Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Leaning...On... The Rest...of the Story....

I had noticed this Sweet Little Concrete Heart....in Jan's Yard...before the Sale.... She said it wasn't for sale...and...it was going with her... Then...near the end of my days...there... next to my 'Smoking Chair'....as I was groping my way to my Stogies...bright and early...in the morn....I nearly tripped over it... with the darling little note...tucked under it....
I melted....
Jan, and her Darling Granddaughter...Maddy.... Jan was showing her the Beautiful Writing...on an Old Wall Paper Box... Maddy was Very Impressed... Maddy is Much...like her Grandmother... An Artist... she has an Artists Soul... It was Wonderful sharing time....many days...with Jan's Family....
I included these images...of Jan...from the days..prior...to the Sale.... She won't like them...but...This...This...is the 'Jan'...I got to know...and Love.... We Worked...So Hard... then...in the Evening...we'd sit on the Porch...and she'd talk about her Beloved 'Doc'....The Wonderful Home...that she and Doc built...together... The Hours... and Sweat....and Blood....they Both...had Poured into it.... Jan stenciled all the floors... while working for a Restaurant....as well... Her hands hurt so badly...from all of the painting...she had to wear braces...on them...at the end.....
There were times...we both...were so Exhausted...and...we shared...all the worries...of the World...we just sat...and wept... Then...one of us...would say something off the wall.......we'd laugh...until...we cried....
This is the Porch...where I became a 'Squatter'....and went through..a carton...plus...of stogies...!!!!
{Thanks...Lea...for running to get me more...It was getting Ugly...when I was running out! I hadn't packed nearly enough...of Everything...for the Extended Stay!}
 It was...a Lovely Stay...tho...... Jan and I shared many Soulful Conversations...there....
I really didn't take many images of the Wonderful Folks...who came through...{too...busy...or...too...tired...} but..I had to get this one...of Susan... She wanted that Rooster...soooo Much... and it was Truly a Twist of Fate...that she got it... We were Very...Happy for her....
Tears...
And...Joy.... Miss Scarlett....absolutely...Loves...Jan...
Jan...has an Amazing Way...with Children... I was...Impressed... Very...Impressed....Every time a Child came through the door...Jan would run...and get a Huge Barrel of Toys...she kept tucked away in the Pantry...for when she had Little Guests...Dump them all out...all over the floor...and would sit on the floor....and play with the kids... oh my...
This is not a good image...of the Sunday Auction...my batteries..were about drained... {seems...fitting...all of our batteries...were...DRAINED!}
Doc had built a Darling...Log Cabin....not far...from the house... Jan... had went out...one last time...to get some images... The above image...of 'Tears'... was after...her walk... This...has been a 'Journey'....
Jan and Vikki... Angels....
Vikki had made Jan a Beautiful...Memory Book...
 Jan...was Blown Away....She Loves It!
Jan...was Blown Away...by ALL of the Angels...that came through the door... That is all she talked about...
 How Wonderful...Kind...and Caring...Everyone was...
I feel...Very Blessed.... because... It never surprised me...one...bit....
The Folks...who made their way to her Home...
Are...The Best....of The Very Best....
 
