Saturday, January 23, 2010

The house apparently changed hands about six months ago. A Craftsman style that is quite common up here, it either set empty for years, or someone very infirm lived there. During that time it didn’t deteriorate too badly, moss doing what damage it does each winter, and that’s about it. Windows seemed solid, roof intact, although the place was in need of paint and landscaping.

Paint and stumped-off bushes were the first signs of new ownership. The work was slow, as if the new owners could only manage time on weekends or after work. Then a crew showed and the pace picked up. And then stopped. The trim and anything above twelve feet remains unpainted.

If the new owner is not home often and long enough to finish the work, the able body that spends much of his time sitting on the porch each day might be employed to help, yet I get the feeling he can not be bothered, his immaculate white ball cap pitched to the side, sports apparel baggier than practical and suspended at a level on the hips that must make walking difficult. Hence, he sits, oddly without the benefit of earphones or buds, watching the traffic.

A month ago signs were placed in the yard. Driving into town, one could read “Yard Sale” painted on a piece of plywood. Driving out of town, one read a similarly fabricated sign: “Christian Home Donations Accepted.” A few items, a printer, an obsolete monitor, dish wear, stuffed animals and trinkets were placed on a table in the yard. Not really enough stuff for folks to stop, yet there they remained regardless of the weather or hour of day.

This week the pace again picked up, not on the painting, but on the items put out for sale. Tarps were hung from the house to protect some of the merchandise. More people joined the young man on the porch, yet the yard remained absent of buyers. Today, it being a Saturday and sunny, a number of potential customers wandered from table to table.

Maybe, since I have to go into town again tomorrow, and if the sale will be operating on the Lord’s Day, I will stop and browse, snoop, and see if there is a jar in which I can insert a dollar. If not, my barber has his business in the building immediately to the north, and I will ask him when next I need a trim, which is soon. He will likely know, as barbers often do, and based on earlier inquiries of a similar nature, he will readily share.

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