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Published: October 13th 2017
Hellloooooo Everyone! It’s so good to be back again with you. It’s been such a long time. We have missed all of you. We hope each of you have had a good and healthy summer. We are still appreciating the lingering warm weather. We are pretending the fallen, colorful leaves are a new kind of flower that continues to bloom. Its fun to live in a fantasy world.
BEWARE: this blog will be a biggie, a super biggie....Just so much to catch up on. Time for you to settle into a comfy chair, grab a tasty drink and treat and then, let my ramblings begin. You can rest your eyes as needed....we don’t want to burn them out! “Moderation” is not a word that comes easily to me with just about anything I do....it’s like “all or nothing”- e.g.- my collecting, eating, writing, etc.
Speaking of collecting......that’s where we will begin this far from elegant lengthy epistle. Collecting is what started it all. Started what?, you ask. Read on, faithful followers.
Way back when, we...yes, WE
— Cory became hooked on collecting right along with me. We were a team who ventured onward and outward for “the thrill
of the hunt”.......and what a thrill it was to find that treasured morsel. We jumped up & down with joy and jubilation so many times. Our initial collections began with Antique rug beaters (we inherited one from Cory’s grandmother - eventually ending up with @ 60) and Carrol’s (fast food restaurant) Cartoon glasses (they were cute - eventually we ended up with hundreds). We swarmed every yard sale, thrift store, flea market with our darting eyes to uncover just one of these special delights. One day, a local auction house (Carl’s Carmel Auctions)advertised rug beaters. That’s what took us over the top. We had now moved in to the auction circuit. Didn’t take long to find ourselves loaded with “extra stuff” from the box lots we bought while buying additions for our collections. What to do with all this “extra stuff?” We were getting swamped...smothered...over run! Our annual yard sale took care of some of it but our continued, obsessive buying excursions made our inventory grow and grow and grow. We needed a bigger and better outlet. We talked with dealer friends we met at auctions who guided us into the flea market life. We obtained sales tax numbers from
the states of NY, PA, Massachusetts (has the biggest show: the Brimfield Antique shows: 5,000 dealers on 20 fields) and eventually Florida. We called ourselves “dealers” and used the business name of Santiques & Corllectibles (catchy?). We were “in the business”! We signed up for furniture refinishing at our local BOCES. We loved it. Learned a lot, accomplished a lot. I could cane chairs now. We made great friends and kept going every semester in order to refinish our primitive items into fine pieces. We graduated 7 times. Cory became a master craftsman as a fixer upper. We loaded our conversion van to the top and beyond. Cory strapped a mountain of goodies onto the roof so we truly looked like the Beverly Hillbillies. It was a miracle that he was able to pack all this stuff in and on one vehicle. We went to all the flea markets and festivals we could find. We had just one over head tarp to protect ourselves and our wares. If the weather worsened, Cory would slap some more tarps to the sides.....it was shanty looking but we thought we were “big stuff” selling our wonderful “extra stuff”. The money started rolling in....WOW
- someone’s trash is definitely another’s treasure. Cory had a story for each treasured item.....I’m still amazed how all these faux ancestral heirlooms made it on the scene that we really didn’t want to sell (gag-choke). I guess you can rationalize that this “extra stuff” did belong to someone’s family at one time. Who would ever say that Cory exaggerates on occasion???? He loves wheeling & dealing....a side profession that he excels in. We both loved our new hobby. We got bigger and bigger as we kept going “on the hunt” and on the road. We started to buy better items, not just the cheaper leftovers. Our “extra stuff” had now overtaken our house and outbuildings. We were drowning in EXTRA STUFF! Our storerooms plus some of our living areas in our house were full (hoarder-like but tidy), our huge enclosed patio was packed front to back, side to side, floor to ceiling ( just like the NYC brothers, Homer & Langley Collyer, who packed their apartment with tons of stuff which ultimately killed them by crushing them - google them), 2 outdoor sheds were loaded as well as our big wooden barn, our pole barn and it’s overhang, 2
utility trailers, co-ops and my store.
Let’s stop here for a minute so I can tell you about my store. Did I hear sighing? Naaa...probably just some of you gasping with excitement and anticipation. Cory bought me a small mobile home....it had been used as a business office at a local trailer park. It has one large room and a bathroom....no water but electric was hooked up to it after we moved it to our side yard. A neighbor built a nice porch/deck on it. I was so excited. A new venue to sell our “extra stuff” plus I would be my own storekeeper. Cory didn’t want it advertised as a business so my bubble got popped early on. I was afraid to open it too often so didn’t. We called it cold storage. Occasionally I would open it, tidy it up, remark some things and listen to my boom box of bluegrass music. A rare customer appeared but because it was never open nor advertised, it just really became a curiosity for traffic going by.
