Estate Sale

9 Mar

There was an estate sale yesterday in the town of Bonhom. When we arrived at 8 AM, the house was packed with people lined up at the check out table.  I had heard that you really needed to be at an estate sale early before all of the good stuff was sold. No one mentioned that you should disregard any newspaper postings of “no early sales.” A number of the larger pieces already had sold signs attached. I didn’t care. Although the furniture was all top quality Ethan Allen, it was not our style nor did we need any of the pieces there. Harry refers to that style as 1950’s junk. It wasn’t but we weren’t going to be the ones to buy it.

Estate sales are unlike garage sales. An average garage sale offers the out of date, worn out and occasionally “we just don’t need another” items. An estate sale is for those items that have been collected for a life time and now must be left behind. I didn’t know the people before the sale but I learned a lot about them. The tables were laden with crystal, china and silver sets along with stacks of linen napkins and table clothes so they probably liked to entertain.  The house itself was a nice brick in a neighborhood of similar bricks all about 15 years old so they had purchased the home expecting to live there a while. The bedrooms had neatly folded quilts and bundles of his and hers embroidered pillow cases edged with handmade lace. There were a few fishing poles and a large rod holder but no boat, golf clubs or tools and only a few of his clothes so either he moved on earlier or he took his things with him. The items left said a woman lived there not a man. The his and hers pillows were separated; how sad.

Someday my treasures will be sold at an estate sale. There will be someone who will wonder why a chipped shaving mug full of square nails is placed carefully in the china hutch beside the crystal wine glasses. They will never know the story of my father finding the shaving mug as he dug a new garden at our old house or that he said the square nails were my inheritance,. They might guess that for me it was a treasure like my friends who have shared stories and laughter when the wine glasses were full. That estate sale will be sad but not for me. It will be filled with the memories of our lives.


2 Responses to “Estate Sale”

  1. gramajan March 9, 2013 at 8:34 AM #

    Estate sales only include the things family–if there is family–chose not to keep. You can leave your family a legacy by telling the stories about your treasures, as you’re doing in this post. Whether to keep the “things” or only the stories would be their choice. My maternal grandmother started giving away her treasures long before she died. The crystal wedding gifts, for example, were parceled off to granddaughters. I received more than my share, I think, of special items, both from my grandmother and mother (and other relatives as well), because I had shown an interest in the stories. I like the feeling of being a link in the chain of “herstory” passed down from mother to daughter or aunt to niece, and enjoy sharing the stories–with the boys as well, if they feel inclined to listen.

    • compterteach March 9, 2013 at 3:38 PM #

      As you know I have started giving some of those treasures to Sarah because I know they will be enjoyed before they are left for the estate sale.

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