Friday’s Weekend Column
Getting Back to Normal

by James Glaser
July 29, 3005

Tonight it will be down in the 40s and tomorrow it will be in the 70s. It is always nice to wake in the middle of the night and pull on a blanket. Those two weeks of real hot weather did wonders for the garden and now I am picking tomatoes every day, but that high heat is not northern Minnesota in the summer time.

I like getting up early and feeling a bit chilly, until I get all dressed. I like it too, when you can stand in the sunshine and feel good about the heat your body can absorb.

It was hot all the way up to Tuesday and I worked right through it, getting ready for the auction. I took box full after box full across the road to my little building, and was getting worried, because that place was filling up, but I could see no change over here. Now I look around and the house is starting to look like I have made some progress.

Yesterday the auction people came out and started listing everything I was selling so they could put an auction bill together. They put together some groupings of things and photographed them. They have a mailing list of 400, and will print out about a thousand "bills," which is an eye catching sheet that will be posted in every store, gas station, restaurant, and antique shop for miles around. Also every newspaper will get that 'bill' printed in miniature.

They told me that they will have the hay wagons that they sell off of, here about 5 days in advance. Also everything I put in boxes will have to be taken out and put in to boxes they supply. These are short sided cardboard flats, that let you see everything inside. As they explained it, you put all the good stuff together and any junky stuff together. It all sells, but a few good things do not make a bunch of junk worth more, but junk in with good stuff, brings the value of everything down.

I have lots of small things that will be sold a piece at a time, but once they get going, it will be fast. Sometimes they will have two "rings' going at the same time. I have lots of old coins, and most people won't bid on those, but you don't want to lose the crowd's interest, so while the coin collectors are bidding on the money, the rest of the sale will be going forward.

The whole thing depends on the weather, and the crowd. For a successful auction, you need more than one buyer for each item, so that they bid against each other.

Tonight I was invited down for fresh blueberry pie at the neighbors. These were the small tasty swamp berries. They are small and take a lot longer to fill up the bucket, but their flavor is great. They said there was a bear out in the patch with them, but they gave it wide berth and there were enough berries to share.

I can remember taking the kids out pickin, and making sure that we were making enough noise so that a bear would know we were around. If humans are out in a berry patch, and the bear knows you are there, they usually won't come in, but if you are picking real quiet like, they could walk up to you, before either of you knew the other was there. It is a good idea not to surprise a bear.

As I continue to sort things for the auction, I keeping coming across things that are not saleable, but filled with memories. So many school projects that the kids made over the years, many out of clay. Old letters that I find myself reading, and getting nothing done. Pictures of the kids or Charmaine, doing things I totally forgot about. In the workshop, projects that were half started that I really have to study, to figure out what they were going to be. Little envelopes with parts to something, that were saved for some reason. A little piece that I was going to glue back on, and now I have no idea of where it goes.

I keep telling myself that no matter what, this auction is a good idea. It is a lot of work and will be until the day of the sale. I do need to get rid of a lot of these things, you know what, I have six staplers and many many hammers, lots of tape measures, I bet five coping saws and six, six routers. I have one router that Ray Knaeble gave me twenty years ago, that I always reach for, because it fits my hand so well. The others I bought over the years, and one I never even took out of the box.

I have a real nice 12 ½ inch portable planer that I used a few times several years ago, and it has sat in the shop ever since. It is one of the many tools that I just knew I needed, but I didn't.

I have six file cabinets and some have paperwork from the 80s in them. Most have other than paper work, and every one takes forever to empty, because I have to look at everything.

Yes, this auction is a good idea and it will make the house much bigger, by selling so much stuff, but it is a ton of work. I like the walks down memory lane and if I wasn't doing this, I never would have had the thoughts I have had these last few weeks. It has been both happy and sad going through everything, but I am all in all, glad I am doing it. Wish Charmaine was here helping me though, She would know what to sell and what to keep, although I can honestly say now, that she was every bit the pack rat that I am.

Heck, it is summer and the days are long and warm. I am making progress by getting some of the clutter out of my life, I am reflecting on what I have been doing, you might say I am getting my life, well if not my life, my house in order, and I am having a good time. I don't know what more I could ask for. Well, yes I do, and I do ask. I will just have to be patient and see where He leads me.

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