We still had to definitely expand our hobby/business with more outlets. We joined the “show circuit”. ....now we were doing Antique shows
as well as putting our stuff in various co-ops in NY. We became regular sellers on EBay. Big time dealers. We had arrived! How could we have this much fun and collect good money doing it? Life was so good. We bought several tents: the last being a heavy duty 20’x20’ tent. We bought 2 utility trailers to haul our stuff: the last being 8’x14’. We (Cory, me & Chip) used to sleep in the trailer at our shows. Cory made the inside as homey as he could. We thought it was great fun. Rugged but great fun. We had originally slept in our van. That was just fine with us...quite cozy. I can still picture Cory sitting, cross-legged, on the fold-down bed counting his money like he had just won the jackpot at Vegas. Yahoo! Could it get any better than this? One of our dealer friends had bought a Class C motor home to do their shows. Jeeze......what luxury they had. Envy, envy, envy drooled out of us. With our extra money from our “extra stuff” we bought a used Class A Holiday Rambler RV. OMG.....can this be true? Our own bed, our own bathroom, our own house
on wheels! We were sure we had died and gone to heaven. We were in our glory. We met so many wonderful people who became good friends. We thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of the “business” - the good (the great people, being together and having fun, the excitement with each sale and the money) and the bad (hard work setting up and tearing down, inclement weather, slow days). We were in a Mecca for selling and buying....pretty close to Gloryland for us. Cory & I were so happy doing all this together as a team. Our family pitched in to help out in the early days. My mother traveled with us to the “Big Shows” and was our top rated wrapper and unwrapper. Oh, how I missed her help when she could no longer join us. We quickly moved from less glassware to more unbreakable items = less wrapping. Our daughter, Lory would join us sometimes, bringing her kids. What a tremendous help she was! On occasion, our other kids would be there to lend their helping hands. It was a family affair. Our beloved dog, Chip, was our “greeter”. People would stop at our tent just to see Chip
even though they had no interest in our “extra stuff”.
But, in time (we did this for many, many years), we witnessed when “all good things must come to an end”. We had to stop doing the big, outdoor shows. We had even resorted to renting a big tent and having it set up for us because we were getting too many aches and pains doing our own.......aging is not always kind. Cory used porters to help with the loading and unloading task. But it was time to close our booth...we knew it. So we stopped doing all these shows a few years ago. We stayed in a couple co-ops and sold on EBay. Once you have this obsessive life style in your blood - it never goes away. Now we were back to our inundated home and property. We had cut out a major outlet for all our “extra stuff”. What will we do now? The Co-Ops and EBay were good but no way sufficient enough to handle our enormous inventory at a decent pace. We didn’t want to end up like Homer & Langley. Our kids didn’t want to carry on the business and certainly didn’t want
all this “extra stuff”for themselves. What to do? We always said once it wasn’t any fun (but it was) or if it became more than what we could handle (it did), we would have one Big auction and get rid of it all. Decision made! So, once we returned home from Florida at the end of April, we contacted our local auctioneer, Scott Burt.
There! We have now made it to the gist of this whole blog: our auction. I felt you needed to have the background before we got to this point so “background you got”. Hey.....I can hear fussing and moaning out there. I know, I know.....there’s been a lot to take in. Remember “moderation” is not something easily used by myself. Being a nurse, I knew the importance of thorough documentation. Thusly, my blogs are quite thorough (to say the least) as we chat. Go get a fresh cup of coffee or whatever you are imbibing, take a bathroom break, get up and stretch, get some fresh air and ready yourself for more exiting updates on our time apart and what we were up to. I know the excitement and curiosity is out there. In the
meantime, I’ll massage and polish up my tapping finger I use while writing on this Ipad. It‘s screaming out in pain right now but I’ll be fine. Okay....are we ready? Let’s begin again. Say “Yippee!”
