Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Tales of the Auction - Part 2

Since we did have all the stuff out by 7:30 and the auction did not start till 10 am - we had some time.
They rearranged.

My guys talked with each other a bit - and we saved a couple of the yard chairs I wanted to keep and a few folding chairs so we would have a place to sit in the living room.
My one friend owns a coffee shop, and she brought coffee.  I do not drink coffee nor own a coffee pot.
The son of my best friend does not function without coffee.  He was very happy to meet her when she came.

I had told my best friend that I wanted him to come that Thursday night - I really wanted to go out for a steak dinner again.  And that Friday we were starting early - and once the stuff was in the yard, I would not be able to leave and would not be able to go out for dinner Friday night.

So Thursday - I mowed at mom's, and had not heard from him.  I was trying to keep clean and took an extra shirt.  I had not heard from him by the time I finished - it was 7:30...  I called his cell...  Are you coming?
Now I was not upset - his refrigerator has busted a day or so before.  Not having a frig beats having an auction every time.  He needed to deal with that - I would understand that without question.  I knew he had been shopping for one - and it would need wife's approval of course - plus delivery time - or him getting it himself...  it could take a few days... 
And his parents have problems from time to time...  again, he should certainly be there, not helping me if that is the problem.   I have other people, but I really want him with me if he can be there for me.

So I decide to just go home since he is not answering his phone or calling me back - I am not sure what is going on... and I really wanted a steak dinner and have not eaten all day.  And I just do not understand why he has not said anything or called.  I know he would not hurt me, and would be there is he could.  But I have enough stress, and not a clue if all of the other guys I have helping me will also abandon me and not show up either.  I am tired and stressed - as I drive home - I cry.

I decide to go visit a friend as a distraction - he has more things going on than I do.  He is building a 13 foot tall retaining wall.  The blocks are 80 pounds each and there are 18 levels of blocks to make the wall 13 feet tall.  He is also getting a new furnace and air conditioning unit, and new water heater.  And he does not like his gas fireplace and wants a new insert for that.
And he moved and is now selling his other place - and the roof has to be replaced on the old house - and the air conditioner was not working - was fixed and then had another problem, and was not working again..
And that is all in just the same week.
He is the only guy I know that has to be under more stress trying to do most of this in a week of vacation trying to get all these people to show up and be done.

It was nearly 8:30 when I get to see him.  My phone finally rings, and I know it is my best friend finally calling me back.  I let it go to voice mail.  We are not going out to dinner now - it would be 9pm by the time we got there even if he is around - and he must not have come or he would have been around long before now.
I do not bother with him.  Talking to this other guy has been good, and I am not upset, and not stressed.
I leave after 9pm.

I check the voicemail.  It is my friend saying - don't worry, have not forgotten you, will see you next weekend....
What?  Next weekend?  The auction is day after tomorrow?  What?
Hey, I am sometimes totally confused about what month it is - so this is possible to think he does not have a clue either.  Still not mad... just trying to figure it out.
I call him.  He answers.
He tells me he thought it would be really funny to tease me about the sale being next weekend.  He is already in town - he has brought his son to help - ( I have never met his son - I know that is crazy - but I have never met his kids, and have only met his wife twice, the first time in 2007 and they have been married for over 25 years...)
So I guess we are not going out for dinner?  Nope - they already ate - we will go Friday night...
No we won't, I have to stay at moms if the stuff is in the yard.
Now it may seem like I am making a big deal out of going out to eat.  But in the 23 months since my mom died, I have been out to eat at a restaurant 4 times.  So for me, getting to go out to eat with another person is a huge deal.  I understand this is common for other people - but for me to get to go out to dinner with a man - does not happen anymore.  It is the closest thing I get to an actual date.  And of the four dinners 2 were with him, and two were with women.  I counted the one woman, and I just had a slice of pie.
So it IS a sort of big deal for me at this stage in life.  I know it is strange, and he is not thinking of it this way.

And he has also just said he has thought I was strong enough that he could tease me that he was not coming and that the auction was not that weekend but the following weekend.... ha ha.
Hummm.  not exactly ha ha in my mind.  And I know that I was not strong enough for him to tease me.  I had just driven home just an hour before crying because I did not understand and was scared that I was on my own, and that this could all still crash and burn.
Strong enough?  Nope - he had thought he knew me, and he had guessed wrong.  What to him was teasing felt like a kick to my core.  Not about dinner - that was something I'd hoped for, but could do without.
As I have said - he has a life - I know that he can not drop it all to help me, and I know there are reasons he would need to attend to other things.
But to tease me at that moment - not his best move ever.
They were staying in a motel that night, since I do not have air conditioning.  Would meet me in the morning.

