A few weeks ago, I was mulling over what needed to go in my house. Toys kept popping up as my #1 priority, but I was at a loss on how to donate them. Donation drop-offs don’t accept them because they would be liable if the toy was recalled. Several Facebook selling sites don’t allow toy sales for the same reason. As I was driving into town one day, I had an epiphany. There is a lady off the main highway that hosts a garage sale often using items donated to their church. She gives the proceeds back to their church to help pay for kids to go to church camp. It’s a wonderful ministry, and I kicked myself for not thinking of it sooner.
As Christmas approached last year, I got mini-panic attacks about all of the stuff that was about to come in. My only solution to combat my kids’ hoarding was to pay them, $5 for each box of donations. It actually worked better than I had hoped. I don’t think I’ve ever seen my kids work that fast.
Last weekend, we finally put the Christmas decorations up. Before I closed the lids, I picked out several decorations we hadn’t used that year to donate. Some of the donations were a little hard for me because of the memories I had attached to them. However, I knew I needed to let go of the old in order to make room for new memories. It’s kind of odd how that works.
As an aside, I ran across a short article about successful closet cleaning this morning. Click here to see it. There are some great tips there that I hadn’t seen before. They’re not mind-blowing, but useful.
Anyhow, I was rushing around about an hour before I had to get the kids from the bus, and I made a stop at the garage sale lady’s house. I had met her a few times before, but I don’t think she knew who I was. I was really proud that I had about six boxes/bags of stuff to take to her. She seemed a little shocked when she answered the door, but I think she was grateful for the donations. While I was unloading the items, she said, “Did you know my husband passed away last week?” I looked at her, and my jaw hit the ground. I had no idea, and my eyes immediately started welling up with tears. I wish I had known so I didn’t look like an idiot interrupting her time to grieve. All I could think to do was hug her.
She was gracious, though. We spoke about her husband, his illness, and his faith in God. In a way, I think she was glad to have someone to talk to after all of the family and friends dispersed after the funeral. It was a reminder that I need to spend more time visiting with the elderly ones in my life. Even though I was there to give her my donations, she gave me a gift, too.
When I got home, I called my 90 year-old grandmother, and we had a lovely chat. She was snowed in all week, and I think it made her day. It made mine, too.