“I can’t watch this. People are just walking out with his stuff...they didn’t even know him,” a woman said tearfully to her neighbor who was ahead of us in line.
My daughter and I have a Saturday hobby. When time allows. we enjoy going to estate sales. She loves thrifting for clothes, I enjoy finding garden treasures. It’s a hobby we picked up by accident when we stumbled onto a sale about a year ago.
Today, I listened to the woman in front of us and watched her walk away. It reminded me of the estate sale across the street at our old house. Mary and Erv were the best neighbors. Although in their eighties, in many ways they were our best friends and they loved being surrogate grandparents to our children, who were tiny at the time.
When their health deteriorated and my husband's runs across the street to help weren't enough, they moved on to assisted care living. We were heartbroken. I remember the day an estate sale was held at their house. It was a beautiful spring-like day, not a cloud in the sky. I was in one of my children’s rooms when a shadow fell over the window. I looked to see what it was and was surprised to see a bald eagle swooping over our house, over Erv and Mary’s and out of sight. I had never seen one in that neighborhood and haven’t seen one there since.
Watching out the window I noticed a sale being set up and strangers going in and out of the familiar house. What was already heartbreaking was even more so, ‘people were just walking out with their stuff...they didn’t even know them’. I felt sad, and then, I felt protective. I ran to the sale and picked out 5 pieces that stood out in memories: the blue pyrex cake pan that Mary always served us her chocolate cake in and 4 small blue glass (her favorite) decorative pieces. One for each of my children to have someday.
Today the weather was cold and dreary. The skies were overcast and drizzle was imminent. Watching the conversation in front of us made me reminiscent. I understood the woman's sadness but also understood the neighbor whom she was talking to. He was there to get a “jacket or something" to remember and feel close to his friend.