In the morning - I told him not to tease me anymore - that I was basically exhausted and tired.  Not a good combination.  And that at that point my sense of humor is VERY basic.
And that the funniest thing I could think of was to see a man be kicked in his crotch.
I would think that was very funny at that point, and probably for several days till I was caught up on sleep.  And so unless he wanted to see what I thought was funny, he really might not want to tease me at all till after the auction.
And I said it in front of his grown son, then looked at the kid, and said - It's nice to meet you....

My friend was very nice to me, and did not tease me at all.  We talked a lot.  Had some quiet moments.  I got to know his son a bit better.  He learned that to relieve my stress, if anybody stands near me, I will rub their back.  At one point I know I am doing that to his dad several times, and it really does mean nothing.  It is just something to burn the extra stress energy.  I decide that the son needs to understand this too.  So he is standing next to me, and I tell him to just relax and let me rub his back for a few minutes and that it is just because of me stressing out not to read anything else into me touching him.  So he lets me just rub his back for several minutes.  He was a great kid.  He did whatever we needed done.  He didn't whine or complain.  He just went with it.

My parents made a solid ping pong table when I was a kid - we were selling this table at the auction.  I have not gotten to play ping pong for years.  Mostly because there is nobody else around to play games with.  And up to the night before the auction when the guys got the table out of the house, it always had something on the top.  So the guys had it out on the back yard.  it was not level, but it had a net and paddles and a ball.
It was one thing that I had promised myself I would get to do before it was gone.
So his dad went to get them supper, and I asked the kid while his dad was gone if he would just go play ping pong with me - not to win, or by the rules, just to volley it back and forth for a while.
And the kid was willing...  So we played ping pong in the yard as the sun was setting.  Trying not to get eaten by blood sucking mosquitoes.  Neither of us had played for a while - me since before he was born... and it was fun.  We traded sides... so we both had to look into the setting sun.  It got me a bit of practice before asking his dad to play later...  and his dad did come out and play ping pong later.
The neighbor guy even came over - he is over 70 - I tried to get him to play just a bit with my friend.  The neighbor guy was just a pain about just playing for a few minutes... and I finally got him to play.  But he does not like to lose.  So even though my friend and I were just seeing how long we could keep it going back and forth between us, when the neighbor guy played there were suddenly slam shots...
Which my friend understood, but he said it was more fun just trying to keep it on the table with me.
The neighbor guy left after getting his question answered and I got to play just a little bit more.  Then we stopped and went back inside.  It was enough.  And the table did sell the next day.  $2.50
Yep.  the ball probably cost more than that.  But it was gone, and the basement was empty.
But I have a nice memory of that table, and getting to play ping pong outside as the sun set, with a couple of really great guys.  Worth way more than $2.50

Tales of the Auction - Part 1

Okay - so the truth is out - I stink at posting multiple photos.
The top one shows what we ( myself and the woman that was crazy enough to say she would help me ) faced - this is with the hayracks full and pushed back into the garage.

The second two photos show the four - yes four - full hayracks. 
That is just garage items, and not ALL of the garage stuff.  There was stuff still on the benches and shelving.  But it was a large part of it.  And it was all completely sorted at this point.

The next two are closer shots of the hayracks.  Then the auctioneer guys come and sort it better so that they are happier with it.  That takes two of their guys with one of my guys helping them, about 6 hours.
By then we had the stuff that was covered on that four hayrack off of that hayrack, and we managed to refill it with the rest of the items from the garage.  What had been on the fourth hayrack was wall cupboards and trunks, 30 toolboxes and tackle type boxes...  stuff we had to have out of the garage in order to shove the three hayracks back into the garage.

And if you were wondering - nope that is not me - that is the lady that is the organizing, cleaning, energizer bunny woman that has helped me do this for the last nearly two years.

And the bottom photo is the shelf.  From about that sewing machine cabinet forward.  If you look in the other photos - you will see that it divides the two stall part of the garage in half.
The auctioneer promised to try to sell it.  My guys even got it out of the garage...

Wanna guess what did not sell...???  Wanna guess what is now shoved back into the garage???
Wanna guess the one thing that the realtor told me I have to get rid of???
Wanna guess what tools I now need that were sold at auction dirt cheap to bust this thing into pieces that will go into a dumpster???  You know, the tools that I no longer have???
Yep, I cried.

