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    Entries in extended family (2)


    Gettin' Ready

    Wowser, I am home and lovin’ it!  My family (and maybe all Oklahomans) uses the word piddling, or rather, piddlin’.  Meaning to do this thing, and then that thing, working on whatever comes to hand.  So, I’ve just been piddlin’ since coming home from Texas.  Unpacking, house cleaning, yard work, gardening, planting more flowers, buying groceries, catching up with family, spending time with my man.

    The rest of our extended family is having a yard sale today and tomorrow.  We have one, sometimes two, every year.  A four-family sale is quite the thing to see - spread down a driveway and over the entire front yard.  This one is at my sister’s house.  I opted out, just needing time to piddle around home.  I will probably have one at my house this fall, and those that have leftover things to sell can go another round.  They are all on my mind this morning.  My parents, sister, sister-in-law, a nephew, a niece (maybe two if she’s not working), and my brother will be in and out (work always interferes with fun).

    Preparing for the sale can be more work than the sale days.  We usually don’t have much leftover, so clean up is not too bad.  Well, I guess it is when you are hot and tired.  Sale items to box up, give away, or throw away, tables to take down and return, signs to pick up, money to count and disperse, kitchen to clean (eating goes on all day).  Sometimes we say, “Let’s not go to so much trouble next time.”, or “These sales are more trouble than they’re worth.”  But, with the next change of season, here we go, dragging out, moving around, unpacking, and arranging things ‘just so’.

    We love it.  We really do.  We talk, laugh, and meet new people.  We eat, play, and fan ourselves.  There is bargaining, organizing, and giving away.  There is some good money to be made with these sales, especially if you are selling furniture or appliances.  And we usually are.

    My sister’s family is really paring down and the proceeds from their portion of the sale will go to my niece.  She travels to Brazil in the fall for a year of mission work.  So, if it’s not nailed down or secreted away, it’s getting sold.  Mother’s family has been having garage, or yard, sales for as long as I can remember.  Grandma and my aunt would all take part, and the tradition was born.  I think that everyone should experience at least one sale in their lifetime.  If you live in a large metropolis, it may not be easy, but you should check into it.  Make a little money, share what you no longer need, and meet your neighbors!

    The next couple of articles will help you get ready for your sale.  Gathering, pricing, displaying, organizing.  Come on, it’ll be fun!


    Apart, But Not Separate

    Another memorial service behind us, the family drifting back to their lives and homes, our sons driving and flying away. 

    It was good to be together, and GB enjoyed time with his brothers, nieces, nephews, cousins, and an aunt.  Texas is even hotter today than the days before, but not unbearable.  There have been moments cool enough to sit out in the courtyard.  A couple of crows (since one is noticeably smaller than the other, I think I mean couple in the mated sense) have become enamored with the backyard and we’ve enjoyed their antics.  My mother-in-law has graciously allowed me to stay with her all this week, and GB is on the road home.

    For several generations now, as our society has become more mobile, leaving home means more than just moving into a place across town.  Young people are continuing their education, getting married, starting careers, and embarking on adventures, mostly away from their parents and childhood homes.  Away, as in more than just a few miles.  I consider our technological advancements a ‘mixed bag’ - it’s great that we can chitchat (even face-to-face) with our family no matter where in the world they live; but there is also a trend toward techno-relationships, which replaces close-proximity, deeper contact.  It’s hard to read body language and facial expressions over the phone, or via email, facebook chats, or Instant Messaging.  Nuances of conversation are lost or scrambled as they travel over wire and through the atmosphere.  Short dialogues, superficial interactions, have replaced long, into-the-night, conversations.  Yes, I’ve had many wonderful phone chats, full of meaning and importance.  But, Up Close and Personal can never be replaced by the next generation iPhone.

    Watching, and engaging in, the family interaction these past few days reminded me of the importance of catching-up.  It’s great if folks can pick up where they left off, when last in each other’s company.  The importance of family gatherings, as well as friend time, has been discussed more than once on this site, but it’s never more evident than when witnessed first-hand.  I would encourage you all to take advantage of opportunities to be with family and friends.  If you can’t always be close, then do avail yourself of our techy blessings - talking with good friends on the other side of the world has never been more easy!