The Journey...
The....Rest...of the Story....
A couple of months ago...my friend, Jan...called... She had decided to sell her Iowa Home... that she...and her beloved... late husband, Doc, had built...19 years ago...
Doc passed away...suddenly...at home...six and a half years ago....
I had visited with Jan...two years ago...concerning her living alone...there...
The home...is very secluded...and was full...of amazing treasures...which...sat...several months out of the year...by itself....
Jan had collected...for 50 years...
{I couldn't believe it... she doesn't look old enough...to have collected...for so long....}
Tho she made the final decision...to sell her home...a couple of months ago... we all thought it would be on the market...for awhile...giving us ample time...to have a sale...incredibly...the house sold...within a week...
PANIC!
Everything was put into Fast Forward...
The timing could not have been worse...I had my Fall Harvest Sale...and a Wedding Reception...scheduled...all within that time frame...{thankfully...the Wedding Reception....was let go...by the Bride...she decided to do it herself... with help from her friends! and...I was Happy to loan...anything they needed for their Event... YAY!!!}
Jan and I tore into the house...Much...was packed away...for the 'Staging'...and...Much...had been stored...over the years....
Holy Smokes...
We worked...Days...and Nights...pulling this together...
Jan worked...tirelessly...while I was away... She flipped the areas...over and over...
Then...I worked with Peg...here at home...on The Fall Harvest Sale....
I had to be...very...discrete...about Jan's Sale....
She was living there...all alone...and for her safety...I had to be very careful...who I shared it with...yet...I had to begin...inviting folks... They would need time... to make plans...to attend...
Initially....I was going to tag things...{like an Estate Sale...} but...folks began asking how many days...they would have to wait...in line...to be number one....
My heart sank....
I knew...this wasn't going to work....
Jan is very private...and having folks...camping out..in advance...for days...No...Way....
{I have camped...for days...at a Sale...for far less... : ) }
And...having folks...rush through her home...as we all do...at an Estate Sale... would... be a terrible situation...for Jan...
I really wanted her there...Understandably...She...did Not...want to  be there...
This was 50 years...of her Memories... going away...
But...I explained...I didn't know the 'Story'... the 'History'......on her pieces...and without her there...most of the provenance...would be lost...
I explained... she owed...her beloved Antiques...that much... and not let their 'journey'... be lost...
She agreed...
I thought...by conducting this...by sealed bid...it would take the 'Rush'...off the table...Everyone...would have a chance...
Tho...I also knew...it would be difficult...for the buyer...
I have attended Sales... by sealed bid...and I like it... I bid...what I am comfortable with...what I get...I get...what I don't...wasn't meant to be....
I also knew... this Sale...had to be Fun...
I told Jan...many folks are travelling... a long distance...and it will take them several hours...to get through...we were Thankful...to those who made the trip...and sure wanted them...to feel...Welcome...
We knew...we needed to have food....and drink...for them...throughout the three days of bidding...
That was...Wonderful! It was like a Party...! That ran for 3 days!
We didn't know when Folks would be coming.... we gave them...a wide time frame....anytime...from 9 a.m. 'til...7....in the Eve..{many were there...til after 11.... and we Loved it!}
We served food morning...noon and night!!!
{Night...was Great! Wine...Shrimp... Meat Trays...that we made....and Liz helped with! Party!!!}
But... mostly...this was done... for Jan...
{Antiquers...are tuff... we can go without food...and water for Days...when Tracking...Great Stuff!!!}
This was going to be very difficult...I knew for her...
But... If we made it Fun...had Fun...Caring...Respectful Folks.... and...a Party!!!
I knew..it would be much easier...for her...
and...I think...she'd tell you...it was...
She had an Amazing Time...Loved..all of the Wonderful Hugs...and Kisses...She made Many...New Friends!!! Some will be visiting her in Arizona...She, and Allyson....are planning Big Trips!
So many folks complimented her...on her Amazing Home.... It was Perfect!!!
Until...we started on the books...
oh my...
Everyone...except...me...thought using the computer...and downloading all the bids... would be much quicker...
{I wanted to play 'Bingo'...with a group of people...and do them by hand...}
ahhhhhh...Not...So... Much!!!
It took 13 hours...to download them...with Amazing... computer whizs' at the helm....
Then...if a dash was in the wrong place...or a number was reversed....or a description was off...the computer created another item...for one item...
In other words.... Several folks...had the winning bid...for the same item...
Oh...My Gosh....!!!
We didn't catch it...at first...some folks had picked up their items...and they hadn't been the winning bidder...
Tho...we had Them...as the Winning Bidder! Many Folks were Winners...for the Same Item!
