I love a good garage sale.
What a wonderful way to sneak around the system:
The seller gets some extra money for crap they were going to throw away.
The buyer gets a great deal on
something they need,
or, OK, they’re not sure what it is, but they got a great deal on it anyway.
And a garage sale has a carnival atmosphere to it:
neighbors stopping by
stories about the items
haggling over prices.
But there is something different about an estate sale.
The jubilant atmosphere is replaced by a more solemn tone.
Maybe it’s just creepy buying things from a dead person.
Maybe an estate sale exemplifies the expression, “You can’t take it with you.”
Maybe an estate sale reminds us of our own mortality.
Maybe an estate sale fills us with a sense of loss:
“Never ask for whom the estate sells, it sells for thee.”
Or maybe it’s sad to see a person’s life, their home, their world being carted out:
“My uncle bought us that clock.”
“That’s the first piece of furniture we bought together.”
“That’s the serving dish we bought on our honeymoon.”
“That’s the first thing sold.”
“That’s going to be broken into good wood.”
“That’s a good deal.”
We didn’t know these people.
They weren’t historical figures.
But, their stories deserve to be told.
This stuff belongs in a museum.
Instead it’s sold for less than cost
and tradition is lost.