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The yard sale

Over Labor Day weekend, while the rest of the world relaxed and enjoyed their last gasps of summer vacation, I was in the middle of hauling useless junk out of my basement for a yard sale.

Do I know how to party or what?

It all began with the "Golden Harvest" 1972 gas-powered dryer that I inherited when I bought my little bungalow two years ago. I have no need for the extra space-sucking behemoth, but still it sat in my basement. And, with every load of laundry I cursed its existence. But, what could I do with it? It's too bulky for me to manage on my own, and I hate to just throw a perfectly good--albeit ugly--dryer away.

And thus, the yard sale idea was born. What better way to get rid of the golden nuisance, I thought? And, I could get rid of more useless junk with it.

You would think that this would be a simple affair. Step one, go through all of my excess junk and "treasures." Step two, price said junk and treasures. Step three, artfully display treasures on the lawn. Step four, rake in the money.

What could possibly be simpler?

As I started going through my things, however, I quickly realized that sadly, I do not have the big ticket items that will bring in the customers to a yard sale. I am still using most of my yard-sale-worthy furniture and appliances.

And so, I thought I'd open it up to my friends here in town. Bring me your tired furniture, your threadbare clothing, your tchotchkes yearning for freedom, I told them. All are welcome at the Labor Day Yard Sale Extravaganza.

Every night for a month I went through every room in my house and cleaned out closets and priced knicknacks in preparation for the sale. I made signs directing traffic, and coordinated my friends' offers of help. I gathered tables and planned out my displays. Everything was in place.

The day of the sale rolled around--a pretty nice day to play at the lake or do some other end-of-summer activity. Instead of goofing off however, I was stuck hauling out boxes of clothing and tables of "stuff." Party on, guys.

I made the best of my lost holiday, though. I haggled, I cajoled, I was a fireball of customer service. And, at the end of the day, my friends and I made a nice chunk of change. Plus, we got rid of a lot of things that we no longer needed cluttering our homes--well worth sacrificing a day of leisure.

It wasn't until after the last customer had stopped by, and after the things were boxed up and the tables were put away that I realized I had forgotten one major item.

In all my rush to get things put out the morning of the sale, I forgot to haul up the dryer from the basement.

Good grief.

I'm destined to have the golden heap with me for at least a few more months, I suppose. That is until I can implement Plan B, which involves a couple of my burly guy friends, a truck, and a midnight trip to the county dump.

You see, as much as I enjoyed my small taste of entrepreneurship, I don't plan on repeating it. I'll take the lake any day over a yard sale.

Jennifer M. Latzke can be reached by phone at 620-227-1807 or by e-mail at jlatzke@hpj.com.

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