Rummage A-Ramble On

What if our stuff could talk!

I think I heard Led Zeppelin at this year’s annual Bainbridge Island Rotary Rummage sale.

A-ramble on, and now's the time, the time is now

Sing my song, I'm goin' 'round the world, I gotta find my girl
On my way, I've been this way ten years to the day

Ramble on, gotta find the queen of all my dreams

Got no time to for spreadin' roots, the time has come to be gone
And though our health we drank a thousand times
it's time to ramble on.

You can listen to Ramble On by Led Zeppelin on YouTube. https://youtu.be/a3HemKGDavw while you read my blog.

Clothing tables at the Annual Bainbridge Island Rotary Rummage Sale.

Clothing tables at the Annual Bainbridge Island Rotary Rummage Sale.

Just over a year ago, we downsized from our four bedroom 2200 square feet and three car garage home, down to a 1,080 square food townhouse condominium. Giving things away was a very emotional experience for me.

I am still trying to heal from my loss.

So, as part of my personal recovery therapy from “The Great Purge,” I attended the annual Bainbridge Island Rotary Auction and Rummage Sale. It was is a perfect walkabout to continue my move toward losing my attachment to things physical.

Boy Scouts? No, just a cosy collection of camping gear.

Boy Scouts? No, just a cosy collection of camping gear.

What a visual experience! I was amazed at the amount of stuff, and then there were the strangeness of so many items. All items someone purchased new with good intentions, used, maybe re-used, and now were selling at the Queen Mother of rummage sales.

This is the perfect place for the man-cave chairs. The worn spots are part of the “charm.”

This is the perfect place for the man-cave chairs. The worn spots are part of the “charm.”

My sister told me stories about the crazy things people donate to the Rotary for the sale, so I checked out their website. Their homepage spoke to me:

A swarm of chairs.

A swarm of chairs.

“Hello! My name is Rockie. I am a 37-year-old rocking chair. Until last June, I was the guardian of a room first used as a bedroom for children, and then as a comfortable retreat for house guests and a temporary storage space for items my owners said were destined for a mystical event called the Bainbridge Island Rotary Auction & Rummage Sale. I loved the years I spent waiting for the children to come home from school and use me for everything from a messy clothes rack to the preferred location for secret conversations with their friends. I also liked the occasional guests who always remarked on my comfort and beauty. However, what interested me most was welcoming other pieces of furniture, clothing, musical instruments, dishes, books, and other items my owners didn’t need any more into my space where they waited, sometimes for months, for a trip to the Auction & Rummage Sale. To be honest, I envied them when they left because I had outlived my usefulness to my owners, and wanted a new adventure.”

A passel of pink pots.

A passel of pink pots.

A gaggle of green goodies.

A gaggle of green goodies.

Colors? We got your camp chair covered.

Colors? We got your camp chair covered.

Can you keep things forever and have the items maintain their relevance, efficacy, and usefulness?

A menagerie of miscellaneous mowers. At the end of the day, they were all gone.

A menagerie of miscellaneous mowers. At the end of the day, they were all gone.

An army of action figures.

An army of action figures.

What happens to toys when children grow up? Where does an action figure go when the action is over?

What happens when it is time to move on?

Does anybody really know what time it is? Does anybody really care?

Does anybody really know what time it is? Does anybody really care?

“Daddy, When I went away to college, what happened to teddy?” Answer: Rotary Rummage.

“Daddy, When I went away to college, what happened to teddy?” Answer: Rotary Rummage.

“So that’s where my lunch box went.” I had one just like the orange one. Now I don’t take a lunch to work and I don’t need a lunchbox.

“So that’s where my lunch box went.” I had one just like the orange one. Now I don’t take a lunch to work and I don’t need a lunchbox.

A full wet darkroom is available, if you have the space for it and want the smell and the mess. I’ll stick to digital photography.

A full wet darkroom is available, if you have the space for it and want the smell and the mess. I’ll stick to digital photography.

When one door closes, another door opens, even if it doesn’t have a door knob.

When one door closes, another door opens, even if it doesn’t have a door knob.

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I try to maintain a “Rule of Buying Stuff.” If I can’t do it, eat it or wear it, I don’t need to spend money on it. I know my focus - having time and money to travel.

This was so much fun to see everyone’s used things, I did allow myself to purchase something in the category of “wear it.”

One of the tricks to rummage sale shopping, is to avoid looking like you bought your clothes at a rummage sale.

I took home a bag of clothing from the bulk clothing area, two sweaters, two exercise bras, three t-shirts, and a pair of skinny jeans, all for only $12.00.

I’ll see if I can avoid the rummage sale ‘look,’ because “the less I spend, the more I travel.” Every dollar spent is one less dollar for my next walkabout.

To maintain balance, I loaded three bags full of my old clothing that I am going to donate to a good cause.

The tidiness guru Marie Kondo, In The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, writes, “I can think of no greater happiness in life than to be surrounded only by the things I love.” Things are just things. “The stuff of life isn’t stuff at all.”

But, I can still hear the music.

It could be that they were playing classic rock at the rummage sale. Or this stuff is talking to me. “Gonna work my way all around the world.”

I guess I'll keep on ramblin', I'm gonna
Sing my song/Sh-yeah-yeah-yeah-yeah, I've gotta find my baby
I'm gonna ramble on, sing my song
Gonna work my way all around the world
Baby, baby/Ramble on, yeah!

Sooner or later, everything that comes into our life will leave our our life. It’s only stuff.

Sooner or later, everything that comes into our life will leave our our life. It’s only stuff.

Thank you Susan, Ken, and Kenneth for hosting us for the weekend.