Junk and Treasure

It continues to rain here in the Kanawha Valley, misting a lazy malaise over us all and making the trees bow down with heavy heads. Most, who are not ducks, choose to stay inside. Unless…there is a neighborhood garage sale going on as in my subdivision today! The die-hard salers sloshed about our streets this morning, oblivious to rheumatic joints and chilled bodies. It wasn’t good weather for a sale, but no matter, the prices were right.

Here is what my garage looked like this morning:

I’ve been tucking away items for weeks, waiting for this chance to clear out and recycle parts of my life. There is something so cleansing about purging the house of unused items. Something so sweet about watching a person’s eyes light up as they strike a bargain. It really is true that one man’s junk is another’s treasure.

As I sat in my lawn chair with my coffee this morning, I couldn’t help feeling a bit wistful about parting with this:

I had taken the better part of the morning scrubbing off the crayola markings and scraping off Blues Clues stickers. But when a young woman excitedly hauled it off with a bright face, it brought me much joy to know that this little table would see some more happy days.

Here’s another view of the garage:

Can you tell that we are book people? In fact, as I was putting them out this morning, several didn’t make it into the sale. I had to take a stack back in that I just couldn’t bear to part with: Corduroy, for one. Green Eggs and Ham, another. After all, I may be a grandmother one day. One can never have enough books.

In between customers, I mused about the objects on my tables. Like my children, if I pondered them too long, I was apt to change my mind and keep them. But as it was, I was practically giving these things away. These silver candlesticks Jeff and I received as a wedding gift. This book: What to Expect When You’re Expecting, that was read every night of my first pregnancy and well thumbed throughout the second. I remembered the day we bought that set of dishes…how young we were! And that little tricycle; how many miles on the odometer?

Seasons. God created them so perfectly. I wonder why it is so difficult sometimes to stand on the other side of one and look back? As I look over this garage filled with junk and treasure, I am overwhelmed by the blessings in my life. These objects represent a journey. Trinkets and garments. Stories and toys.

Yesterday, Jeff and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary. I had to work, and for fun, asked each one of my patients how long they had been married. I was amazed at the stories my questions yielded. A young soldier, wrinkled with age now, buried his wife of 55 years only 2 years ago. A brief moment compared to the years they shared. Some tears were shed in the telling. But, oh, the love! Another, lost her husband much too young. She seemed to savor the taste of his name on her tongue. Kept saying it over and over. Others, blessed to still have their life mate with them, smiled shyly as they spoke of their love. What a blessing are these years we have been given. The widow told me, “You cannot get them back.

“Fifteen years is a milestone”, said she, when I told her we had nothing special planned, “make a date with him.”

But he had praise band practice and I had the sale to get ready for. Still, when I tucked little Jeffrey in last night, when he asked me to stay a bit, I says, “No, hon, mommy has a special kiss for daddy tonight.”

“What for?” he wondered.

When he was reminded of the special day, he thought we should celebrate by sleeping in his bed with him since the start of our marriage marked the beginning of our family. Ha! The little con-man!

He has a point. Not about the sleeping, mind you, but about the celebration. We have much to celebrate in the years that we have been given.

Yes, it seems like yesterday, that morning I last awoke as an individual. Yet, it seems like forever, because I cannot imagine my life before him. For since that day, fifteen years ago, I am not whole without him.

Maybe I will make a date with my husband. I think I’ll take those silver candlesticks off the table. Told you what would happen if I thought about them too long. It’s time to celebrate.

And the Endless gifts continue…

51. Fifteen years of ups and downs, of mostly goods and some bads; Fifteen years of love…

52. And the fruit of that love…

To see all the posts of the Endless Gifts, click here.


  1. says

    Happy Anniversary, friend.

    I loved your beautiful post. It was good to read the stories of others, beautiful.

    Wish I could have come and sat at the garage sale with you today. It was raining here in Georgia too. My husband is gone all weekend to a men’s retreat. I would have loved sitting there with you chatting while shoppers came by.

    Have a blessed night!
    Hugs & Love,

  2. says

    That was beautiful, Laura!
    Your words have given me chills today….Happy 15th Anniversary to you and your husband, friend!
    I have so enjoyed getting to know you through your blog.

    God Bless,

  3. says

    I spent all day looking through other people’s “junk”! Tennessee has a 95 mile yard sale this weekend that runs through our town and there were so many we only made it to one more town over! I was hoping for a big “treasure”, but wasn’t so lucky! Tomorrow Day and I spend our 7th Anniversary together. The real date it Monday, but babysitter is available tomorrow! We aren’t very good “daters” but we did throw a little adventure together this time: The Mammoth Caves in KY! I’m really looking forward to it… I highly suggest making that date; even if you have to do the planning; and even if you do spend most of your time together talking about the kids :o) it’s still time together!
    I am soooo in your shoes about SheSpeaks! Yikes! I have the same block that I had last year and you saw how crazy that turned out. God is at it again! What will he have for us this year???
    I will definitely be praying for you, too! Thank you friend!

  4. says

    Happy Anniversary!
    If I’d been at your garage sale I’d have been interested in those two cute little red ottoman’s.
    They would be so cute in one of our bedrooms. Did they sell? 🙁
    I don’t blame you for hanging onto the books. For some reason I’ve never been able to get rid of my kids’ books. I also think of having grandchildren one day and reading to them.
    It’s sweet to see your wedding pictures and I’m thankful that God has given you such a wonderful family to love and enjoy.
    Yes, make a date with your hubby if you haven’t already done so.
    Have a great weekend!

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