a bench with a view

a bench with a view

Monday, December 22, 2014

It truly is a wonderful life

I messed up on something.  Made some poor choices about something.  Won't say what they were here, but suffice to say I was not wise and did not use the best of judgment and I knew I had to be accountable to my hubby, as painful as it could be and time was running out that I say something. I already knew tonight was going to be the night I said something and by the grace of God the right time in the conversation came and I took it, as painful as it was for me, and by the grace of God, hubby, who had every reason to be really upset with me was incredibly gracious and forgiving and we had a good talk and set things up for accountability so things like this would not happen again (hopefully) in the future. 

Last night hubby was gone for a band job and I had the remote to myself. I finally saw Its a Wonderful Life with Jimmy Stewart from start to finish.  (Am I the last one that I had seen this movie?) I knew the story, saw bits here, bits there of it, but never the whole thing. I resolved this Christmas season I would see it, so imagine my delight when I turned on TV and saw that the movie was about to start.  Loved it.

So thinking tonight after I "came clean" and confessed how I had screwed up and asked for forgiveness, I realized I do truly have a wonderful life.  I am blessed beyond blessed. I am deeply loved by God and by family and friends. I don't deserve it, but do we ever truly deserve it? I have allowed the last four years to define parts of me I haven't liked and I need to change that going forward. 2015 will certainly hopefully be a different year than 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and I have a word of the year for it that I'll share soon. I'm just thankful God never gives up on us and shapes us how he wants us if we will let him do so.

Time is running out here. 

The packers are coming (12/29) and the moving van a day later. My van ships out the 29th. 

Over these past two Saturdays we had garage sales.  Three years ago when I had the last of several garage sales to dispose of hubby's parents' things, I had sworn "never to have another garage sale again" but sometimes a gal can change her mind and she did when she started seeing the stacks of things we were getting rid of and realizing "hey, we can make some money on this." 

Garage sales are interesting, at least here.  You know you won't get what you think the item is worth, but you just want to get rid of it so you accept that.  So you put the stuff out and you advertise on Craigslist and put a sign up (we live off a major street so its easy to advertise that way) and you get people showing up.  People like to bargain; I get that. Despite the bargaining, we did pretty well over the 2 weeks, mainly because hubby finally got to sort through his dad's tools and realized there were so many duplicates from what he had and tools seem to go really well, so thankfully we did well. Probably moved about 90% of the stuff we put out, except for the furniture.....

There were no takers AT ALL for hubby's parents' dining table and chairs (with two additional leaves for the table, we are talking one big table), a buffet (which I was calling a small hutch until someone corrected me), and an entertainment center (I thought it looked nice). I started advertising them on Craigslist, absolutely no interest except for the scammers which I caught wind of right away and said no way was I going to accept a check and ship something to Alabama or Oklahoma.  I put the stuff out for the garage sale, started at what I thought was  good starting price, kept lowering it, couldn't even give away the items for pennies on the dollar. Probably Goodwill will get a call for a pickup for those items because they definitely are not making the move with us.

Hubby's mom had two nice sets of china. Now I don't do china.  China is beautiful, but I never got "into it" so to speak. We didn't register for china or glassware, etc., when we got married. So we had two sets of china to try to dispose of because again, they were not going to make the move with us. 

China is hard to move.  This china was over 30 years old with one set (his mom bought this particular set for our rehearsal dinner she had for us and we have been married for 34 years). The other set hubby's dad had brought back for his mom from Germany when he was in the military and we guestimate if was in the 1950s when that happened. There were also a set of wine glasses and wine glasses that we think were Waterford crystal (because hubby's mom said so, I could never figure it out).  We definitely didn't want to move this stuff but we also didn't just want to give it away.  We wanted to try to get something for it.

I contacted a place that said they bought china. Well they do, only if it is something they are looking for and they weren't looking for what we had.

I was getting pretty desperate when Thursday afternoon I just decided to take a picture of one of the plates of china and put it on Craigslist for a price to move for an 8 piece set with accompanying serving pieces as well.  I honestly didn't think I would get any response.

Imagine my surprise when I checked my email Friday morning and someone said they wanted to buy the china and it was a local number. I called them back, we arranged a time. I happened to mention the crystal. They said they would bring extra money just in case they were interested.

They bought the china, the crystal, the other set of china and a picture we didn't want to move with us.  Definitely a God thing because I had prayed that morning about the china. 

Again, we didn't get what it could be worth, but again, it is gone, we don't have to move it and we did get something for it.