We stopped calling folks in...and started going through every bid sheet...by hand...then...went over them again and again...then...once again....as they came to pick up...
It put us days...behind...
but..I gotta tell ya...
Tho I was running around...in circles...saying.."The Sky is Falling!!! The Sky is Falling!!!"....
The Bidders...were Amazing!!! Everyone...was so kind.... and understanding....even those...who lost...a few items...were AMAZING!!!! Never got upset.... and..after all of the dust settled.... most all of it worked out....!!!
Jan...was my Rock...through this... She kept saying..."Don't worry...it's all going to work out...."
 I, on the other hand...was pulling my Pin Feathers Out!!! I Hate...Mistakes!!! I Hate Disappointing People.... and I was afraid...it was going to get very bad...
but... It actually got Better!
We found most items..that were missing...and things...we thought..had left the first day...by mistake...were still there!!!! I don't think...Jan and I slept..for more than 4 hours...every night... and when we'd meet in the kitchen...in the morn...at the crack of dawn...we'd start on the books...and gathering...we were walking in circles...passing each other...and both, wondering why...and where we were going....
Oh My Gosh....
Thank You...to All...who were so Gracious....Thank You....
I told everyone...We were sick...that it happened...but...I knew...every single one of us....worked around the clock....for days...and did the very best we could...to make it right....
In my heart...I knew...we did our Very Best...and that's all we could do....
We didn't want to disappoint...anyone...
They all...Understood...
Angels....: )
After being held back...by the books... it put us way behind...on folks coming to pick up....and...I had to be there..when they did... to make sure..they got their correct items....
I couldn't leave...{I had fallen asleep...one night...with my contacts in...when I went to clean them...in the morn..I found...one was gone...it had come apart...in my eye...but...I couldn't leave.... because people were coming...thankfully...my eye stayed calm...and...when there was a break in visits...Jan's friend, Larry...took me to the Optometrist...a couple days later...and got me fixed up...oh my...}
I felt like I was a Squatter...in Blue Grass, Iowa... and should get a P.O. Box!
Holy Smokes!!!!
After most everyone...got their items picked up...., Friday...we gathered everything that was left...throughout the house...and piled it in the basement....for the movers...
Jan...was going through the things...I had told her to set back...before the Sale... that she had second thoughts...of letting go of...{Once it's gone...it's gone... I told her to keep things...she wasn't sure she wanted to part with...she could sell them at a later time....} She wound up...with a Pile...of things...from her storage...that had not been on the Sale...she was willing to part with...so...
Rather than pay storage on them... we decided to have an Auction...a private auction...on Sunday...
Holy Smokes!
I called Liz...and had her pick up more Food...and Beverages!!!
Another PARTY!!!
{Jan said..."I'll get more Hugs!" }
I began calling in only local Folks...
that had been at the first Sale...and on Sunday.... I was an Auctioneer.... {not...a Good one... }but...Everyone...was Great!
Lynn and Lea came in Early Sunday Morn...and helped Lug things...and sort...and set up... LIFE SAVERS!!! Dale...and Bill...were ring men... Liz...was the Clerk... and...Thank God...for Karen A. for being the BOOK KEEPER!!!! {THANKS KAREN!!!}
By the time I had muddled my way...half way through...Barb and Dan O. asked...if Dan should take over...
{I was about to drop....and...I think they knew it...before I did.... I couldn't think straight.... oh my gosh..Dan...saved me...}
I Was Thrilled to Hand it Over!!! He was Amazing!!!
Then...Everyone...chipped in...and started helping....Dan A..Mark... Larry...Bob...Bill...Steve...Jo...
Everyone....
 was the Wind Beneath my Wings!!!
We got the basement...Cleaned Out!
What a RIDE!!!
All that was left... was to have Justin, Josh and John... come with the trailer...to pick up my out of State bidder's items...for storage...and the things...I had purchased....
I finished up..our books...and the auction receipts...on Monday... then...
finally...finally....left....
This...has been quite the Journey....
I am going back..with the Guys...and they are loading up...Jan's personal things....next Monday....
After all of this...I have had people ask...if I'd do it again...
The answer is "Yes"...
The reason...I can answer...so quickly...is because....of...The Journey...
I had the best time...with Jan....
She is an Amazing Woman....
We helped...each other...
I only knew her... in business....
She...is an Incredible...Human Being....
We spent weeks together...and not once...even under...extreme pressure....did we ever have an issue....
To Me...That...is Incredible....
I think...at this time...in both of our lives...God put us...together...and we both...learned..and grew....
All Junk...{Treasures..} aside....
It's going to take me a long...long time...to figure this entire experience out....but...it's something...I'll never...ever...forget....
In closing...I want to say I'm Sorry...to those...I didn't get called...
