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A: When it involves friends of mine … what else?

To preface this we need to go back to the time when I was asked  … on the off-chance that there would be a Yard Sale at Charlie and Bella’s house … whether I would be willing to help out.

I’m a friend. I said yes.

Charlie was indifferent, as usual. Bella was excited, as usual.

Then the Yard Sale was modified. Of course it was.

It was adjusted to be held mostly inside … in a bedroom that was going to be a guest room … or maybe the master bedroom … or maybe for a potential boarder.

OK.

But there would definitely be stuff out on the Yard … hence it was still going to be a Yard Sale.

As time went by, many things were put in the bedroom and taken from the bedroom … put in the hallway and taken from the hallway. Priced and unpriced. But always the end game was a Yard Sale.

Flash forward to this past week.

It seems that someone else in the small development was also going to have a Yard Sale. Today.

And they had put lots and lots and lots of signs up … pointing folks to the development for bright and early Saturday morning. So, we reasoned, why not take advantage of that fact and hold the Yard Sale on the same day?

Charlie was noncommittal, as usual. Bella was thrilled.

But of course the house had to be presentable for this … After all, a lot of it was going to be held indoors … with only some of the larger items put outside … to draw attention.

So much was done to prepare the house. Walls were papered. Counters were tiled. Curtains were hung. Furniture was rearranged. And rearranged. And rearranged.

And items were gathered. And organized. And reorganized. And reorganized.

At long last the night before the sale arrived. The day had been spent over there doing last-minute preparation of the house … and preparation of food for all of us who had committed to help.

I stopped by late last night with a tarp … theoretically to go on the Yard this morning for the Yard Sale … to keep things organized.

Charlie was so-so. Bella was exhausted from all the excitement.

Work went on until the wee hours of the morning, but when morning came, all was ready … sort of.

I had agreed to be there bright and early … at 8 AM. This should not have been a problem as I usually am up far in advance of that.

But of course last night I did not sleep well … and this morning my eyes popped open … at 8 o’clock sharp.

I called to let everyone know I was running late … and getting no answer I assumed that things were rolling along and money was flowing in. And I got myself quickly put together.

Arriving at the house I was surprised to see … nothing.

Knocking on the door, I was invited in … and told that everyone was exhausted … and that maybe it would be a better idea to push back the Yard Sale until 10 AM.

This was fine with me, as I actually had another breakfast meeting that I really needed to be at … and certainly could use some coffee … so off I went.

In mid-breakfast my phone rang.

“Could you stop on your way and get ice for the drinks? And balloons for the signs?”

Funny, now that you mention it I didn’t remember seeing any signs for the Yard Sale … well, other than the ones for the people who had put up lots and lots and lots of signs for their Yard Sale.

Picking up the desired items, I once more headed back to the house. And was surprised to see … nothing.

OK. Knock on the door.

Upon entering I noticed that Charlie was laying there … doing nothing … as he often did. And Bella was running around making all kinds of ungodly noises.

“Nothing is out yet … and I’m not sure I really want to sell that lamp … and … maybe we would be better off waiting until noon. And then we could do it again tomorrow.”

Well, that made sense. After all the signs weren’t out yet. And the balloons weren’t inflated yet. And now that I thought of it, where were the signs, anyway?

No signs. Yet.

So I poured myself a drink, put the ice in the freezer and sat to chat as other folks arrived to help out.

The next person in made an astute observation. “Hey, when I drove by that other Yard Sale, there wasn’t anyone there. Nobody.” And now that they mentioned it, I hadn’t seen anyone there either when I drove in … either time.

Charlie gave a thoughtful look. Bella collapsed on the couch.

So we all sat around waiting for the magic hour of noon, knowing that if we all pitched in that all the outside items for the Yard Sale could be set up on the tarp in virtually no time.

Stories were told. Laughter was laughed. Thoughts were thought. And before we knew it noon had arrived.

And our hunger had kicked in.

Well, all that good food had been prepared. Potato Salad, Hot Dogs, Chili, Chips … the works. Surely the Yard Sale could last another few minutes as we nourished our bodies, right?

Charlie didn’t care one way or another … he had eaten earlier. Bella was thrilled. She loves chips.

So we all filled our plates and went to the living room to sit and talk and eat and get our strength. As noon became 12:30 and 12:30 started to become 1 in the afternoon, someone said “You know, it’s not like there are a lot of people down at the other house at their Yard Sale.”

There weren’t.

“And if we waited till next weekend, there would be all that extra time to prepare for it.”

“Yes, and I could put signs up in the local grocery stores and laundromats.” said another. “That would insure a much better turnout.”

I think I heard more than one sigh of relief. Heads nodded in agreement and the decision was made.

The Yard Sale will be held next weekend.

And as the full effect of the comfort food kicked in we all admitted that an afternoon nap was probably not such a bad idea after all …

Charlie and Bella couldn’t have cared less.

But what else would you expect?

Charlie is their cat. Bella is their small dog.

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