Friday and Saturday are yard sale days here in SW Missouri. Tables, tarps and blanketed driveways are covered with need-to-get-rid-of belongings. A packrat's nirvana, and one that grows increasingly messy with every hour. Labeled, organized clothing becomes jumbled, household appliances are picked over, stuffed animals not passing lovability tests discarded in messy heaps, all that planning, sorting, labeling and arranging undone in less time than it took to make change for a ten.
The upside to the chaos? Money in the seller's pocket, more space in the house to fill with new whatevers and relief that it's over. Until next year.
If there is such a thing as a Shopper Gene, I was born without one. When I shop it's for a specific something and I don't stop looking until I find it. Yard sales are no exception. I stop at them only when I'm looking for books to resell at my secondhand bookshop. If there are none, I move on. Early in my writing career I discovered that I did possess a Shopper Gene. One. It lurked in my brain totally shocking my Disciplined and Goal-Getter side. Neatly stacked How's and Why's that had been foundations of my writing projects were being strewn about, examined, some saved, some discarded. Characters I hadn't considered, hadn't even imagined, began popping up in unlikely places and surprising times, some of their actions and behaviors nothing I'd personally experienced. Scary stuff for a Goal-Getter with a Plan. I discovered that veering off my strict writer's shopping pathway could lead to unexpected bargains. Now I look for those back streets, whip down them, poke through treasure piles and organize them just the way I like it.