He was doing so well selling everything.  I forgot that I was going to get stuck with stuff at the end.  This was the thing that put me into tears, and had cuss words flying out of me.  I was exhausted, and suddenly realized I should have busted it up, and gotten rid of it in a dumpster when I had the tools and before.  It was a huge mistake that I had missed my opportunity.  And I knew there would be another dumpster after the sale, but I was messed up as far at destroying it easily.

Then one of the guys that has helped me said he would bring something and bust it up for me.  This is why I love the men in my life - and he is the guy that can bust it in just a half hour.  Me it would take a full day, and be dangerous if it fell on me.

I realize I have not mentioned, that the photos are just of the garage items.  No house stuff.  No dishes or furniture.  Just tools.
And there was three grain wagons full of just wood and lumber that the same guy was kind enough to haul away and chip for me because the auctioneer told me it would never sell.
So add that to this mess.
And there was another kid - I say kid be he is married with kids of his own... he hauled metal away in his pickup truck.  He thought there would be a trip, maybe two...  How much metal could I possibly have...
I was willing to let him have the money if he would haul it for scrap.  There were four of us - plus him to load it into his pick up truck - we would fill it in just minutes...
I think he made at least 9 runs just with garage stuff.  He also hauled away a metal garden yard type shed - and all my appliances - two refrigerators, washer, dryer, two dehumidifiers, air conditioner, gas stove, an upright freezer.  ( that left me with just the normal one stove, and one refrigerator.... )

So there was more stuff in this garage.  And my mom and I had taken over several truckloads to the scrap place after my dad died 12 years ago.  Mom had a truck - we made several trips to get rid of stuff then.
I had her truck when she died - I just did not trust that truck - and got rid of it nearly first.

Sold it to the car scrap place - then as we are getting into the final days of this - my mothers truck drives by her house - FREAKED ME OUT.   Turns out the people in some houses behind my mother are probably friends with other people at the car scrap place and probably bought my mom's truck.  But I sold it saying it is dangerous.   The brakes will not hold if parked on an incline.  If you park in on a none flat surface and went into the store - when you came out - the truck may or may not be where you left it parked.
And it sometimes would not shift correctly.  Like going from first to second - it would stick in neutral.  The way to fix it was to have a person in the truck - another person under the hood with a broom stick banging on the shifter linkage.
Bet that the 19 year old kid driving mom's truck will not know that when it locks up for him.
So if you see my mom's truck anywhere near you - even across the parking lot?  You really do not want this truck near you or behind you in traffic.
I took it to the scrap yard telling them to destroy it - they just buy vehicles - they do not have to do what I requested - and instead choose to put this truck back on the road.  Sort of a nightmare.  But it is no longer my truck.  And it is a truck with a standard shift - and power nothing.  No air conditioning.  No power brakes or steering.  The neighbor guy tells me that those people swap parts in and out of trucks so often they could have put a different transmission and brakes on the thing by now...
Yep, they could have - but I am still betting they have not, and bought it cause it was crazy low mileage and dirt cheap.

I have looked for it since - and not seen it again - guess they were just dropping off somebody at the house nearby - but it still freaked me out to see a truck that was my mothers that I had asked to be destroyed for safety reasons, drive past my mothers house when I am outside to see it drive past...
I do not live there - I really do not watch cars that go by much - so what are the chances???

So what else to say about the auction?
We had the Friday before to work on the hayracks - so by 4 pm, that part was ready to go, and they had them moved to the back yard.
The next morning at 6am - I had my guys all showing up to unload the house.
I had eight people - plus my friend and me.
I had six actually - two guys brought their grown boys.  So the youngest was twenty, the oldest was 72.
Most of us were mid 50's.
It was my one huge favor to ask of the men I have worked with.  What I told them was it would sort of be like moving house.  But the best part was that we just had to take all of the stuff and put in on the front yard, and then we could all leave.  We needed to be done by 8am.  So two hours.
Some guys told me that it could not be done.
The auctioneer would bring tables - he was not going to show till 6:30 - My guys will be here at 6 - YOU need to be here with tables at 6.  At 8 am - my guys are gone - I have promised them that I will not mess up their whole day - empty the house - talk with the other guys you used to work with and have a small reunion - stay if you like - but leave when you like once the house is empty.

