It’s that dreaded time of year again . . . No, I’m not talking about the rain . . . Or the fog . . . Or all the mud being tracked through the house . . . I’m talking about rummage.

Yes, I’ve just got the word to clean out my closet and make my donation to the Annual A.C.W. Rummage Sale. I’m such a pack rat! It’s tortuous to go through my closets and choose what to keep and what should go. Yes, those blouses are three sizes too small, but there’s a part of me that desperately needs to believe they will fit again. Those shoes I only wore once will come back into style and when they do, I just know they won’t pinch my feet. And I couldn’t possibly part with those comfy jeans, I don’t care how old and worn they are, they’re still my favourite pair.

Over the last year or so I have gotten a little bit better at getting rid of things. I have a three-year system — if I haven’t worn or used it in three years then it’s time to send it to the Rummage Sale. In theory this works. Of course, I still have to suck up the courage to see it through. What I usually do is blitz the closet in one really quick sitting, rapidly weeding out the “over three years” items and getting them out of the house before I have time to think about what I’ve done or change my mind. This works most of the time.

For me, even more tortuous than parting with my things is actually attending the Rummage Sale itself to buy other people’s things. This is in no way a reflection on the quality of this particular sale. It’s apparently quite good, people come from all over and line up early outside to get the best buys. It’s supposed to be one of the best sales around according to friends and family of mine who “know” about these things.

I’ve only ever gone one time and I still get claustrophobic at the thought. I had actually looked forward to going because the buzz about it was so good. Although in retrospect I can’t imagine why I thought I would enjoy an event like that. I detest yardsales, flea markets, and most consignment shops (spacious ones where everything is hanging up and smelling clean and fresh, I can handle) I don’t even really like shopping that much at a department store or the mall. The only kind of shopping I really enjoy is online because I can do it totally alone and completely on my terms.

Anyway, at the time something in my brain prevented me from connecting my dislike of shopping in general and yard sale type shopping in particular with this fabulous Annual Rummage Sale the church ladies put on. I arrived in high spirits. We joined the line-up at the door and I’m sure Stacy’s pulse quickened at the thrill of the hunt while I may have paled just a little as I noted the size of the building and all the cars in the parking lot (not big on jostling crowds either).

I remember the door suddenly flung open and I was left spinning on the step like a cartoon character as everyone else raced inside. Not one to be easily discouraged, I quickly regained my composure and stepped inside the dimly lit building. I remember a lot of chatter, a wall of bodies in an aisle and the back of Stacy’s head being swallowed by the crowd. It was as if the aisles were alive and they picked me up, flinging me this way and that, giving me a glimpse of a pair of pants, a shirt, a pair of boots, a child’s toy, before pushing me away. I lasted maybe three minutes before I landed back outside on the step, where I was only too happy to stay until Stacy had shopped her fill. It was like the crowd gave me a taste and spat me back out, but I didn’t mind. I learned a very good lesson — rummage sale shopping is not for me.

But if you’re one of those brave souls who loves a good bargain and knows your way around a crowded aisle without getting spit out, then don’t miss the Annual Spring ACW Rummage and Food Sale at Trinity Hall in Blackville Friday, April 30th from 10:30am – 6pm and Saturday, May 1st from 10:30am – 3pm.

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