I probably won't have another garage sale again (yeah right). Probably won't have the stuff like we did this time or times before. It is always challenging to have a garage sale here since we are 10 minutes from the Mexican border. Lots of people come up from Tijuana for sales. Lots don't speak English. They do have basic command of it though to understand money values and they are very good negotiators.

My favorite parts of the garage sales were these:

At the first sale, a multi generational family came, grandchildren, parents, grandmother. The grandmother must have been in her 80s, maybe even 90s.  Very agile.  She saw a bell hubby's parents had on their motor home. She loved ringing it.  The family wanted to buy it for her, she said "no". We negotiated. I saw how much she loved that bell. I went way down on the price. As they were leaving, you could hear the bell being rung over and over again.

Yesterday's sale, another multi generational family. A young baby, 6 months old or so, his parents and a set of grandparents. The parents put a pair of sunglasses on his face. You should have seen how he changed in his expression looking through the world with sunglasses on.  Gave them the glasses free just for that look.

I truly do have a wonderful life. I just need to remember that.....

If I don't post between now and then,

may Koda and me wish you all the Best Merriest of Christmases.

We love you all and we thank you for reading the dribble we write.

May we all remember the reason for the season and remember that Jesus didn't remain that little babe in the manager.....but grew up to be a man and our Savior.  He came to restore shalom......

Merry Christmas everyone!



I saw Its a Wonderful Life with Jimmy Stewart for the first time a couple years ago. A GREAT movie, indeed. I love china and am so happy it went to a nice person. In the past my words for the year have been... JOY, HOPE and BELIEVE. It really does make a difference. Gratitude is something we all should have at this time of year. MERRY CHRISTMAS to you, your husband and Koda. Good Luck with the move.

Sue Elvis said...

I hope you have a very blessed Christmas Betty. I think we might watch 'A Wonderful Life' too over the Christmas holidays. Somehow I've never got around to watching it either. I have a wonderful life too. So much to be thankful for.

Merry Christmas!

Carol Noren Johnson said...

I can so identify with your garage sales having had three of them recently. You must feel so free getting rid of so much.

Ah yes, confession is good for the soul. Thanks for sharing that and letting us know how forgiving your husband is.

Praying for that move and hope you have a wonderful Christmas looking forward to your new adventures in Arizona.


Hollie said...

I LOVE the movie!! We all make mistakes! Glad things worked out so well!!

Bijoux said...

I have never seen the movie, but if don't watch movies. That is awesome that you were able to sell the china and glassware! Good luck on the move and have a very, Merry Christmas.

Cindi said...

Clarence is the best angel. Love this movie, but you already know my love affair with old films. 'Wishing' you the best thru the holiday, praying for safe travels regarding the move. Glad to hear all is going well. Give Koda the ol scratch behind the ears for me...Merry Christmas, and God bless.

Mevely317 said...

Wow ... thank you for the wonderful reminders! I want to come back and read this more thoroughly tonight and comment, but already, I'm late for heading to work.
Have a great day!

Pat Hatt said...

haha yeah you do get all kinds with garage sales, but the main thing is the stuff is gone and you made a little off of it. Surprised the bigger stuff didn't go. Good luck with the move, hopefully it goes smoothly. And merry christmas to.

Jeanie said...

It sounds like you are very calm in your mind and spirit during such a busy time. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and that things go well with your move. I'm sure there will be some adventures and I will look forward to hearing about them.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Life is wonderful! I AGREE! You are blessed to have a hubby that loves and forgives. We all mess up, there is not a one of us that does't make a mistake or two or three...Glad your garage sale was a success. Hard to believe you'll be moving so soon now. Hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year. So many changes coming for you.

Intense Guy said...

Your hubby gave you a wonderful gift ... that of forgiveness.

I won't go into it here, but too often people are afraid of what someone will think, say, and/or do when something happens - and they live with that fear for far larger than they should. And sometimes they are so very wrong with how they "read" the situation - and things turn out well.

jack69 said...

I love this entry. Also the Bench you have. I did smile when you said 'China', we are not 'china folk' either, but thought at one time we were. Sherry spotted a set at a yard sale, NOW we too, have a China set that has seen very little use. It is in storage awaiting it's time at a yard sale.
I loved your descriptions of the yard sale. Yes they ARE stressful and fun.
Love from Florida, to the short timers on the other coast.

Tracy said...

We had good luck getting some furniture out of our house on Craigslist and then some local facebook "swap" pages that are invite only.

joeh said...

Merry Christmas!

And yes, you are the last person over 10 to have seen "It's a Wonderful Life" from start to finish!

Linda said...