So the guy bringing the tables did not show up till 6:20.  We waited and had donuts.  They started setting up tables - we started to unload the house.  We bucket brigaded out the boxes of dishes with and other pieces of furniture would come out along between boxes of stuff.
By 7:30 my guys had the house empty.  MY GUYS WERE FABULOUS.
Their one guy decided to help us inside - guess who was the biggest pain in my ....
I should have just tossed him out and said my guys were just fine without him trying to help us.
We obviously had it under control with out him.  And the guys I worked with knew if I said to just stop - they would just stop - their guy was an idiot, and would not listen to me at all.

So if you are ever in that situation - remove the idiot, and shove him back outside of the house - let him work for the auctioneer - he hired and likes the guy - I did not.  It was the only time I yelled all day.  And when I told him to stop - he ignored me.
The man is lucky to have left that house with both testicles.

I did not take photos other than the Friday setting up the hayracks.  My friend took some - she has tried about 6 times to email me the photos, but they never actually get to me.

I talked to the realtor last weekend - he said that as he was leaving - somebody that brought a china cupboard had not gotten up to highway speed before it had fallen off of the truck and they were picking up the busted stuff to get it off of the highway after the sale.  We had three, I don't have a clue which one it was.

I have a few more stories - but this is a long enough part one of the auction tales...

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

And Even Closer....

Oh good golly....
It is Wednesday pm, and the sale is Saturday...
and 'good golly' is not the words I would like to use...

It is not awful.
Well, today as we were pushing the hayrack into the garage stall, we hit the garage door steel trim around the door.  Oops...  Yeah, it dented -
I do not care.  Neither of us have been hurt, and we have done some stupid things.  I have already said that I know something will get busted or broken getting all the stuff out of the house.  I am fine with that too.
As long as none of us get hurt, and we do not have to call the fire department, electrician or plumber - or make a trip to the hospital before this is over - it is a huge success.  I started all this out with literally watching my mother die before my eyes.  It was not a peaceful passing - not at all.  A dent in the siding is nothing compared to where I started with all of this.

So we have 4 hayracks filled with stuff from the garage.  The fourth hayrack is actually crap that we just needed to get up and out of the way and covered with a  huge tarp.  It is wood boxes, and metal fishing boxes, and crap toolboxes, and cabinets that might only bring $5.  But to fit the other three hayracks into the three garage bays, you need that stuff out of the way.  Once the hayracks are in there, there is no room to walk on either side. There is a divider shelf that runs in between where there the walk area would normally be in between two cars in a two car garage.

A photo - I promise a photo...

Thursday is a day of rest.  I will mow.  Thursday night I am hoping my best guy friend shows up and we get to go out to dinner for steak.  He will stay over so we are ready to start Friday morning.  The lady who helps me - her 2 grown sons will help us Friday.  So five of us to sort of preset up as much as possible - but the hayracks will have to come out, and then I have to stay at that house and can't leave.

The doper neighbors would have it all gone by morning before the auction. 
And since there are 8 or more adults living in that house now - they could probably clean me out faster than I ever thought.

The auctioneer will show up Friday, and see what he is not happy with - and we will change it - or move it or whatever.  We are trying to group stuff, but not too fussy.

There are still surprises around every corner.
Today we moved a steel shelf.  There were sheets of tin behind it.  4 x 8 sheets of tin.  I knew there was one - there were four.  We moved some toolboxes we thought were empty - they were not empty... I think there were 4 or 6 boxes like that.  Not lots in each box or full, just more stuff that we need to catch up to stuff that is now sorted and is setting on a hayrack somewhere.

So it all becomes a puzzle remember game. 
Today it was micro-switches.  It is about the size of a deck of cards with a cord.  They started out on a shelf near the door.  Then were moved to the hayrack - then we find another one - and we know they used to be by the door, but are not there anymore - and which hayrack and where on that hayrack???
Then you do other things, and find another micro-switch - any we have now piled things on top of other things - where and under what was that tote of micro-switches?

And we do that over and over with something new all the time.

And hoes - yes - like garden hoes - we must have 20.  And rakes - like garden rakes - 15 or more.
Axes - how big and how sharp would you like it...
There will be photos...
There just must be photos...

Thursday, July 4, 2013

And Closer...

The Fourth of July is really closer to the July 13 auction date...

We got 2 hayracks on Tuesday.  We did a metal run on Tuesday.  Took everything we had stashed and hoped it was maybe our last metal run totally.  Got $100. and split it as usual.  Good for just a car trunk full of metal.  We were not sure if the hayracks would be there or not when we got back or at all during the day.  The woman helping me said - I wish the guy would show up with the hayracks...
We crested the hill, and there was the hayrack guy in the driveway with 2 hayracks.

