Let the garage sales begin

Garage sale season is underway for another year. It’s rather like God is in his heaven and all’s right in the world because once again average folks are offering up their surplus/outgrown/unwanted possessions for others to browse and buy. It’s interesting that there never seems to be a shortage of goods. Or a shortage of garage sales, either.

Already I’ve had a noteworthy garage sale morning. It happened a few weeks ago in Jewell during their city-wide garage sale day. Looking for a push mower, my first stop was a house where one was listed on the map. Sure enough, the mower was sitting in the driveway along with other items when I arrived about twenty minutes after the sales opened.

As another woman who was also interested in the mower hovered nearby, I visited with the man of the house about the mower, and it seemed to be just what I wanted. It had worked just fine when he put it away last fall, he said. I told him I’d take it and would be back to pick it up after checking out some of the other sales in town.

“Good,” the owner replied. “That will give me time to go over the mower a little better before you get back.” I paid him for the mower, and off I went in search of other bargains.

When I returned an hour later, the owner of the mower met me in the driveway. “You don’t want that mower,” he told me. Thinking he was teasing me, I replied, “I don’t?”

“Nope,” he answered firmly as he went on to explain the hidden unpleasant surprises he discovered when he tried to quite unsuccessfully start the mower. When he told me what had happened, I had to agree that I didn’t really want that mower.

No problem, though. The owner kept his mower, gave me back what I’d paid him earlier, and off I went. The only trouble was that I still didn’t have the push mower I wanted.

Yet the encounter amazed me and warmed my heart just a little. After all, this would have been the perfect opportunity for him to unload a piece of lawn equipment that didn’t work, and I would have been none the wiser until I got it home. Besides, I’d have to say that in the garage sale world it’s pretty much “let the buyer beware.”

So let the garage sale season take off in earnest. For me, it’s gotten a very good start. Thank you for being honest, Mr. Mower Man in Jewell. It did my heart good.