A little thwarted that we are not to move to Aix-en-Provence, France, Lubbock, Texas, or even Kennewick, Washington — in other words, my entire scope of hoped-for change is dashed beneath an avalanche of inertia — we are, instead, going to hold, at this month’s end, a moving-rehearsal sale. The invocation I pitched to my husband was, “Pretend we’re moving, and may there be no survivors in any crannies or stow-holds.”


Actually, my motive was to hold a garage sale to try to raise some money to dent the airfare cost a wonderful young woman is going to incur, flying to Africa this year to be married. I reckoned a multiple-benefit scenario. A garage sale would inspire my husband to clean out the garage. It would inspire me to part with numerous things that have failed to disappear for wishing they would. Rather than disappearing, these things have maintained their spots and their status as curated objects despite their retirement from usefulness, serving only to remind me of bygone abilities. It is time for them to leave, even if it is not time for us to leave.


We are pacing ourselves to be organized without pressure on opening day. We are actually participating in an advertised neighborhood-wide event. About forty households hold garage sales the first weekend of August every year. This will be our first time participating. Normally, we spend as much time as possible away from home, avoiding the event. The community garage sale attracts every Gypsy horde west of the Rockies.


Gone will be the chipped Limoges plates, gone will be the tennis racquets, gone even will be a hot air popcorn popper — though I may need to keep it, even though we don’t like popcorn, just because it is made in the U. S. A.


I honestly think the inspiration underlying the idea of the garage sale has to do with the spiritual need of purging: my system is stressed by pain I am unable to purge, I cannot purge my wish for adventure, nor can I sate it; really, I desire change I cannot effect, nor would such change be wholesome. So the garage sale is like a dress rehearsal for a wished-for change, sort of like cleaning the oven used to be before the days of self-cleaning ovens. I moved often enough that I would only clean my oven before I moved.


May fair weather, fair fellowship, and a fair jaunt to Goodwill with the leftovers after the sale attend us.