Autumn roars in like a lion

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“This will be our last yard sale for awhile,” I told my husband and kid as they hauled stuff up from the basement and out of the garage for what has become an annual yard sale.

This year, though, the sale happened much later than we had hoped.

You see, every year for the past six years, we’ve put up the 20 x 20 party tent we used for my kid’s mid-July birthday party. It’s a great tent, spacious, sturdy and pretty easy to erect, keeping partiers both dry and out of the sun.

Each year, a few days after the birthday party, we use the tent for a yard sale, which runs over several days.

This year, though, we didn’t do the big birthday wingding. My kid is 11, too old for kiddie birthday parties; instead, he invited some of his friends to a sleepover.

I was too busy, it seemed, to get ready for the sale, and the tent, much like the cheese at Old McDonald’s farm, stood alone.

One week went by, then another. July stretched into August, and as August was getting ready to yield to September, we got the sale together.

“Do you think we should sell the tent,” I asked my husband.

He shrugged.

“We won’t be using it anymore, you know,” I told him.

He nodded.

And so we put a sign on the tent, as well as on the pricey backyard play-set we bought back in the heady economic days of two incomes.

A guy checked out the tent. We were asking $110. He offered $50. After negotiating with my husband, the guy came up to $75. We wanted more. He said he’d talk with his wife and get back to us.

We never heard from him again.

The next week, when we planned to reopen the sale, we had torrential rain.

I kept my eye on the weather. The weather forecast for this week’s Thursday was decent, and it was. I spent Wednesday getting more stuff together for the sale.

My husband took the Friday shift as I went to the business class I am taking.

During class, I got a text message from my husband that he hadn’t sold a thing; after class, I got a phone call.

“The tent blew away,” my husband said.

It was a windy day, to be sure, but the tent was sturdy and well-staked.

Apparently it wasn’t enough: The wicked wind laughed at our stakes, lifted the tent and tossed it about the yard, destroying it.

The lesson?

It was either that $75 in the hand is far, far better than a tent in the trees, or that this was, indeed, really and truly, our last yard sale.

About Maria Stuart 211 Articles

Journalist Maria Stuart lives in Howell. She worked at The Livingston County Press/Livingston County Daily Press & Argus as a reporter, editor and managing editor from 1990-2009. She is often spotted holding court at Uptown Coffeehouse. You can check out her website by clicking here.