The Pathfinders had our annual yard sale yesterday. This year we decided to split the proceeds 50/50 with the Friendly Kitchen, but I’ve written about that before, so I won’t rehash it again.

Sunday evening I stopped by the church and set up our new kitchen shelter (minus the walls). I wanted some cover to put things under in case it rained, or, barring rain, I wanted some shade. Paul and Barbara (our associate conference PF director) were planning to show up that evening sometime to set the conference shelter up as well, but I wasn’t sure exactly when they would arrive. So I got there on the early side.

I set up our shelter all by myself. After I carried all the parts to the front yard, it took me an hour to get the thing up. By then, Paul and Barb had not shown up yet, but since I was sure they would be there in a few minutes, I decided to go snag a nearby geocache. That took 15 minutes, and when I came back, they had just arrived.

Barb’s brother was there too, and it took the four of us only 30 minutes to get the second shelter up. Then we went home.

I was back at 8:00am with four kids in tow. Beth always likes to come to our yard sale, so there’s no leaving her behind for those. David, being in Pathfinders was obligated! I also picked up two other kids and gave them a ride in.

The first order of business was to haul a dozen tables out to the shelters. With those set up, we started bringing our donated goods out. Early birds showed up, but I don’t think a one of them bought anything!

We also set up our life-sized model camel and attached a couple of “YARD SALE” posters to it, one on each side. I figured that would draw some attention, and it did.

Since our club has converted over to three-man tents, I thought it would be a good idea to try to sell our old 8-man tents. We had two same-model Coleman’s, and an old Eddie Bauer. I figured we’d keep the better of the two Coleman’s back in case we ever needed it. I had some of the kids pitch them, and it wasn’t long before someone asked about the Coleman.

This tent was in pretty fair shape. It had always been stored dry, so there was no mold whatsoever. It did have a cracked pole (which I had successfully addressed with duct tape), and a few rips in the pole sleeves. But it was still water-tight, so it was really a decent tent. I explained why we were getting rid of it, and asked they guy (whose name was Dave) for $20. As you will soon see, that was demonstrably too low a price.

Dave (correctly) thought that $20 was a pretty good deal, so he jumped on it. I had the kids strike the tent. As they were doing that, another guy came up and asked about it. One of the kids told him it had already been sold, so he asked who bought it. Dave was identified, so the other guy approached him and asked how much he had paid. Dave answered him “Twenty dollars.” and the guy countered, “I’ll give you $40.” Dave told him, “I won’t take $40, but you can give them $40 and I’ll let you have it.” What a guy!

Dave then took a look at our other tent. I offered it to him for ten, since it was about half the tent (quality-wise) as the Coleman. That tent had not been put away dry one time, and the mustiness was pretty evident to me. Also, the elastic inside the poles was a bit worn out, and there were a few duct tape patches in the fly. Dave agreed to buy it for ten, and told me to just leave it up. He said he’d come back at the end of the day to pick it up, but if anyone offered more, I was to accept that offer. He paid us the ten bucks before he left.

Well, somebody did offer more. Twenty-five bucks! So I reluctantly gave it to him. As the kids were striking the tent, I came to the decision that we really did not need that second Coleman that I was saving back. Kindness like Dave’s simply has to be rewarded! I asked one of the teens to go get it out of the trailer, and when Dave showed up, I gave it to him. He insisted on paying me ten more.
I accepted, since that’s what he was originally going to pay for the other Coleman, and this one didn’t have a busted (but duct taped) pole, and its canvas bag featured a functional zipper to boot.

I really like Dave.

He told me that he has a 16 year-old son, and he was looking for something like Pathfinders for him to be involved in. I told him that we would start up again in August, and that his son was more than welcome to join. Then he jokingly offered to give us his son. I told him I’d take him for eight nights a year, and explained that we have four two-night camping trips. I think he liked that idea. I think I’ll see him in August, if not before then.

The other notable thing that happened during the yard sale came when someone asked if our camel was for sale. Melissa (one of our staff) said “No, it wasn’t,” but she was mistaken! I had asked the guy who built it back in February if we could sell it, and he gave us his blessing. There are not a lot of places to store a 7-foot tall camel in our church. Anyhow, the lady who was asking was thrilled. She took a photo (why didn’t I think to do that?) and sent it to her husband with a text message him asking him what he thought. So I’m thinking, “Uh oh, no sale.” But he didn’t answer the text. So she paid for it and told us her husband would be by later to pick it up.

He showed up about an hour later, and said, “I think my wife bought your camel?” He didn’t look too thrilled. I went over to the camel and showed him how to remove the head (it detached from the body for easier transport). Then we loaded it onto his truck. Just as he was getting in, he told me, “they’ve name him Josh if you want to know.” I sure felt sorry for that guy.

At the end of the day, the guy from Chichester showed up to take our remants. He was collecting yard sale leftovers for another yard sale to benefit the Chichester Old Home Day. I was sooooo happy he was there, because disposing of remnants has been the Achilles heel of this fund raiser. Goodwill never wants more than 10% of what we have left, and the Salvation Army and the dump are both always closed on Memorial Day. So this guy was sent from heaven, in my opinion.

We loaded his truck – twice, and we took down the canopies. Barbara came by and we loaded the conference shelter into her van (thanking her as profusely as I could).

Then we counted the money. I don’t remember the exact figure, but it was something like $670. That’s not bad considering that during a “good” year, we usually make about $500. Of course half of this is going to The Friendly Kitchen, so our take is down a little bit, but it’s certainly not out of line as compared to a typical year.

We will get a check to Friendly Kitchen ASAP!