Sunday, September 4, 2011

American Bookends

The photos I have this week begin and end with events that I realize are very American: a bridal shower and a rummage sale. I will begin with the latter.
Yesterday, Saturday was very, very hot. So was Friday, but I was indoors and didn't feel it.
However, on this the day of the famous Upland Town Rummage, we were sweltering!
The Upland Labor Day Festival weekend begins with 200+ yard sales where people sell what they no longer need or use. Outsiders and locals roam around in cars, trucks, bicycles, golf carts, four-wheelers, and on foot, scouring the neighborhoods for treasures. As they say, "One man's junk is another man's treasure." [Insert 'woman' or 'person' if you prefer.]
I believe this custom is very American, but may be catching on in other countries.When we recently moved into the most popular neighborhood for yard sales, I decided to join in the fun and also get rid of the unwanted items I discover as I go through all that was restored or rescued.

Others brought their things and helped set up and manage the sale--a neighbor, and family members.

Glenda (neighbor)

Leah (daughter) showing off Zeus
The ladies are taking turns playing with the new "granddog" between customers.

Hot and tired--Mike, Kayla, and Matt
This view, taken from the swing where the ladies are sitting, shows the money box, what's left of the porch clothing sale, and some exhausted helpers.
Mike set up and took down the tables, but stayed away most of the day. Actually, many town folk would rather be away and avoid the crowds. Mike simply prefers to ride with his cycling club than hang around and sell odds and ends.

Another outdoor event was a lovely garden party for a beautiful bride-to-be, a former student. We were there to meet her husband-to-be (who grew up in Albania!), hear their story, celebrate with them and shower them with gifts. I don't know if that custom is practiced in other countries now or not.

Alyssa and Adam
Sandwiched between those two events, our regular exercise routines and the ongoing work that involves us of late.

For Mike it means going out to the rebuilding site every day, splitting logs before the sun is too hot and beginning to install the radiant floor heating. It is very tiring work to drill holes, set clamps and thread tubes in a pattern overhead!

Taking a break
The framing crew has worked steadily and the progress is very noticeable at this stage. However, I was only out there twice this week so my photos will not show the latest changes.

Tuesday evening

One of the work crews has enjoyed going back to the picnic area for breaks or lunch. I think they also appreciate the cookies we take out twice a week.

For me, Rita, work involves countless hours cleaning, restoring (or tossing) a variety of items, and sorting through the unopened boxes and bags delivered so far. Motivated by the upcoming sale, I finally got through all of them, except the ones labeled Ceramics. I found many items in the "why-did-we/they-save-this" category, but also was glad to find other very meaningful things.
I remember the day the boxes arrived. I watched them carry load after load to an open area downstairs. I saw one item, that did not fit in a box, and exclaimed, "Oh, the silly things that come back." The restoration lady answered, "It wasn't silly that night when we were rushing to gather what we could." Then I realized that I needed to appreciate their extreme efforts.

Silly Santa
I had never valued this Christmas item before. Many years it did not make it out of storage. It has now acquired more value having survived the house fire! More than that, it will always remind me of Grandpa Koch's very popular discount store in Omro, Wisconsin--Koch Sales. (I wonder how many readers may remember that unique shopping experience on Highway 21?)

A couple more photos--the squash growing in our somewhat abandoned garden:


semperfi said...

Love your comment on the santa. My parents had the same santa for a Christmas decoration along with a matching rudolph & frosty. Your house is looking great.

Lhoyt said...

Who does Zeus think he is? A dyslexic god?
I,too, prefer to stay away from yard sales. But I do not believe I would go bike riding on a sweltering day.
Good progress on the house. And, yes, I would very much enjoy your picnic area on a hot day after several hours of hard work.

Robin @ Be Still and Know said...

Who doesn't love a good yard sale. They are very popular here in my neck of the woods.

And cookies twice a week insure a well built house.....very smart!


Kim said...

Hope you manage to sell/get rid of lots of extraneous stuff :) It always feels liberating to purge unnecessary belongings!

Love seeing progress of the house going up. It's coming along at a faster pace than I expected. Knowing you're anxious to get back in and settled, I'm so happy for you!


Loved Zeus. How cute is he? Great pictures and I loved the Santa story. What a great memory.

rita said...

I remember I had enough money to buy a pack of real Vegas. playing cards which I had wanted for a few yrs. I was so excited ! I picked out my fav. set went to pay, he told me it would be a million dollars or some outrageous price he was funny like my Dad , when he handed me my change all he had done was trade out the bills and gave back my exact amount of money I had given him ! He did all with that sparkle he would get in his very striking blue eyes. I also remember digging for night crawlers in piles of dirt outside !
[Leah about grandpa's store]

momma frans said...

the house is looking great!! fabulous spot for picnic table!

The Bug said...

I'm afraid of yard sales - what if I were to BUY something? Where would I put it? Yikes! I think maybe we should have a sale of our own...

Glad things are progressing on the house.