As you know, I have been very involved with my parents these past few months due to my mom’s accident and recovery. It has been a ton of work and life lessons, but things are moving along well. In 4 weeks, they are downsizing into a lovely retirement community. A major task has been to streamline their possessions. After 43 years, they are going from a 5 bed/4 bath house to a 1 bed/1 bath apt. That’s a lot of “stuff” to eliminate, much with sentimental value. Think about your parent’s home. How much “stuff” they have accumulated over the years and how attached they are to it all. You can sympathize with me now.
We had a moving sale at their home a few weeks ago, that went okay but it barely made a dent in their inventory. So, we decided to move the items to my sister Rose’s house because her home is on a main road and her area is more conducive for selling used household items.
We set the date for this past Saturday, with a rain date for Sunday. The weather forecast was for partly sunny and 50 degrees. Perfect. On Tuesday, just before I called the ad into the local paper, I again checked Accuweather and it was the same. Yeah! Plus, we had just had a gorgeous weekend.
Well, don’t you know it, on Thursday, the forecast changed? The old wintery mix was now predicted, starting late morning. Ugh! I got a call from all 3 of my sisters worried and irritable about this ugly weather and the quandary of what to do. “What can we do but plod on”, I said. “We have Sunday to fall back on”, though getting up at 6:30 AM the day after St. Patty’s Day parties is not a pleasant thought. And so, we packed up Friday night and arrived at Rose’s at 7 AM on Saturday, coffee cups in hand. Within an hour, we had crowds of buyers. With aggressive pricing, sales were brisk and we were optimistic.
At 10 AM, it seemed to get colder and grayer though, and traffic thinned. Rose was getting antsy, worried about all of the potential leftovers at her house and how to dispose of it. I was worried too. None of us wanted any of this stuff and there was still a lot of it left.
It began to snow lightly. My sister Gerry wanted to call it quits. Just then, a young woman pulled up and bought some stuff. As she paid, she introduced herself as Michele and handed me a flyer. She explained that she lived nearby and that she was organizing a benefit in June for a local young man who had a spinal cord injury. The fund raiser was to be a giant Flea Market. She asked if we might be interested in donating any of our leftovers to this cause.
OMG – Is this another one of my magical “angel moments”?! (I have several of these that happen to me in my book)
The snow stopped and I asked Michele to definitely come back at noon and we’d gladly give her EVERYTHING that we had leftover for her cause. She truly was an angel, arriving at just the perfect time!
Sales continued well, but then the snow started again. When it did, our traffic dropped off. I called Michele to come back. She and Rose’s husband loaded up and took everything to a local storage unit that was donated for this event. Hallelujah, we were DONE! And just in the nick of time too, as the snow came down heavy and constant from then on.
What a great feeling it was to have done well for our parents and then simultaneously, to also pay it forward to another person who needed a helping hand for her cause. It truly felt miraculous that the weather held off for us all morning, that we accomplished our goal, and that we helped someone else.
Michele was a live “Snow Angel” for us.
Her Flea Market event, to benefit the Mid Atlantic Spinal Cord Injury Fund, is on Saturday June 29th at St. Titus Church Norristown. If you’d like to donate items, please email Michele at firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by the sale to buy some “stuff”.