Having bargained with God for the last two weeks like a prisoner awaiting execution, I can now present the:
CRAZYBELOVED GUIDE TO SURVIVING YOUR GARAGE SALE1)Don't expect the people shopping your sale to appreciate your good taste. Yes, they are going to walk right past the quality items you didn't really want to put in but don't need anymore, to get to a lot of stuff you know they don't need. It's not personal. It's business. Smile and take their money.
2)Don't negotiate with a fool. Some price negotiation is to be expected, but when someone makes a foolish offer, calmly look at them and say, "No." Actually, this is the most fun part of the sale--watching the reactions when a person was trying to rip you off, or when they feel they must negotiate, but really want the item. People who know the value of an item will respect it. We even had a couple of collectors warn us that we had some items that were more valuable than we knew. Yes, we totally marked them up.
3)Have enough help. I have done every sale I have ever done, alone. It felt like a punishment for keeping too much of the wrong garbage. It was lonely, and the burn of making no money was multiplied.
4)Have fun. We heard the cancer survival story of a lady who has been cancer free for 30 years. A lady stopped by who was obviously quite beyond the outer limits of reality. We saw young families seeking to make their homes better and share something pleasant with their children. And simply exchanged small talk with neighbors and learned about the people in our area. Many friends and well wishers stopped by; a party atmosphere prevailed.
5)Know ahead of time that this is a lot of back breaking work, and expect to get beat like a rug. No. Really.
6)Advertising makes a difference. We left no stone unturned with opportunities for advertising, and I think that made a difference.
We didn't empty out their garage, and we didn't finish raising all the funds for our adoption, so we will be going again in two weeks.
Thank you to all our friends who contributed time and merchandise and funds and happy spirits to our sale. The money is great, but the love... Oh, yes, the love.
CRAZYBELOVED VENTING HER FEELINGS GUIDE TO MIRACLES
Adoption is the miracle. What makes it a miracle is that you add together paper, ink, hard work, shameless begging, and an inordinate amount of money and mix them together and wait longer than it should take and for reasons only God can explain...sometimes this results in the shaping of a new family. But not always...
I recently heard a story of a family who had applied for a grant. They received that grant at a big "raising attention and funds" type event held here in town. Before the event ended, an individual came forward and wrote a check for the rest of their adoption expenses. A miracle for them, indeed. We applied to that same organization for a grant and received a brief letter, two weeks after their own deadline, informing us that God had told them not to give us a grant.
We have applied for another grant. We will be having another sale. We have a coffee fundraiser to focus some attention on, an idea or two for items to sell. Anne knows how to set up a pay pal dealie, since our chip-in has attracted zero interest(however, this may be because so many of those who visit my blog are also adopting and have no cash to spare). We know God is on our side because He started it. He is going to glorify Himself by shaping me into a better person through the fight.
I have always dreamed of a miracle. Someone just walking up and saying, "How much is left?" and writing a check. But see. That one has been used. Someone here in town already got that. If it happens to us now, it will be a "sometimes people just walk up to you and write you checks for your expenses". Not that I would refuse it of course(by all means, do write the check if you are thinking of it), but we are discussing miracles. I can't win the lottery, because I don't play the lottery. It is unlikely that I will receive an unexpected inheritance. Those things are not miracles anyway. I don't want that other mom's story anymore than I want her baby. I want my story to be told and I want my son. Not anyone else's. I'm staying with God and not under the rejection of humans. If I could think it up, it wouldn't be a miracle anyway.
Thanks Dana and Tom for holding our arms up while the battle goes on...
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