Sale. Or how a family garage sale netted us two condos, some fresh perspective and a garbage can full of pagan idols. They said yesterday was beautiful. And sunny. And busy. But I was only there today when it was freezing and overcast and dead, dandelion fluffs blowing along the driveway like tumbleweed. I think it even snowed at one point, but I can’t remember. There were a few buyers who shuffled down the driveway, thumbed through the crates of books and stacks of frames and then left the way they’d come, dodging seven boys on ripstiks (all of them ours and not for sale. Not today anyway). In an effort to simplify, my parents had gone through the archives and weeded out everything superfluous, stacking boxes in the basement. Then they announced they were having a garage sale. Which meant we were all having a garage sale. Everything could be divided into two classes: stuff that people might buy at a garage sale. That stuff sold. And things that were far too valuable, too beautiful, too emotionally vested to either give away or have at a garage sale. That stuff didnt. The art dolls fell into the first category. Oddly shaped, mismatched bodies with painted faces and long braids hanging down buttoned fronts. Some were mine but most were moms. And as the morning dragged on and we found ourselves inside trying to warm up, we decided to have a go at researching the artist who has been making them for decades. And this is how we found out that these dolls we’ve all had in our homes for years are actually fertility voodoo dolls, which in no way explains why there were two Pegasus dolls amongst them. Mom turned ashen-she still loves them, hangs them on her walls, has a special velvet one she puts out at Christmas and thinks of Mary and Jesus, which is very clearly not what the artist intended. I had an instant and rousing panic attack. Jenn chuckled at the irony. Molly went to battle. And this is where the rubber meets the road, no? Clearly voodoo dolls have no place in our homes, but could we in good conscience allow them a place in someone else’s? So many people had looked at them, fingering their soft bodies, but in the end left them lie on the table and moved on. No accident in my book. And my valiant mother, feeling sick and having consulted with two elders, bid me collect them off the table and throw them in the garbage. And Molly and I prayed over it and I renounced those nasty things and the place where they hung in my house for years because I believe the forces of darkness in this world are nothing to screw around with. Have no place in my home and in yours either. So, if you came to our garage sale and nearly almost bought a fertility voodoo doll, we’re very sorry. And at the end of the day when it was all said and done and the kids were eating their way through several large pizzas, we earned enough to pay for a couple condos on Sanibel island next winter where we dream of vacationing together again. And we cleaned out our basements and purged our home of pagan idols and got to be together for a couple days eating baked oatmeal and laughing. And that’s cozier than the hot bath my mom was in before we even got to the end of the driveway. Lovelier than the little flowered Spode dish I now have sitting on my dresser. Worth more than a suitcase packed with bathing suits and Liz lovelies (in case Jerry’s doesn’t carry them) and being checked through to fort Meyers. Warmer than me, wrapped up in the lovey my mom made me eons ago and settling into the monster bed with the newest release by a favorite author. This is me being real. Warmed.