by Steve Liddick

It’s amazing how much “Stuff” a person can accumulate over the years, adding one item at a time. One day you look around your house and say to yourself, “we are in real danger of an avalanche.”

If you are “of a certain age” (I hate that term because I AM of a certain age), you may remember the “Fibber McGee and Molly” radio show of the 1940s. Fibber had a closet that was so crammed with “Stuff” that every time he opened the door, everything came thundering out of it. Our entire house is a lot like Fibber McGee’s closet.

I am a certified (or is that “certifiable”) garage sale junkie.

There, I said it.

There is no cure for an attraction to other people’s “Stuff” and there are no organized support groups where people with a similar addiction can meet and tell their sad stories—and swap weekend sale site locations.

When we’re driving along and spot a garage sale sign, my car’s steering wheel actually vibrates—swear to God—and sometimes turns on its own and does not settle down until we are parked in front of the sale site.

It’s not my fault, man.

I once had a two year record of never having missed a Saturday garage sale day. Perfect attendance at church would win me a medal, but there are no medals for perfect attendance at garage sales. In northern California we have a lot of good weather, so the sale season is pretty much a year-round thing. Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night shall keep me from my appointed rounds.

My wife, Sherry, routinely tells me as I’m about to hit the sale circuit, “If you buy something, you have to get rid of something to make room for it.” Well, that’s never gonna happen. I worked hard for those treasures. I spent more for gasoline than those things are worth, so there is an investment component here.

Okay, back to my story of too much “Stuff” which, by the way, is not a concept I necessarily subscribe to. Most people call extra rooms in their homes “guest bedrooms” or “dens.” One of the extra rooms in our house is used as a pantry and for storage of a lot of the “Stuff” I have accumulated in my excursions.

There is the real danger in there of a Fibber McGee-like cave-in and I am certainly going to do something about it. One of these days.

My mantra is similar to that of someone addicted to drugs or alcohol. “I can quit anytime I want to.”

And I will give it some serious thought, right after I check out half-price day at the local thrift store.

A new REFLECTIONS every Wednesday


Books by Steve Liddick:

Steve LiddickAuthor of “All That Time,” “Old Heroes,” “Prime Time Crime,” “Sky Warriors,” “But First This Message: A Quirky Journey in Broadcasting,” “A Family Restaurant is No Place for Children,” “Campsite Gourmet: Fine Dining on the Trail and on the Road,” and “Eat Cheap: A Cookbook and Guide To Stretching Your Food Budget Dollars.”