Rhonda Hopkins


Young Adult Fiction With Heart

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to a Garage Sale

My sister and I called our grandmother “Nanny”.  My Nanny was definitely one of a kind and I miss her terribly. But, she’s left us with great memories. One involves an incident while she was searching for a garage sale.

Nanny had this thing for what she termed “garage sale-ing”. She loved (and that’s not a strong enough word) going to garage sales and looking, even if she didn’t buy anything. But she usually came away with something. She loved the haggling back and forth over price. Boy was she good at it!

She would buy stuff and when she accumulated enough, she’d have her own garage sale. Nanny was one of those that never met a stranger and could talk to anyone. She was awesome at turning a profit on her garage sale finds.

Nanny and my aunt or whoever she could rope into going  would be out every Saturday morning on the look out for people selling their belongings. Well, it didn’t have to be a Saturday. Any time we were out and about and she spotted a sign or even something that looked like it might possibly be a garage sale or even the makings of a garage sale, we’d have to alter course and warp-speed ahead to the suspect yard, garage or flea market.

Drawing of man in front of garage with items spilling into the front yard for a sale.

So it really wasn’t surprising when …. okay, picture this and put yourself in my mother’s shoes:

Mom is driving Nanny to a garage sale she’d heard about. On the way there, Nanny sees an open garage door with a lot of junk in it. Some tables, etc. No one is outside of course. It’s a beautiful day, the sun is shining. Nanny makes Mom stop the car because it looks like someone is setting up a garage sale.

Nanny walks into the garage and somehow just as she walks in, her arm hit’s the garage door opener/closer on the side. The door starts going down. Mom describes the shocked look on Nanny’s face. Now my grandmother is not normally the kind of person who is inhibited (you can tell that right?) or shocked, but the garage door closing on her must have done her in. She just stood there not knowing how to stop it and not really realizing what she’d done to cause it.

So now my Mom is in a stranger’s driveway looking at a closed garage door behind which her mother is trapped. After a few minutes of trying to figure out how to get Nanny out of there without causing herself any embarrassment, Mom finally gives up and goes to the stranger’s door. And rings the bell.

Can you imagine having to explain how your mother came to be locked in a stranger’s garage? Fortunately, the people were home and were really nice. But no…they weren’t having a garage sale.  Moral to the story: If your garage is full of junk and looks like you’re ready to start selling, keep your doors closed. You never know who’s going to wander in. And become stuck there.

I still laugh so hard when I think about this. (Probably because I wasn’t there! LOL) My Nanny had a great sense of humor and could laugh at herself. So I don’t think she’d mind me sharing this story. I wish she was still around causing mischief.

I think remembering the fun, funny and magical times with our loved ones helps to keep them near. What about you? Do you have a favorite funny story about someone you miss?

14 thoughts on “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to a Garage Sale”

  1. Thanks for plugging my blog, girl! That is a great, great story. You set it up so well, telling only what was going to make a difference in what happened to Nanny. You made me laugh, and not much does.

    I don’t have a Nanny. I have a MawMaw. She’s a short, fat lady with a funny accent. MawMaw was raised in a home where English was spoken, but it was spoken with an accent. So that’s how she sounds. MawMaw’s not dead, but I don’t get to see her nearly as much as I’d like.

    MawMaw is about as bad as I am about digging through junk. One day, she saw this suitcase, an expensive one, laying on the side of the road. MawMaw stopped the car and put the thing in her trunk. About the time she made the last turn onto her road, this overpowering odor, which had been steadily building, took over her car. MawMaw knew it had to be the suitcase.

    MawMaw stopped the car again, and opened her trunk. The odor was even worse in the trunk. She jimmied open the suitcase and found…dead fish. The thing was full of dead, rotting fish. MawMaw pitched the nasty thing in the woods and drove on home.

    It didn’t stop her from picking up crap off the side of the road, though. 😀

    1. LOL! That is exactly what Nanny would do and no it wouldn’t stop her either! Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your MawMaw with us. And I’m glad she’s still with you. 🙂

  2. Well, my funny story may not be funny to others but my mom lived on a 4-lane busy street in our small city of 80,000 and we’d always have garage sales there because the location attracted a TON of people. We had them often and a woman came every single time to look through the “used” underwear. We all found this not only “interesting” but funny as hell and kinda weird, The Underwear Lady showed up every time. Go figure! It was always good for a laugh among the family girls.

    1. LOL Patti. That is pretty weird in a ewww kind of way. 🙂 Nanny’s place was just ripe for garage sales too. And there were always some strange characters who showed up at most of them. But over all they were pretty nice people. As many garage sales as she had, Nanny counted some of the regulars as friends. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Oh, Rhonda, you made me laugh and cry at the same time! What a hilarious moment! Your poor spunky grandmother! Too funny.

    I have so many wonderful memories of my grandmother but I’m still working through her passing which was just over a year ago and get choked up every time I think of her. I know one day soon, I’ll be able to tell stories about her and her silliness and laugh with the memories. I’m so glad you’re able to do that and to share it with us.

    1. I am so sorry for your loss Debbie. I know it takes a while to be able to let the sadness go. But it is so good that you have those wonderful memories. Thank you for dropping by. I’m glad I could make you a laugh. 🙂

  4. Hi, Rhonda–great post! I can picture it so well.
    I don’t have a funny story to share, but I will say that I could become Granny. I have seriously embarrassed my children (which, I believe, is part of my mommy job description) by stopping to pick up discarded treasure on the side of the road. Most of it I re-discard, but there is one piece I do not regret–someone was getting rid of one of those wrought iron fruit basket stands, about 5 feet tall with 3 baskets. Perfectly lovely! Absolutely no place in the house for it, but I turned it into an exterior planter, and it looks fab next to my swing. (Mom, what are you DOING? Mom, no. Really, No. What if they come out of the house? What if someone we know drives by? MOM!!!)

    1. Liz, that is too funny! Of course it’s a parent’s job to embarrass their children. How else do they learn to cope? Thank you so much for stopping by. I’m glad you liked the post. 🙂

  5. Rhonda,

    I can’t imagine what Nanny was thinking being locked in! I’m glad the owners had a sense of humor. If I were a mystery writer (which I am…) this could have a totally different ending! In fact, you’ve given me an idea….

    Thanks for sharing! 🙂

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