Our auctioneer came down to our house and perused our “extra stuff” to ensure we had enough good stuff to hold an auction. Yep...no problem there. He reviewed the process with us and we signed the contract. The date was set for August 12th. And now the work began........taking up our whole summer so, with just a few exceptions, we were shackled to our place getting ready for this auction. Where to even start? We stood in limbo and starred vacantly into space. How the hell did we collect all this stuff? What were we thinking? What were we doing? Collecting Addiction...it’s a disease! We had it bad! Ok....we started with one room at a time. Cory had to rearrange his pole barn so we could store all the designated stuff out there. Piece by piece, I sorted, removed tags and boxed it all up. Cory made @ 2,000 trips back and forth to our pole barn to begin the stacking of all our
“extra stuff”. Often, he could use our golf cart as his transport vehicle but our van held even more. He almost made a new driveway between our house and pole barn. We still have ruts. We were like busy beavers hauling all our stuff to make a dam equivalent to the Hoover Dam in size. Besides the ton of stuff stored in our house, we had to empty the co-op, patio, sheds, old barn, both utility trailers, the overhang, the pole barn and my store. We even added some of our personal collections: rug beaters, Cartoon glasses, my hundreds of Sally Patchin baskets, Cory’s cherished signs....snivel, sniff, sob. We hired our granddaughter, Sara, to remove all our price stickers from the thousands of “smalls” (antique term for SMALL items) in my store. The hang tags weren’t bad but the sticker labels...oooo- some of those were doozies. She earned her money. We performed all this clearing out activity most everyday, all day. It was rugged at times. How was summer? Did you have a nice one? We missed it!
Scott would come down on a routine basis and take hundreds of photos of our “extra stuff” to put them all
Some of our “extra stuff “
Just a few of Cory’s signs
on Auctionzip.com. He organized some of it but that would come later. His wife, Judy and son, Drew, would come down to help him. They boxed all the smalls in the store to be put later in the “walk-around”at the auction. Our daily routine of retrieval continued almost to the day of the auction. Of course, we discovered items we hadn’t seen for years or even knew we had.....kind of like the “thrill of the hunt” again. Because of the gigantic number of items, we couldn’t get it all into the pole barn. All that was returned to the shed, patio, overhang, old barn and trailers until auction week. That’s when the pace was turned up to ramming speed. Scott had a huge tent set up while we set up 4 of our tents. He feverishly worked organizing it all into a reasonable semblance. The tents were filled, the boxes placed all over our side yard for the “walk around”. Our moving shelves were rolled out in front of the pole barn, holding a deluge of goodies all to be sold. The pole barn held the paper goods and some of the better items. This was were he had the
Hot Diggity Dogs sold food & drinks
sit down part of the auction. There was stuff all over the place!
The day of the auction we prayed for good weather and big crowds. We got both. It did rain lightly and briefly (10 minutes) which didn’t alter anything. Everyone was in the tents at the time the rains came down and the walk around stuff had already been sold. Our family all came down and helped out. We needed watchers during the preview and actual auction...they did that. Two of our grandchildren, Sara & Shenen, worked our big parking area with some assistance occasionally by one of our other kids. We even had horse parking for the Amish parking....water buckets included. Sara & Shenen used our golf cart as a transport taxi taking the buyer and their purchases to their vehicles. Some used it but most carried their own stuff....tips? Our other kids helped with the carrying. Lory worked as our scribe with relief times given by other family members. Our auctioneer gave us all that info at the end of the auction but this way, we could see quickly what had sold and for how much. Cory & I stayed in or around the house
so we wouldn’t be a distraction to Scott. We knew it was best to wait and see the bottom line for sales rather look at individual items. Some went higher than expected; others lower. That’s the name of the game. We were very happy with the final tally. Our auction lasted @8 1/2 hours. How Scott survived it is a miracle.....we were exhausted just waiting it out. He did all the work! We could relish in the fact that our “extra stuff”was all gone.
Well, not quite. Sometimes, items go unsold or are just left behind. We had about 2 truckloads of this. We picked out items to donate to our local Historical Society. We kept some stuff to try to sell on EBay. But what to do now with the rest? Easy Peasy. Within 2 weeks, we had a big yard sale. Success - made over $1,000! Yippee. Some of the remains were sent to a local thrift shop. Lory gathered some stuff for her yard sale. The books went to our library and we made a “Free”pile. All gone! Hallelujah. We stood in our empty pole barn and hollered “Hooray”. We could hear an echo. WOW! Fabulous!
It was not difficult to watch our “extra stuff” travel down the road. We had made this decision and we were more than happy with the results. We loved and flourished during this entire, exhilarating part of our lives but now we are able to move ahead enjoying more fun times while creating more great memories. Free....we are free at last. But what will we do now? More decision making.
Let’s take a break. I can hear lots of squirming and groaning. Remember, it’s been months that we’ve been together. This is going to take awhile. I warned you in the beginning. I certainly don’t want to miss any little detail as I’m sure you feel the same. Right? If you have to, just pretend you are at the library reading a favorite book....I won’t know.
