A few weeks ago, my neighbors came up with the idea of everyone on our street having a yard sale on the same day. We thought it was a great concept and dove right into the preparations. I dragged box after box of our daughters clothes from the attic and sorted them for hours. My husband pulled things from the garage that I hadn't seen in years. We posted an ad in the paper and hung over 30 signs around the neighborhood and on major streets. We made plans to have a refreshment stand that served coffee, doughnuts, cookies and iced tea (which my daughter would run, of course.)
On the day of the sale, we woke up before the light of the sun hit the sky. Our neighbors were up at the same time, setting up tables and organizing. It was a shared moment - we greeted each other by moonlight as the locusts buzzed and birds began to sing. The sky began to lighten and we offered to help each other, all of us bustling to get ready. The sun began to rise and we wandered into each others yards looking over the goods. One neighbor set up a moonwalk for the kids, another a manicure table, some had tents, fans, candy and coffee. One neighbor cat-called on a bullhorn to passing cars, we had music. It was like an early morning block party!
Although my husband and I had some small bills in our pockets for those who made immediate purchases, the majority of our money was in a cash box by the refreshments. If you recall, this was being run by my 7-year-old daughter. She would disappear every now and then, coming back with a book, a video or a stuffed animal. Then she walked back with a scooter (she already has two) and then a sled! We realized that she was taking the profits and shopping at the competitors! The rest of the kids thought this was a fine idea and they all joined in.
The balmy morning developed into a very hot and steamy day. We didn't have the hordes of people that I had expected. I took stock, remembering that it was July 7... 7/7/07. I'd heard that lots of weddings were planned for this day - brides imagining luck in the numbers. Perhaps that was the reason for the low turnout. I looked around at our offerings. My clothes, although very organized by size and price, were piled on two 8 foot tables with bins underneath. Toys were scattered on tablecloths on the ground. We probably did not have our prices low enough. My husband made over 4 gallons of coffee. (I think we sold 3 cups the whole day - am I the only one who drinks coffee in the heat?)
By the time we started packing up, the thermometer hit 100 degrees. One neighbor jokingly called out to another "Now for the best part, right?". He replied "Hey, I've got some gasoline in the back to burn it all - it'll be it out before the fireman get here!" I have to say, at that exact moment, I wouldn't have objected!
Once everything was stored in the garage, I counted the cash. We made just over $100.00! Pretty good for a morning yard sale on 7/7/07. We changed into dry, cool clothes and headed for a place with plenty of A/C... the movies!