Just saw whole movie last year, made much more sense than just seeing bits (Stewart has such a crazed look in parts) over the years. Even teared up a bit.

A clean slate, a new home, hubby's new job, wonderful life indeed. I know the past 4 years were a challenge.

Merry Christmas! Happy everything!

Birgit said...

oh that is my favourite film! I went to Jimmy Stewart's hometown this past year and have a plaque titled "It's A Wonderful Life". We really don't know how much we touch others. Glad you were able to find a home for your china and glasses. May you, your husband and Koda have a wonderful Christmas and may the move go smoothly

Chatty Crone said...

Am I crazy or was it your birthday yesterday?

Anyway Merry Christmas to you.

It's A Wonderful Life is my all time favorite movie and we watch it every season. I see something new every time.

Yes you do have a wonderful life - and I think most of us do - no one would really want to trade to another life.

Love, sandie

susie said...

I've never seen It's a Wonderful Life from start to finish, I don't own china, and you seem like the nicest person to me, maybe you should cut yourself some slack... :-)

Sharon said...

That truly is a wonderful movie. And it's good to sometimes reflect on how other people's lives would be without us in it. Not that we're all that great, mind you. But in many ways, we are, by the grace of God!

I've done one garage sale, and I am not planning EVER to have another one! But I loved the stories you shared - I can just picture that baby with sunglasses on!

My very best wishes to you and yours for a very MERRY CHRISTMAS! (And that includes Koda!!) May your home be filled with His love, joy, and peace!


Liz A. said...

I think I've seen It's a Wonderful Life all the way through. I'm pretty sure. But there are several movies that everyone's seen that I have not. (Titanic...)

Good luck with your move. May it be uneventful.

Paula Kaye said...

Such a nice post from you. I have NEVER seen It's a Wonderful Life! I must put it on my list. I don't envy you the big move. But getting rid of so much must be nice. I have China from Richard's mom and I really don't want it but I just can't part with it. If you know what I mean. Merry Christmas Betty!!

Veronica Lee said...

I've never seen It's a Wonderful Life either.
Wishing you, your hubby and Koda a blessed Christmas and may the move go smoothly.


Stephanie Faris said...

The best part of It's a Wonderful Life is its message: that each of us touch so many lives, we would have left an awfully big hole if we hadn't been here. It sounds like both you and your husband are warm, giving souls and it's great you have each other. As for garage sales, they certainly do introduce you to a broad range of people, don't they?!

Jimmy said...

It's A Wonderful Life is my favorite Christmas movie of all, I catch it at least once every season :)

A Very Merry Christmas to you my Friend.

yaya said...

I sometimes wish I would move just to get rid of my junk! I love that movie...have seen it many times. It has such a great message and the ending always makes me cry! Have a wonderful holiday and good luck in the move!

netablogs said...

Merry Christmas, Betty! I hope your move goes really well, and I can't wait to hear about how you are settling in your new home! I will have to watch It's a Wonderful Life again this year.. maybe tomorrow, if there's time!

Grammy Staffy said...

Good luck on your move.... Happy new year

SuperLux said...

It sure is the best time of the year! Happy holidays to you and your loved ones!

Debby@Just Breathe said...

You have got to be the last one to see it. I own it and watch it every Christmas Eve! Well you have been busy with those sales. Glad that God stepped in to help you. Cute story on the bell and sunglasses. Well the countdown begins. Wishing you a safe journey and glad that you got things worked out with your husband....It is a wonderful life!

Kat said...

Well, you certainly are busy right now. I'm so glad everything seems to be going so smoothly and that you were able to unload so much at the garage sale. They are a pain but worth it if you can get rid of your stuff and make a little money at the same time. ;)

If I don't talk to you again I wish you the best luck with the move, and a very happy and healthy new year!

Bobbi and Gracie said...

I had to chuckle when I read what you wrote about never having a yard sale again! And then having one. I said the very same thing year before last and I was so proud of myself for sticking to my guns this year and not having one. But. As I become overwhelmed with so much Christmas stuff and regular stupid stuff that we have filled our home with... I have vowed a new vow: this spring I will have a yard sale!! ugh. Us women, we just can't make up our minds, can we? lol. So you are moving! I hope all goes smoothly. I know moves can be draining. Look forward to hearing all about it. I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and have a healthy happy new year!

Secret Agent Woman said...

First of all yes, you are the very last person to have seen "It's a Wonderful Life." Seriously.

Whatever it was, I"m glad you guys worked it out and I hope the move goes well!

Renegades said...

When we moved I did not have a garage sale. They seem to time consuming. Set it out and then pack it up whatever nobody wants.