Twice a year we have community garage sales in our neighbor hood, they last from Friday until Sunday and it seems the whole city comes by to look at our junk. Many of us get rid of unwanted stuff that we have stored in the attic and in the garage and we make room, so we can drive around the next day and buy other peoples junk.
It is always a big “to do” and we all love it. Driving around in the streets we know, going from house to house, talking to neighbors we don’t see all the time.
It was Saturday and we were out and driving around to find this years treasures and bargains. We hadn’t bought anything, what was very unusual for us -particularly me- since I have a week spot for old, worn down furniture.
We drove out to a farm area that belongs to our neighborhood. We enjoyed the drive, had a good time, but didn’t expect to find anything there either, besides maybe some farm-fresh eggs.
We stopped at an older house and the yard was full of “goodies”. My heart beat faster, when I saw the chests and old chairs and love seats, they had sitting outside. One particular piece got my attention and I tried to hold back the joy I felt. I was already restoring it in my mind, knew exactly what I would do with it. I put on my poker face and asked for the price. “$20 and it’s yours” she said and I was stunned. Oh, I love bargains and that just made my day. Next thing on my radar was a cedar chest. It was the real thing, an old original piece, that just needed some tender loving care and minor repairs. “And how much for that?” She looked at me and then at the chest. “How about $15”. Damn, I loved her prices! I continued shopping and added up what I had to pay.
This lady was selling stuff too cheap, way too cheap. I would pay only 50 bucks for some really great pieces. Something wasn’t right.
“What if they sell everything so cheap, because they are hurting for money” I wondered. I asked her where the furniture were coming from and we started talking. From her aunt and her Grandmother she said, although said she wouldn’t have any use for it.
I have no idea what hit me, but I took her to the side and looked at her. She was younger than me, somewhat in her late 30’s.
“If you are selling all this, because you need the money for food or living, let me know and I loan you the 50 bucks and you don’t have to sell the furniture, that have been in your family for quiet some time”. She looked at me in disbelieve and I realized then and there, that I might have offended her, what was not my intention at all.
She laughed and asked me to follow her. We went around the house to her barn and I had to laugh as well. It was full and overflowing with old furniture, beautiful pieces that deserved a better life than in an old barn.
I nodded, because I understood and paid what I owed her, $50 for all the furniture and $4 for the eggs.
We started loading the car and not all of it fit. It looked like we had to come back at least twice. The Lady called her husband for help, he loaded our stuff in his pickup truck and followed us home.
The next morning on Sunday I walked outside and found an envelope with a card in our mailbox. Inside were $50 and a note. It’s not important what she had written, but it touched my heart. I got dressed and drove back to her house. She looked like she was expecting me.
We went inside, had a cup of tea and talked. She didn’t want to take my money, because I had offered to help her, even though she didn’t need any help. She didn’t want me to pay, because my offer meant something to her. We talked for a very long time.
She gave me all these beautiful pieces for free. She didn’t have to do that, there was no need for it.
We have met several times ever since. We are becoming friends.
I have been very lucky in my lifetime. I got help from strangers when I needed it, especially when I traveled foreign countries. Kindness toward strangers is something we all should practice more often…I know I need to. I tried to be kind that day and got repaid more than double.
I believe in Karma. Stuff you do wrong bites you in your butt, stuff you do right comes back to you when you don’t expect it.
When was the last time a stranger did something particularly kind, generous, or selfless for you? Tell us what happened!