Don’t you just LOVE a good garage sale? I visited one Saturday and got so much more than books. The sale was out in the middle of nowhere, and it took my husband and I about thirty minutes to get there. I thought to myself ‘this isn’t even garage sale season….I doubt there are any bargains.’ Boy, was I wrong! There were HUNDREDS of books. And lessons. And books with lessons attached in ziploc bags – you know what I’m talking about. This gal didn’t want you to JUST BUY THE BOOK – she wanted you to get the book AND the lesson, and pass on the love to your own students!
This angel, a freshly-retired, 35-year first-grade first-grade veteran, was selling her possessions for twenty-five cents each. Yep, you read that right. Only a quarter a piece, unless otherwise marked. BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!! If you spent $25, she would give you another $10 for FREE! Somebody pinch me!
This lady, whose name I still don’t know, was meticulous in her collecting of wonderful primary picture books. All of my friends were there: Jim Arnosky, Dr. Seuss, Patricia Pollaco, Ruth Heller, Jon Scieszka, William Steig, and so many more. I told her that I was a fifth grade teacher, not a primary teacher, so some of the books weren’t for me. Then I thought about writing instruction and added more titles to my stack. She smiled knowingly.
With my saintly husband trailing behind me, arms heavy with books, I was finally ready to settle my bill. (Of course, I got the $10 free – was there ever a doubt?) After giving her my money, I was overcome by the need to hug her. I thought about all of the lives she had touched in her thirty-five years of teaching. What lucky souls. Her hug did not disappoint.
She radiated sunshine on an otherwise gloomy Saturday morning. As she told me I made her day, I knew it was MY DAY that had been made. Not only did she give me her books, but her enthusiasm…her attitude….her joy. In about ten years, I will be in her shoes, hoping to pass on my teaching materials to some deserving soul. I plan to make the most of that time!