Friday, June 25, 2010

Early Birds

I'm not really an early bird, but I'm not particularly a night owl, either.  I generally sleep best between 11 pm and 7 am.  Unless I have insomnia.  And then I am most decidedly not an early bird.

I had insomnia this morning --  what we call "reverse insomnia" because, instead of having trouble getting to sleep at night, I wake up in the wee hours of the morning and can't get to sleep.  So I was awake  this morning from 4 am until some time after 6:30 when I finally drifted off again. To be awakened at 7 am by my six-year-old wandering  around outside my bedroom window making "coo coo" noises at the top of his voice.  And then my four-year-old climbs in bed with me and snuggles in right up next to my back -- which is lovely, but not sleep-inducing.  Then at quarter of eight, my husband comes in and says, "There's a garage sale lady out there and she's buying all your wrought iron."

Well, it's wonderful that someone's buying all my old wrought iron, but, first of all -- well, seriously.  All the signs and the Craigslist Ad clearly state that the sale starts at 9 am, not 7:45 am.  And why on earth does my husband need me with this, anyway??

Well, he's adamant that he does and when he tells me why, I know I'm not going to get to sleep in. You see, in our family I'm the haggler.  He was perfectly happy  all day yesterday toting items back and forth to the garage for the sale.  He gladly helped load things onto trucks for people, and bantered with the good-ole-boys. He even took money if someone just walked up and handed it to him.  But he doesn't mess with dickering.  Period.  And, early in the morning as it was, and as much as he may have wanted to let sleeping dogs lie,  Dan had been presented with a haggling challenge he didn't feel up to.  Here's the story:

When we moved into this old farmhouse thirteen years ago, there was a massive old ice box in one of the outbuildings.  Not a refrigerator, but one of the original, aluminum-lined varieties in which our forefathers cooled food by means of a gigantic block of ice.  It is wall-sized, as heavy as a planet, and really very cool (if you don't mind the pun), wth decorative hinges, and history glowing through the cracks in the doors.  I've said for years I was going to restore it and maybe use it to store board games or something.  But it's a big project, not only because of its size, but one of the doors has a hole punched through the front of it, there are paint splatters all over it, the hinges are wonky, and there are multitudinous traces of generations of mice that have used it as a condominium.  And, with this and that, and all the good intentions in the world, I just never got around to it.

But, this morning at the crack of dawn, a lady spied that ice box in the back of the garage and had to have it.  Dan was out in the trailer doing some work and heard the dogs barking the lady in so he was the first on the scene.  But, he high-tailed it out, when she wouldn't give a price -- and he didn't want to set one either. 

So, he comes in and gets me.  There's no getting out of it; I have to get up, get dressed, go outside, and think before 8 am.    Sigh.  So, anyway.  I love my husband.  I go out.  The woman is very nice but to-the-point.  She looks like she's had her coffee this morning.  We tell her we've seen these oversized ice boxes in pristine condition on E-Bay selling for upward of $1000...  They're rare to find.   But, we know ours is not in great condition.  And we know that it's going to take the WWF to lift it up onto a truck. So, I say, "How 'bout starting at $300?" 

She says, "Oh, I just don't have that..."

And I wonder by her forced aplomb if  Dan had started off this sale by saying if it were him he'd give it away for free.  She looks like she wished I'd never come outside...  

I say something along the lines of,  "Well, this old ice box really is part of the history and provenence of this house... 

She says, " All I have is $90 -- and I'm on my way to work..." 

I think: Oh, fooey. This isn't fair.  I haven't even had my coffee yet and I think I forgot to brush my hair before I came out.

But I say, " Ya know, I'd love to see someone restore this... "

She says, "That's what I'll do."  And looks at me coldly, not taking the bait to come up with maybe a little more on her end...

I think, "Dang. I need some caffeine here."

But, I say, "Well, I'm not taking it with me.  And I don't know if we'll get a whole lot of other offers.  So.  You may be the one to do it.  $90 is fine." 

She gives me the $90, and tells me she'll be back with a truck after work.  And I think, but don't tell her, that I hope she has lots of very strong friends and relations to help her move it around.  And  that she just got a great deal.

I hate early birds.

Now where's my coffee?


GrandmaK said...

Oh my how I have enjoyed this post. You have made my day with lots and lots of smiles!!!! God Bless!! Cathy

Sarah Oldham said...

Can I just say how disappointing people like that are . . . ????? I hope she thanks you for such a great deal! And, I pray she actually restores it. Geeesh. You ought to make it a standing order that you get coffee before any outsiders get to work deals with you. Anyway, you wrote about this in such a delightful way . . .I had to chuckle. God bless you!

MightyMom said...

you're kidding right?? I'd have told her to come back AFTER work with $200 and see if it's still here....

course, so would you if you'd had your coffee huh?

Soutenus said...

I love it! What a wonderful post. And, I agree, she got a great deal? Did she come back and did she bring enough man power to move it successfully?
I am so glad I finally had the time to stop by!
I have missed my virtual travels to Colorado!!