I am a sucker for yard sales. They are one of the few things I completely understand.
Yard sales are amazing. They bring people together from far away, people who would never see each other, now chatting politely, swapping stories, hunting for items. Mennonites and white collar workers and hispanics from the city. Preppy teenagers on their driveways in designer clothes, watching their wardrobe sell for twenty, for fifteen, for ten dollars.
Sneaky shop-owners walking rapidly from garage to garage with a discerning glint in their eye. First zipping through them all, in search of high value items, then coming back and combing carefully for things they might have missed. See the guy in the mustache and hawaiian shirt? Yeah. He's probably an antiques dealer. That's his truck, the one with the piled furniture.
But I was cruising too. I nearly died when I showed up one minute late to purchase a flute for five dollars. Well, it wasn't bought yet. I hovered with my back to them, looking at the knick-knacks. Ak!, I thought. No big stacks of vinyl or boxes of books to look occupied sorting. I'll have to steel it out.
I thought they would notice me, but I tried to stay out of their range, turned to one side so I could watch. They were arguing. Good. The little girl held more tightly onto the flute-case handle. I peeked over my shoulder at them then turned to admire a china set.
Her mom was confused. Good. Just walk away, and in a few seconds, zing! I'll have it.... I thought.
Nooo! No! No! no no No no, I thought. She's a good mother. Why did she have to be a good mother! I screamed inside. For the daughter was now smilingly swinging the flute and they continued to browse. I walked away without acknowledging them. They never knew how completely they vanquished me.
Well, who am I to deny the gift of music to anyone? I later found out that the family was not musical, not very wealthy, that this girl was stepping out and trying something unprecedented in the history of her family by requesting a five dollar flute. They didn't even know where to look for lessons. After I heard that, I felt bad about my selfishness. But I was glad she had the flute. For I know the value of music, and the soulwarming qualities of playing music.
Later, I found another flute. God is good to me. It was twenty dollars, but well worth it. The action is good, and the pads are in good shape. Gemeinhardt model M1. It's ancient, and I can already make music with it (he was a flute teacher and gave me several instruction books).
My brass-playing friends are going to kill me for this.
I have already arranged to swap trumpet lessons for flute lessons with a friend.
I also made another amazing find, which will be useful to me this week. Tasteful, artful note cards for a dollar a box!
Thank-you notes are a part of my very existence. Getting good ones cheap was indeed a Godsend.
(why Melodeon, you ask? I learned my love for learning new instruments years ago, in our 3-foot-tall crawlspace, the day I found an old melodeon shuffled behind boxes and chests of keepsakes.)