I will share with you a very troubled time I encountered writing this blog. It does come with complications at times. I started writing it yesterday and had almost made it to completion, but not quite.......eyes had flung shut. Today, I went to my “notes”to finish it up. Whaaaat?!! OMG! Only the first few beginning sentences popped up. R U kidding me?
Pleeasse say yes. This can’t be true. I quickly checked the appropriate places on my IPad - doing all that I knew to do to find my entire blog. Nothing, Nada, ZIP, Zero, Scratch.......but wait: Google is my friend. That will help me to solve this dastardly problem. Oh No-No-No. Nothing worked!! Waw! Blubber! Sob! Squeal! Screech! Vomit!!! I felt dead. Ok....be strong - time to call Apple support knowing I would be on the phone for hours. I’m desperate, though. The first muffled sounding gal did her best....nothing. Onto the cheery supervisor who knew she could solve the issue. Whew! WRONG! She had no better luck. None of us have any idea where the rest of this lengthy chat went. Rats. I offered up that all I could do was suck it up and redo it. They agreed. MOAN!! And double MOAN. And you think it’s a challenge just read it....how about writing it TWICE! Feel sorry for me? I hope so cause I have been wallowing in deep sorrow the entire time I have been pounding away on this firm tablet for the 2nd time. ...for hours and hours and hours and.....All the while, trying to make you
think I’m whistling a happy tune with a big, fat smile on my face. I want you all to feel happy and gleeful as you plow through this copious message during our special time together.
We aren’t done yet. Put your big person underpants on and work with me. Lots more chatter ahead.
Now, for the next question - what are we going to do now? Well, after deep contemplation we decided we need to sell our house. It is way too big for just the two of us. Good for family gatherings but they happen less often with our kids having their own lives and are so busy living them. Cory has mowed our big yard so many times it would add up to enough miles to go around the earth.....1,000 times. Mr.Handyman is sick of being so handy when the various tasks come along. My title of Mrs.Clean was relinquished many, many years ago. I call our house Camp Shongo so visitors aren’t planning on seeing glistening surroundings. I have some special spiders in their homes that I call by name. With much of our trinkets gone in the auction, the open spaces show the dust
clearly. I don’t swipe at it so not to leave a clear spot....I just hope people like the pretty grey covering we keep on all our indoor things. ....like a protective shield. We have put our house and property (3.4 acres, 10 room remodeled house, Big wooden barn, big pole barn, outbuilding and trailer store building) on the Internet. We have posted a “For Sale by Owner”in our front yard. Mostly, we want to alert people it is for sale. We have lived here since 1972 and is the only house we have owned (except our house on wheels). Our neighborhood is not a thriving, desirable home buying area......no sign-up list begging to live in Shongo ...so we plan this is going to take awhile. When we go to Florida after Christmas, we’ll take our sign down and list it with a realtor when we return in the Spring. We’ve had a few calls but nothing serious. One just wanted to buy my store. Hah! We hope the Amish might take a look at it....they have been buying up places all along our roadway.
Ok....now the questions returns: If you sell your place - where will you go, what
will you do? Answer: we have no idea. We are going to find a spot to park our RV and sit in it to think about it. We already winter in our RV in Florida....that won’t change except maybe we will add a couple more months to our time down there. But what about the rest of the time? Don’t know. Cory said at our age we won’t buy anything.....just rent. So maybe rent a condo somewhere (hopefully fairly close to our families)? Find a place to park our RV and live out of it? Go full-time in our RV and travel where the winds take us? It all sounds like good possibilities to us. But we are just going to play it by ear....first, we have to sell the house. However, how many of you have a long driveway or big yard with accessible electricity? Just checking....you can let us know later. I recently bought a new phone so you can call me with the same phone number I had with my old one. I’ll be carrying it with me instead of just using my IPad all the time. I have to get a nice ringtone, though. Maybe I
should have Cory record something for me? Coreey, Coreey- Answer Your Phone - We are Trying To Reach You! Sound familiar?
I’m sure, by now, you are thinking, hoping and planning that we are coming to the end of this War & Peace size dribble. WRONG! I feel it appropriate to share a few of our fun times we did get to experience this summer, in-between our devoted and dedicated, unending work for our auction. We don’t want you feeling real sorry for us. Fine....take another break. I’ll wait and be right here when you return. And no muttering, please, cause I can hear you.
Hello....glad to see all of you back. Let me take a minute and scan all of you to make sure everyone is present. Good....all our faithful followers are all here and up and ready to continue. I do see some of you used eye drops....understandable. My eyes are so blurred it’s like I am making a duplicate copy of all of this.
