Sale of my Dreams


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!


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