc. in the backyard.

Three long tables held a crockpot, stoneware, colored glass bowls, frying pans, stemware, muffin pans, serving spoons, flatware, plastic flowered plates, cake pans, roasting pans, and this and that. Neighbor Felix, who actually grew up across the street (he's now 55) decided to be in charge of security. He kept the early bird customers on the lip of the driveway until we were ready.

Equipped with a calculator, a tablet of paper, pen, and wads of cash in my pocket I nervously waited for the dam to break. Felix finally stepped aside and everyone charged up the front walk and into the house. Several went straight out the back door and came face to face with me. My first sale was to a male customer who wanted the ceramic mother duck and her 2 ducklings standing under a shrub. I checked to see if they were for sale--yes they were--$3.00 please. He also wanted the 2 foot ceramic deer standing by another shrub.

A male customer, about 30 years old, stepped past the typewriter, the laundry sacks, hard blue luggage, and lace doilies. "I feel like I'm in a time warp." he said.

This would be a perfect post for pictures, but I was a little busy....yet actually, I did think about taking pictures, but I wasn't sure how to explain why I was photographing the yard sale. Many of my neighbors would not be familiar with blogging. And if they did visit my blog, what would they think about being the main "characters" in my neighborhood-novelette?

Later, when things slowed down, I returned to my side of the wall and began to water my very dry garden. Suddenly some small fingers appeared on the top of the wall, then a head bobbing up and down.
"Hi! What are you doing?" said a little girl's voice.
I had met Jill, Jean's great-grand-daughter, for the first time earlier that day at the yard sale.
"I'm watering."
"Can I come over?"
"Okay," I said. I grabbed a nearby ladder, drug it over and leaned it against the 5 foot wall. I helped her over. She stared at my tree swing.
"Would you like to swing?"
Then...another set of hands appeared on the wall. Jean's great-grandson's head appeared.
"Can I come over?"
"Sure." I walked over to the ladder.
" I don't need any help."
"Okay." I said as I watched him climb half way down the ladder then leap onto the dirt.
They wanted to "help" me. So they pulled some weeds. (Mostly the tops). And every 5 minutes they made a trip over the wall and back.

Well....this is what life's all about. Great-grandma Jean has passed on. But she has left many good things behind. A wonderful family...neighbors...and for me...I've got 2 new friends—not to mention a metal colander, 2 muffin tins, serving spoons and a cheese slicer.


Becky Wolfe said...

Sounds like a delightful day & the words painted the picture in my mind even without photographs.

Sheila said...

A very nice post. I too wonder what people would think to know I'm writing about them. Ha. They'd better be nice to me!