Time...was not..on our side....I had to be very..careful...about the location...for Jan's security... I tried to think of Everyone... who would like...Jan's type of things....and...Know This.... I would Never...Intentionally...Not...Invite....Anyone....
Thankfully...those who came to my Sale...jogged my memory...and many were invited...through that.... and...I asked others...I had invited...to help me....think of folks...I may have forgotten....
I had to keep the number of folks down...as there was Very Limited Parking....
If..I have hurt someones feelings...I am...Truly...Truly...Sorry...
I tried to send images to folks...via e-mail...but could only send 4 images at a time...or...I'd get them back...so...had to post images on my blog...
{I know it was confusing...for my bloggers... but...I had wasted nearly 2 days...e-mailing...and couldn't waste another moment...hope...you understand...: ) }
We all...did the Very Best...we could....
I would like to Thank...Everyone...who drove...many..many miles...twice.... and attended...
Jan...wanted me to BE SURE...to Thank Everyone...From Her...as well...
She had a Blast...
{I stood outside her door...smoking...one of the nights...Jim and Melanie...had just arrived to pick up....we watched...the Festivities...through the glass...and wished I would have had my camera.... Jan was having so much fun...with everyone....Laughing...and Dancing....and at that moment... it struck me.... This...could have been much....different...I could have been helping her daughter, Tiffany...with this...if Jan...was gone....
 How somber...it would have been... I truly don't know how...we could have done it...without Jan....this was an Amazing...and...a Happy Event....a Blessing....}
I am so Proud... Humbled....really...of Everyone.... Mark....who spent 2 days...helping with the books...Tiffany..and her Darling Husband....with the computer...{Tiffany...and Liz...worked so hard...grocery shopping...and helping prepare...food...Wonderful...Dishes...oh my... : ) }Jan's friend...Larry.. who I told to "RUN!!! Run Fast!!!"...everytime..he popped in... but...he didn't... : )...Folks....who had pages...that weren't correct...those...who waited and waited...on us....My Family....
Dan and Barb....Dan..and Dale.... Tom.R. {for helping out...in the very beginning} Lynn and Lea.... Rosie...and the Girls... {They helped...so much...lugging...and laughing... : ) } I so appreciated...Tom V.'s... Kind words...they..meant...much...very...much...Bob T. I want to Thank...as well...for the Lovely...Compliment...and Hug... {even tho...he's not a Hugger...: ) I feel Honored... : ) }
I knew...if Jan stayed...for the sale... and met the Wonderful People...that would be purchasing her treasures... it would help her...get through this... and..it did...she said so...
She is excited for them... and hopes they all do well...and enjoy the pieces...as much as she has....
Once...again...I know I'm forgetting... The Most Wonderful Folks... So...I Thank...
EVERYONE!!!!
Thank You....
You...All...Were Our Bridge...Over Troubled Waters....
Without You All....I could never... have been The Bridge... for Jan...
I would...have collapsed....
I was her strength...You...you...were...mine...
{but...then...you all knew that... : ) }
and...I Thank The Lord....For Carrying Us Through...and Sending His Best!!!!
Love...to You...
Barb C.
I looked down...beside my stool... next to my computer...tonight...it's nearly...11:00...I am in the same clothes...I wore...on Sunday... I am...so weary...tired.... but... something...caught my eye...
 Lying next to the Boots...Jan gave me...{ right where I had left them...Monday night... }
 is a leaf... in the shape....of a Heart....
It seemed to be shining...almost...glowing...
I had not seen it earlier... when I swept...
If...you have followed me...for any length...of time... well...ya know...
That...to me...is My Dad...Winking....
 and...I weep....
Life...is...All...about...The Journey...
And...The Bridges... Over...Troubled Waters... : )
{it's now..in my collection..of 'Winks'... : ) }
Love...to You....
 
 


4 comments:

Joy said...

I've been sick for a week - in bed and feeling more than a little down . . . first thing I did this morning, after a week of sleeping, was read your blog. Wowsa! You lift me up with your precious spirit. So happy to know you, and to be able to follow your heartfelt journey my friend. God is watching out for you, every step of the way. Love to you, Joy

Betty G said...

I love this posting---and YOU...are...a....WONDERFUL....friend....to help people the way you do!!! May a life filled with all of God's blessings be yours and those who you love. With luv~Betty

simplyiowa said...

Betty....
The Lord...sends us... to places...we could never imagine...
Always...for a reason...
This...'Journey'...was as much for me...as it was for my friend...
I learned so much....about 'People'...
Jan carried me... as well...
As did...so many others...
and...they still..are...
I always...always...think..I can do everything...alone...
but...I see... Life..really does...'Take a Village'...
Love to you...Sweet...Betty...
Love...to you...
Barb C.

simplyiowa said...

Joy....
Get Well!!!!
I Miss You...and Worry....
Please...Take Care...Little Girl...
Love..Love...Love...You!
Barb C.