Then she said... I wish that I would win the lottery....

I thought she had already blown the wish for Tuesday on the hayracks.
So we measured twice, and figured it out so we would have a plan for Friday.  We should be able to preload them with items for the auction and push them back into the garage.  The garage is 3 stalls, and they will bring us a couple more wagons on Monday.  It will be tight, but it should work.

We unloaded more from the basement last Monday.  Then after twice around the house with the trailer full of basement items, the mower would not restart. 

The house upstairs is packed.  Boxes on the floor full of dishes.  The front bedroom is packed to the doorway, you can't enter it anymore.  The kitchen is clear on the counters.  The path to the bathrooms is good.  The basement is much better, not empty, but we need men to help with some of the stuff that remains.  And the couple of loads we could bring around with 4 rockers, and a small table, and a cabinet... - there just is no place to put it upstairs at this point.  I am trying not to refill the back bedroom,  It is a hallway with a 90 degree corner, and it would have to come right back around the corner again.  A pain.

I wake up in the middle of the night trying to arrange stuff.  Trying to remember what I need to do yet.
I try to sleep some during the day, just a nap, because I know I am awake more than half the night.  Can't nap either.  We are pretty well as far along as we can get.  We do not feel like we are chasing where we should be.  We will be the last couple of days.  That will all depend on the weather, and who shows up.
I am confident in a few of my guys, but not all of the guys I have asked.  Some of them I was reaching just on the off chance they would help if they knew I was desperate, but I have not been around them for 25 years.  My thought was it did not hurt to ask and explain the situation.

I keep telling the auctioneer, that it is just her and I setting most of this up, and we need time.  He needs to have that picture in his head. 

I also live next to neighbors that it would not be safe to leave a hayrack full of tools in the yard.  By morning, it would be empty.  I know I will have to do that the night before the auction, and just have to stay awake to keep an eye on stuff.  And by the time the auction is over, I will be exhausted.  Just am trying to prepare myself to being awake about 48 hours.  And keeping a smile on my face... 

That is the reason to have the men around me that care about me.  To take care of me.
To help me keep my sense of humor.  At this point, I am not going to lose my mind over an auction.  It will work out as it is supposed to work out.  I can stress and fret about it, but I could never have done it alone, and that was the task put before me after my parents were both dead. 
My friend got me this far, and I know she will drag me out the other side.
She gets that I could never have done this on my own.

The goof that wanted to look at the house - never did show up.  I don't care or know what his problem is, but I was offering the house for $210K.  The house the realtor sold nearby sold the first week for $160K.
Then there was a house directly behind my mom's house, but across that street.  It sold for $230K the first day it was listed.  Another house nearby about the same age as my mom's house was sold the first day or week it was listed for $169K.  Selling the first day proves they were under what the market is.  So mom's house is now going to start at $230K.  It will cost me more because it needs a roof yet, and the realtor commission will be more.  He was trying to give me a break if I could come up with a buyer with cash. 
I will still probably net only slightly more by raising the price, and I am not sure how it will do.  But I would be sick to see is go for $210K the first day again.  All the neighbors have had water in their basements.  At least twice so far this wet spring.  My parents house is dry, and I have never seen water in the basement in 50 years.  That alone is worth something.  Need to get past the auction - then deal with trying to sell the house on the open market.  I was trying to get the people that have been my parents neighbors since 1964 people that they knew as neighbors.  We can't always pick our neighbors, so even if the dope sellers next door offer me full price, I will take it and just have to say that it was too bad your buddy was saying he was interested, and basically lying to your face.  He was all talk, and no real interest.  I made the effort, and nothing ever happened, other than him wasting the realtor's time. 
I told the realtor from the beginning that this guy was going to just feel like he has wasted his time.  That is exactly what has happened.  But it kept me from selling the house under market.  I can't really say why the market is so good for that area.  It is a specific lot size that is selling well.  Larger than half acre lots, and is barely outside the city limits in the county.  Which means the taxes are about half of the city taxes.  The house is assessed at $145K.  Still not sure where exactly to start.  I know somebody trying to get financing will get stuck because they lender will say it is too much above the assessed value... so it will take somebody that has money or can buy down to the finance level they need.  I just paid the insurance again.  I can sit on it a while if it does not sell right away.  And it will still need new carpet in the living room.  But that house has really good bones.  Not cracks in the ceilings or walls.  A view.  Not just looking at the house across the street, and the house behind you...
Never sold a house, or bought a house.  It will all be new for me too.