What treasures have you found among someone else’s “trash?”

One mans trash…You know how the old saying goes. What may no longer be useful to one person, may well turn out to be a cherished treasure for another. This rings true in numerous ways.

I was driving back and forth across my suburban town on a typical, putt-around Sunday, and several times passed by a house having a garage sale. The weather was a bit too frosty, in my opinion, to make that endeavor worthwhile. I was thinking this, as I passed the chilled figures working the sale. As a seasoned host of some rather lucrative garage sales, I have learned that you don’t rake in the customers, in temperatures too hot, or too cold. I have a great appreciation for the myriad of benefits that come along, from doing something as laborious and unglamorous as having a garage sale.

I had never shopped garage sales, and had certainly never hosted one, before my second child was born. I snubbed my nose at garage sales for the most part. Who would want to sift through someone else’s discards anyway? Or spend their day selling their own junk in their own driveway? What would the neighbors think?

Fast-forward to a 2-year-old son, and infant daughter later. “Oh no, all these baby clothes, and toys, and hoppy chairs, are designed for boys. What were we thinking? And what will we do with all of this boy stuff? And gee-wiz, replacing it with all girl stuff is costly? And wow, no baby shower for the second-born, to ease the financial bleeding a bit, that comes from baby-having, and subsequent child-rearing, kind of sucks…” And finally, “Heyyy, maybe those garage sale people are onto something…”

Needless to say, I have held my fair share of yard sales in the 6 years to follow that naive time in my life. It was amazing, I was decluttering my house, helping people attain some rather nice items, for which they had need or want, at a fabulous price, and I was making some extra cash to contribute to my family. And by-golly its a green thing to do, and in total compliance with the concept of reuse, repurpose and recycle. Amazing!

Let’s get back to the poor popsicles I saw running their chilly-day sale. On my last pass, at the end of the day, dropping off my daughter’s friend from a play-date, I see that they have shut down shop and carefully moved all that didn’t sell to the curb, for trash pick-up. Alas, the curious picker in my head forces me to stop the car and assess the situation. Well, my goodness, am I glad I did.

I am now the happy owner of a pristine and life-like porcelain doll, which my daughter was thrilled to receive (incidentally I priced it out and found it to be valued at around $85), an extra large, wooden-framed, backyard table-umbrella, in excellent working condition, and a perfect, unused, hardcover, copy of a book that one of my dearest friends, and cheer-leader for my writing, had been urging me for months to read, coincidentally (or not) written by a blogger-turned extremely successful author, writing about some sh*t his Dad says. Amazing!

As I think of all of this, I grow more certain that there are no coincidences. A dear childhood friend, whose first husband had told her on numerous occasions, that she was a piece of garbage, eventually remarried a man who absolutely adored her for the stunningly beautiful, kindhearted and imperfect woman she is. 10 years later, they remain madly in love. Amazing! Sometimes, what might appear to be “trash” in our lives, turns out to be a hidden treasure, waiting to fall into the hands or heart of just the right person.