Wednesday, March 31, 2010

On a Mission: Columbia vs Colombia, Garage vs Tag

Saturday's Garage Sale is over and I'm halfway to Columbia! It is purposeful that I have garage sales only half a day. I used to start them on Friday and finish on Saturday, but in my experience, now I just have them half a day on Saturday. This one paid off!

I'm tempted to haul it all off to a donation or cause and forego the accumulation, pricing and all the work that goes into having a garage sale. However, because I was raising money for the Columbia mission trip, that helped me stay focused and I followed through with it. I raised $711.25 while I was at it.

Think about that, though. I really only had one big item -- a Broyhill queen bed, but most everything after that was $5, $1 or a quarter! Especially around 11 a.m., everything became $1 or a quarter! It was not going back into the house! That's a lot of . . . well, let's just call it stuff that is blessing someone else's home!  Actually, that was a good thing too! De-cluttering the house, raising money for missions. I'm multi-tasking my tennis shoes off! And for two very good causes -- people in Columbia and my home in Texas!

I knew I needed signs to direct people to the sale and had the posters all ready to go, but had not acquired the wooden stakes to "plant" them in the ground yet, when I got an idea from all the political campaign signs. Why not use wire instead of the wooden stake? Hmmmmmmmmmmmm. I could fashion a clothes hanger, just like Martha Stewart if I planned it right. I planned how I would bend and tape it to the poster (clear strapping tape, at that). I'd use staples if the tape didn't work, but that was Plan B. On a trip to the hardware store I wondered how hog wire would work? Well, I found out that I had to buy enough to build several hog pens, so that wasn't a solution. Then the helpful cowboy in the store asked what I needed it for -- he quickly figured out I look like an "indoor girl" and thought it was pretty weird I was asking about hog wire in the first place. What he didn't know is that I was tomboy growing up and both my grandparents had farms (one even raised hogs) so I was well versed in what hog wire was used for and knew full well how to use it! But I digress.

He asked if the discarded wires from the rounds of hog wire would work and I said sure, if they are long enough. "How much are they," I asked.

"Nothing," he said. "Just go pick them up off the ground by the barn!"

I liked the price even better!

So I made little wire stands/stakes for my posters and they worked beautifully. I think they were a huge part of the success of the sale. The signs read: "Tag Sale" in huge, bold black block letters and my address appeared below it and an arrow pointing whichever direction was needed. The wire easily inserted into the ground and the ends stood straight so readers didn't have to read around the bend if the wind was blowing!

Now for those of you who think I was raised up north where they actually hold tag sales, let it be known that I am a southerner through and through. Here in Texas, we call them Garage Sales or Yard Sales. I had several people ask me what a Tag Sale was. Here's my explanation.

Martha Stewart refers to Tag Sales up north. "TAG" is easier and shorter to write on a sign than "GARAGE" or "YARD." So I went for brevity and easy. I figured everyone would figure it out. Seems like they did and I was spared the "So how much do you want for your garage?" and "This yard won't fit my house," comments! I think calling it a Tag Sale made everyone curious and added to the success of the sale. Meaning -- more $$$$.

I'm stoked about the sale and it exceeded my goal by $200 to boot! But in my excitement, I was posting to Facebook about how I'm halfway to Columbia. My good friend Alley asks me at church what I am going to do in DC. Alley is from Puerto Rico and has this amazing accent, so imagine her comments in PR English with Spanish cadence. I'm trying to figure out if I said something that didn't make sense to her or what. Why is she thinking I am going to DC?

"I'm going to Columbia," I said, "not DC."

"You mean, like South America?" She said.


"Then why do you spell it C-o-l-u-m-b-i-a?" she asked. "I saw on your Facebook post where you spelled it C-o-l-u-m . . ."

"That's how you spell Columbia," I said. Seriously thinking something is not connecting in her pretty little head.

"If you mean the District of Columbia," she said. "Colombia, South America is spelled . . ." and she began to write it out for me.

I just nodded, but secretly was wondering if there was an Internet connection somewhere so I could look it up. I had to wait until I got home, but did you know that by golly, she is correct? I had no idea there were two very different Columbia/Colombia locations. So, I am actually going to Colombia now, not Columbia!

I love discovering stuff like that!

So whether you call it a Garage Sale, a Yard Sale or a Tag Sale, it is still a sale to clear clutter from my home in Texas and raise money for missions to go to Colombia. Conversely, if you are going to Colombia, you are not going to Columbia!

Now, what can I do to get the remaining $700 for Colombia? Hmmmmmmmmm. I'm on a mission.

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