Friday, June 29, 2007

Surplus Profit [CCR]

Yard sales are interesting events. You simply place everything you bought for the last five to twenty years in your yard and watch other people buy it at a bargain. For an engineer, the math is somewhat confusing. I visit the local big box discount store and buy some useless item or toy. I then wait a number of years and sell it at a fraction of the cost. Then you quickly run your hand through the bag of quarters and proudly proclaim the profit you made. You just made about a hundred dollars selling three hundred dollars worth of stuff.

Well I guess it becomes necessary when you know you are about to pack everything and move across the country again. Each time I move I promise myself it is the last move and then I find myself moving again. This time I think it is for real. Murfreesboro, Tennessee may be stuck with me for a long time.

We didn’t have a yard sale growing up out on Moody Lane. I guess the Daily and Smith families were large enough to find a use for everything. Any item ready for disposal always found a home at some cousin’s house. If you needed anything then you checked with the family and usually you found what you needed.

For me the definition of a smokehouse never quite fit the definition you might imagine. In the later years Grandmother Daily no longer needed the smokehouse for the original intended purpose. For me the smokehouse meant the surplus store. You simply went out to the smokehouse and picked out the clothes you needed or whatever surplus items you might find.

Mom and Dad didn’t have the bigger families like my grandparents. It was just my sister and I and now between the two of us we have four children, three boys and one girl. The boys get to swap clothes, but it just isn’t the same as exploring the smokehouse to see what treasure you may find. All the same I do enjoy going home to find some fortune Mom and Dad kept around the house to trigger a pleasant memory.

This year Mom and Dad are celebrating fifty years of marital bliss. Forty five of those years have been at my childhood home on Moody Lane. While they have modernized the house and spiffed up the yard, the old buildings still show signs of children at play. And now the grandchildren have left there marks as well. Writings on the wall of the old shed tell tales of playing store. Toys in the playhouse Dad built speak of a grandchild’s imagination.

These relics make me question what I should keep for my own children’s memories. I guess I don’t really worry because we have enjoyed the pleasures of moving around the country and meeting people from all walks of life. Thus my children have taught me something valuable. It really isn’t the remnants that make the memories pleasant. The memories themselves are the real treasure. Things can be sold. Homes will age. But memories are the foundation for sanity in an insane world. I only hope I can give my children the same “treasures” my parents gave me. Happy anniversary Mom and Dad and thanks for all the memories.