Sunday, September 11, 2011

Finding A Treasure While Shopping Yard Sales

I wasn't even going to get out of the car.  Nope. Wasn't.  I felt sorry for the two ladies dragging a very tired bookcase out of the house to join what looked like a lame yard sale.  I decided just to jump out and take a look.  I was sure that there wasn't a thing for me.  Oh, I pretended to be interested, exchanging pleasantries about the day...the heat.  I picked up a few things and endured the lengthy description from the one lady about why I should buy it even though I knew I wasn't buying.

But then something interesting happened.  The other lady, a neighbor to the gal throwing the yard sale, started talking to me.  I can't recall what stopped me initially.  Although I do remember asking her about her Southern accent and found her response to me about growing up in Tennessee 'cheeky.'  (insert smile)  She was adorable and her conversational way had me captivated.  She told me that her name was Inez and that her husband had recently passed.  Her honesty was so refreshing.  She openly admitted to having issues with loneliness and she expressed it in a way that wasn't sad, just honest. 

I stood in the hot summer heat for a full hour, ignored two cell phone rings and listening to her stories and laughing about her take on issues in our community.  She seemed unfazed by the perspiration beading up on her shoulders as it ran down to be soaked into her pale blue tank top.  I thought that if she wasn't fazed, I would ignore my t-shirt as it became soaked. 

As I stood there, my mind briefly drifted as I realized that time was wasting.  I made the decision to spend the time that I could have spent at three more yard sales, soaking up a treasure that no one can buy.  The gift of honest conversation.  The gift of a real exchange with a sincerely sweet human being who was lonely, who just needed this moment to feel, well, alive. 

Having run out of time for shopping, I drove away without having bought a single item at the yard sale.  I glanced over and on the passenger seat was just one purchase from a previous stop. A neat painting on handmade paper of two finches.  I smiled at those two little birdies as the wind blowing through the open windows of my car helped cool my sweat soaked clothing. They were completely different breeds, but were sharing the same space for a fleeting moment in nature. Naturally, I decided to entitle the painting...Lesley and Inez.

I have thought back on this hour all weekend long.  I wonder if Inez has too.  I wonder if she realizes that she gave me a greater gift than I did her.  She reminded me that life's greatest treasures are not something you can buy at a yard sale, but the sincere exchange between two on a hot summer day is what makes this life oh so rich.  Remember, stop and take the time to connect.  You may just be glad you did.

-The End-


tofubeast said...

So so true. Maybe I'll get to met my neighbor, Inez, too! Love the painting btw. Sweet.

Teresa@oursoutherncountryhomeandfarm said...

This is such a sweet story!

Grammy Goodwill said...

What a great story! Thanks for taking your time to listen and thanks for sharing this story with us.

Rosemary@villabarnes said...

What a nice story. Love the painting.

Twice Nice said...

Now that's a lovely and touching story! Thanks for sharing.

Korrie@RedHenHome said...

How wonderful to have the cute birds to remind you of that precious hour!

Ranger 911 said...

I know exactly what you mean. That's why my intended 5 minute stops at any local small town shops turn into "high tea. :@

KAT said...

great post today...I love that you shared your feeling about a simple encounter with another human being that was honest and friendly Makes me realize How important those two traits are Honest and friendliness ! Im going to remember this and be friendlier to others and honest always

French Hen Farm said...

Wow. Really nice story. Im glad I stopped by. Thanks so much for sharing. really a lovely story.
Have a great week

xlpharmacy said...

That's real art! The bird looks so real and the best of it it's that the paint was inspired in the habitat of the bird.