…..The annual garage and basement purge begins Friday. I’ve rented a small dumpster and will rid my garage and basement of all things I deem unnecessary. That’s about everything. While most people become pack rats as they age, I veer on the side of “out with the junk” behavior… much so in fact that Shannon wants to monitor what I throw out. I guess she thinks I will toss stuff that in many years to come great-great grandchildren can discover and take to Antiques Roadshow only to be told it is worthless.
…..I think her fear stems from the garage sale days in the eighties when it was stylish to gather up all the stuff you didn’t want and put it out for other people to look at and sometimes even buy.Entire books were written about how to make a sizeable profit from the excercise. It not only was “found” money, but it was great fun. Other people’s stuff became chic and people roamed neighborhoods on a Saturday morning searching for treasures and getting a little peek into their neighbors’ lives.
….. My sister, Marsha, and I would come together for a garage sale at my Mom’s (now my house) because it was so visible here on Veteran’s Blvd. The family drama, however, started at 7 a.m. before we raised up the garage door to welcome customers. As the younger sister with the youngest kids, I had to make sure nobody else was getting anything that was rightfully mine through the hand-me-down chain of clothes. I therefore would first would go through all Marsha’s kids clothes to make sure there was nothing that would fit my kids. My Mom would then go through HER daughers’ stuff to make sure we weren’t selling one of her Christmas or birthday presents to us (yes, that happened once) . Finally, our kids would peruse the items for sale to make sure we weren’t offering up a toy that they had not even deemed worthy of a glance at for at least three years. That hour before we opened the garage door at 8 a.m. was normally frauight with us yelling “You’re selling that?” at each other and retrieving items which we would never use and would reappear at the next garage sale.
…..But one memorable year the garage sale was well underway when Shannon experienced the horror or discovering her mother was attempting to sell her First Holy Communion dress. Was nothing sacred to her mother? She didn’t catch on until I offered up the veil as a “two for one” deal to a customer. It was the ultimate betrayal. I was the antithesis to every mother who had ever cherished her baby’s first shoes and kept their baby teeth in an envelope tucked away and labeled “Tooth Fairy.” The look on her face was almost as memorable as when her brother decided that the sight of her carrying around a dirty “special blanket” was embarassing; hid it; and refused to tell us where it was.
….At this point you may be feeling sorry that Shannon had a family so devoid of sentiment, but I might tell you that one rainy Saturday when she was 13 we left her in charge of a garage sale while we went to the mall and the sole customer asked her if she had any 45 r.p.m. records. “I do!!” she reponded as she scurried to Doug’s room and cleared out his collection to sell.
….A glance into the garage rafters lets me know I still have items from when Mom lived here. Retrieving them means I must get on a ladder and I’ve just never felt that brave. I spy a badminton net, a spare baby crib and a suitcase. I’ve often wondered if the suitcase holds anything. My laize faire attitute toward family heirlooms caused my sister much angst when I moved back to my childhood home and began my annual clean up and clear out. I was not, she felt, a responsible guardian of the family history. She ofen posed questions to me that were designed to find out what I had tossed out without acting like she was monitoring my activity. That must have been why she asked me one day “Have you seen Dad’s Navy uniform lately?” Now my Dad was a sailor in World War II and I knew darned well why she was asking, so I replied, “Yep, was wearing it around the house yesterday!” Never did see it though. Maybe it is in the suitcase.
…..My cousin, Sonny Weltner, stopped by the house the other day and gave me a picture he had discovered of my cousins: Bob Herron, Janet, Becky, Mary Louise, Allen and Sonny Weltner and my sister, Marsha, who is holding me. . She looks to be about eight and I am probably somewhere around nine- months -old. She looks like she had a pretty firm hold on me. My Mom must have told her to hold on tightly to me lest I run amuk amongst the cows on the farm. Looking back I think she always thought it was her responsibility as my older sister to protect me when I sought to run out into the world….or perhaps to be there when I stumbled and fell… to just pick me up. I miss her.
……We got so carried away with reporting on the complicated process of going back to school necessitated by the coronavirus that we forgot about what a milestone for each and every child and his/her parents it is. But, our readers didn’t. Suddenly, back to school photos started appearing in our Facebook Page last week. There were masks and laps tops and most important – smiles. Even in the midst of this most difficult ever start to a school year, there were lots of smiles. They are wonderful and we will be sure to include them in future editions.
…..Election 2020. This week we feature the responses to our questions from our State Senate candidates Randy Swartzmiller and Ryan Weld. The Sept. 24th edition will feature County Commission candidates Joe Barnabei and Ern Chek. Prosecuting Attorney candidates Jim Davis and Steven Dragisich will be featured in our Sept. 30th edition. I think we’ve posed questions that are not your typical questions. and perhaps a little outside the box. Since the COVID virus has put a halt to most meet & greet, door-to-door and meet your candidate events where you might have an opportunity to pose those questions yourself, we are trying to do our part to educate our readers so that they can make an informed choice on election day.
……Over 1,000 Hancock County voters have requested absentee ballot applications from the Election Office. I telephoned the office (304-564-3311, ext. *) and requested mine today. The last day to request an absentee ballot is October 28.