The Big Auction


At the big auction, a family’s history of material possessions lay under the sun in chapters, as it were, displaying their unique story. The furniture, China, tools, and toys. Everything they owned, organized into logical piles and tidy sections atop flat-bed trailers.


The crowd of curious bidders touched what they could, and mingled about in curious banter, hoping something they could not live without came up next.

It was easy to spy the manly stuff right away–guns, vintage pickup trucks, and ranch-flavored tools from the epic past. But, my eyeballing soon migrated to the funky kitchen ware, old manual typewriters, and the leathery books which looked as if they were written on the same, old typewriters …

I envisioned what an auction at my house would look like. Although raised with hoarders, I’ve come to resist my family’s proclivity to fill every crack in their universe with needless crap.

When I was five and the parents were splitting, Mom literally lost it one day–all of it–to the Storage Ferries. Everything the family had, went up for auction (or ashes), because we couldn’t pay the rent on the facility that had our stuff.

I lost the purple, metal-flake Stingray; the GI Joe’s and the Wiffle bat. Mom lost photographs and jewelry. But, I remember learning to be grateful for having very little. Mom, myself and my little brother, could up and roll at a moments notice. Especially when all you have inside your brown sack, is a tooth-brush, comic book, and one extra pair of, just-incase-you-have-to-go-to-the-hospital, underwear. This was mom’s basic, essentials kit.


During the months and weeks my wife and I took to plan our recent move to a new town, and a new house, the above thoughts have been with me. As much as I wanted to buy that old manual typewriter at the auction, I felt, or knew, I’d just end up moving it again someday soon. At the time of this writing, I didn’t know when, nor where, we’d be moving. But the thought of acquiring one more thing to house, wrap, transport, and care about, seemed numbing.

As it turns out, we moved very little. A couple of guitars, my camera bag, lots of dog necessities and my wife’s favorite wok. Everything else, in terms of furniture at the new place has mostly been thrift store finds.

Shadow seems to approve of the new-to-us, bargain furnishings.
Shadow seems to approve of the new-to-us, bargain furnishings.

Extremely freeing, to not have to pull a trailer behind us during our big move. Here’s to loving people more; and things–not so much.