The auction of my Uncle and Aunt’s estate turned into an emotional day for me. “Emotional” is way too tidy a word to describe my soul’s turmoil.
It is devastating to see familiar furniture sitting on the front lawn. I agonized over the nickel and dime sales. When the auctioneer said, “We have here a 7-piece bedroom suit.” (I think that is spelled and some say “suite” but I could be wrong.) Immediately, I recalled Everett & Fern’s wedding reception. You’ve got to know Uncle was a smart man and a business man. He knew how to act in public—he just wasn’t very sophisticated. I just don’t want anything I say about him to be interpreted as derogatory or belittling.
Back to the reception. After cake and punch, someone was reading a list of gifts that didn’t show up at the reception. The lady announced that Fern’s parents had given a bedroom suit to the bride and groom. One of my cousins leaned over to me and said, “Uncle probably thinks that is a pair of pajamas.”
Seven pieces of matching high-dollar furniture, dated but in nice condition. Sold for $30.00. The matching 5-piece dining room furniture—I probably wouldn’t have used the desk, but the rest was nice–$50.
Carole wouldn’t let me attend any of her garage sales because I would go ballistic when someone wanted to talk her down from a quarter. (“Dean, you can’t yell at my customers!”) I had no place for the furniture, so I didn’t yell at anyone. The number one lesson at auctions is that you do not scratch your ear during the bidding. The second lesson is that the market for memories is minimal.
I’m sure there is a song somewhere about the day when they drag all the stuff you gave your life for onto the lawn and it goes for nickels. Your treasures that are not worth much to others. Made me wonder what I’m giving my life for that will have value after I’m gone.
He may have been a farmer, but he most of all had a heart for souls. Uncle was afflicted with Parkinson’s during his last years. One of our last conversations I had with him he was sitting in his wheel chair. He said—“These meeting you’re having” (long pause) “are you seeing souls saved?”
The treasures that shall last for eternity did not get displayed on the front lawn—nor could anyone bid on them. That transaction was over. Jesus paid the price no one else could.
I have been calculating values the past couple of days. Things that will last for eternity.
©2014 D. Dean Benton