The Garage Sale: A Tale of Procrastination
by Angie Brown, Guest Author
My house on “The Haskell” in Portville had sold, and I was preparing to move out and begin a new phase of life… at 92 years of age! The contrast between the cluttered garage next to the neat kitchen was very noticeable, so, labeling it an emergency, I started to sort the contents of the garage. This puttery work is time-consuming and boring, but by the afternoon, one corner of the garage had been transformed into something more presentable. I was contemplating having a garage sale in a few weeks when I happened to remember a commitment I had made. So, I stopped my work on the garage to fulfill my promise. This seemingly innocent detour turned into a parade of more fun and interesting interruptions that occupied my time and energy for more than a week; would I ever get back to preparing for the garage sale?
First, I received an invitation to go on a short trip, which I happily accepted. Returning full of energy and high spirits from the trip, I realized it was blueberry season. The blueberry farm was in the neighborhood, so I trotted over there and picked a good-sized basketful. On the way home, I decided to make some blueberry jam, something I hadn’t done in several years. So of course, I proceeded to make the preserves and stood admiring the full glasses on the counter. “Home-made bread would be good with that,” I said to myself.
So, the next day I mixed up some dough and baked two loaves of bread. By that time, the jam was cool and set. I cut a thick slice from the heel of warm bread and smeared it generously with the freshly made jam. While standing at the kitchen window, I wolfed down the bread and jam and relished every delicious crumb. From the window I could see that the lawn needed raking. The grass had gotten rather long, and, when cut, had left clumps of dried grass, which were unsightly. Postponing the garage work again, I took a rake, and, expending some of the energy from the bread and jam, I raked up six bushels of grass clippings and piled them up on the compost pile.
The following day, I had a call from my sister in Rochester telling me she would visit soon. So after she arrived, we had a week on the town, shopping, eating out, and visiting relatives. The garage would have to wait!
Finally returning to the clutter in the garage, I began, reluctantly, moving and organizing things at a slow pace when I saw the mailman stop out front. I hurried out to the mailbox and picked out a letter from my daughter, who lived 160 miles away in Ithaca. Tearing it open and reading the contents, I found that they were short and to the point. “Mother,” it read, “I am coming Saturday to help you with the garage sale.” Uh-oh, I’d better get busy, now!
So, with a new-found sense of urgency, I sprang into action and sensed a powerful surge of energy. By the end of that day, I had everything under control. Only the signs had to be made and posted. I must say that I had a splendid feeling of accomplishment. Reflecting on the events of that day, I reckoned that the crime of procrastination can be solved by a little motivation!
(For more articles by Angie Brown, click HERE)