Sunday, September 20, 2015

Dangers of Capitalism

     We all prepared as though for a military operation.
We gathered the necessary tools (bags, magic markers, masking tape), unearthed everything we hoped would serve as lures for our targets, filled our cars, and stockpiled the result at my nephew’s house.

          I baked my never-fail, big as a Buick, apple coffee cake.

          My niece made cupcakes, my nephew filled the fridge with hamburgers and hot dogs, my sister-in-law bought giant cookies. 

          Saturday morning we all rallied on the field of battle my nephew’s driveway. The tables were set up and filled by 7:30 a.m. and by 8:00 a.m. you could hear reveille being broadcast at nearby Westover Air Force Base like a starting pistol for the day. 

          The annual mammoth Chicopee tag sale had begun.

          This is an event large enough to cover the better part of my nephew’s housing development and several streets beyond that. There are food vendors, traffic jams, buyers that drive by at a crawl, and every form of object/kid toting wagon you can think of.

          For me, the incentive is not so much profit as the empty basement real estate I’m gaining. This year, I’ve recaptured floor space back from a high chair, three trunks, three folding chairs, two plastic yard chairs, and a sled. 

          We did pull in a little money by the end of the day, but the after-effect was also pricey. Over the past month we had regained ground in healthy eating (detoxing from that week of fried things at Cape Cod, for example), but on Satuday we spent the day lounging in our comfy folding chairs wolfing down that apple coffee cake, fistfuls of potato chips, hamburgers, hot dogs, sugary soda, cupcakes, and cookies. By 4:30, that pizza we’d planned to buy with our profits didn’t sound quite so tasty. 

          Once home, our carb-filled bodies cried for relief.

          Dinner turned out to be stuffed green peppers, steamed broccoli with mushrooms, and a tomato salad from the garden. 

          I can remember a time when recovering on Sunday meant something very different.


  1. Oddly your meal day sounds very similar to something my husband and I did while hosting a seminar on saving seeds (rather than a yard sale) but the food spread was similar as was our evening dinner.

  2. I'll man the table as long as I don't have to lug stuff in and out or price it! come to think of it, I'd rather be a shopper.

  3. Empty real estate in the home? Swoon. Be still my beating heart.
    I wish. How I wish...

  4. A fun, tasty it totally unhealthy way to clear out a basement. Too bad you didn't get to shop. However, nice recovery with dinner.

  5. At least you made a few dollars, even if you did pig out...Nice save with supper...Thanks for coming by the other day. I did reply to your comment. I'm like my friend Steve, a minimalist and always keeping things is harder than it looks.

  6. Sounds like a very productive day. Apple coffee cake? Recipe please? Sounds yummy.

  7. It's a wonderful thing to enjoy some new freed-up space in one's basement. And I really enjoyed the event through your words. Thanks for taking the time to write such a good piece. :-)

  8. Sounds like a fun day! I'm a firm believer in keeping stuff pared down, as my friend E mentioned above. :)

  9. These sales always sound like a good idea to me, but when the time comes, I just can't gather the energy to drag stuff out for one. My kids do love to try though, and then they have to either drag it all back into the house or take it to goodwill or a shelter. Sounds like you had a good day though!


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