We attended one of our granddaughter’s (Haley) high school graduation. It was on a horse farm. Those of us who wanted to could ride the many horses available. It was
great. I hadn’t ridden in years....I loved it. My horse was named Candy....a coincidence? You do remember sleazy Candy who showed up at Tropical Palms? Well, she’s gone so no need to worry about her....what a doozy she was!
I accompanied my daughter, Lory and granddaughter, Sara, to an old abandoned asylum that has been restored somewhat. It is known for being haunted....I’m too much of a skeptic so saw no real ghosts. It was fun visiting all the old rooms that once held the lives of the poor, sick and crazy.
We went to the annual huge chicken-barbecue held by the local business (Hess Tire) where we buy our RV tires and have it inspected. They invite all their customers and families. Thousands attend. It’s terrific. The food is fabulous. They give out freebies. Hayrides are given. Children activities abound. I wish you all could join us.
We did have one mishap. A deer ran into my PT Cruiser when Cory was driving it home. The car was totaled, the deer died but fortunately Cory came out of it unscathed. I was keeping it as a “classic” - it was an original 2001. Such is life.
And under overhang
You have to take the Good with the Bad, you know. I suppose....
We attended a friend’s 80th birthday (Ed) in Leroy, NY (Home of Jello). That was a good time...seeing old friends and making new. A few weeks ago, Ed & Bev invited us to join them at a Buffalo Bills Football Game. Our special tickets put us in the huge, luxurious M&T box. Wow! Now this is how to watch a football game: free food and drinks and comfy seats in perfect surroundings. All top shelf! Cory was in his glory.
We found our rare visits to Walmart quite thrilling. We had free tickets to our local movie theater but ended up watching an occasional Red Box movie cause we were too tired to go out. We had NC friends (Les & DeAnne) stay with us briefly....that was nice. They helped us get our “extra stuff” ready for the auction....that was appreciated. Not exciting for them but greatly appreciated. We shared family birthday celebrations with those who had summer birthdays....always wonderful to be with our families. We sat on our front porch “bistro”maybe 3-4 times. Easier to collapse on the couch. See......we did do some festive
things this summer.....hey, what summer? We missed it! There’s always next year....we certainly hope so. That’s what filled up our time after returning from Florida: going to all the dentist and doctor visits. We aren’t even sick but these outings fill up a lot of time and will again in Nov. & Dec., before we head South. Too bad, quit the whining, Sandra...it’s all part of staying healthy.
We are in awe with the warm weather we have been having this far into Fall. Love it! Maybe it is our little bit of summer leftover for us to enjoy and appreciate what we have. We are. Cory had our RV winterized so when the weather changes, we are ready: bring ‘er on...Noooooo! I’ve been packing our RV for our winter stay in Florida. I do the inside; Cory does all the outside compartments. It’s so much nicer doing it in warm weather. I hate seeing my breath inside the RV if we wait too long. In 2 1/2 months, we’ll be wearing sunscreen instead of winter coats and galoshes. Some of our friends are traveling now to arrive at our winter home called Tropical Palms. Luckeeeees. You all know
that place very well since we have already spent many winters together there. It won’t hurt if you start packing now. The sooner the better, I always say. Your seat is reserved so don’t worry about that. I know you are anxious. We are, too. We are putting together a new bucket list so we’ll be setting out and searching for new places to share more fun and laughs. Always: “The More The Merrier”.
I’m having difficulty bringing this novel to a close. Really??? My finger acts like it is motorized. It just won’t stop tapping. I still have to figure out the mega amount of photos I want to add. Pictures are worth a thousand words....lucky you: you get both! Oh my! Wait a minute! You are saved! I stopped for a moment to fix supper and burnt my finger (feel sorry for me?). My low pain level is making these final words come quickly. See you again in late December and early January, 2018. Watch for our arrival so we don’t miss picking you up. You can’t miss us. We are the ones in the RV parked outside your door. Bye. YAWN.....Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz
P.S. It’s been awhile...remember
to keep scrolling way, way down to see all the pictures. This blog has 42 pictures so you will have to go way down below what looks like the end (when you see the little photo of Cory, me & Lulu)....Just keep scrolling....you know - you’ve been at this rodeo before. OMG.....I forgot to tell you about Lulu. She’s good but she’s been putting on a lot of weight. She may not fit in her carry bag which will limit her attendance at all our outings. We are working on a alternative plan with her....I’ll let you know what we come up with. Just don’t called her “Large Lulu” - she is just so sensitive!
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