Monthly Archives: July 2012
Back in 1968 I was greatly inspired by the winter Olympics. That year they were held in France and not too surprisingly one of the big stars was a frenchman. Dude named Jean Claude. Won a couple of gold medals in skiing. He inspired me and I took up skiing.
Black diamonds mark the expert slopes on the ski mountains and after two or three hops down the bunny trail, I decided the black diamonds were more my speed. I survived. For the next six or seven years, from first snowfall to Spring melt, you could find me almost every day on some hill, joyously flying on my skis. As I got better, so did my skis. Never did get that pair of Lange boots I dreamed of though, or Head 360 skis. I did have some fancy Saloman bindings though. All of these would be antiques now I’m sure. But back then…
Apple Hill was the ski area of choice. Largely because it was only a mile or two from my school. It was a small place and sometimes I called it Apple Bump. But I learned a lot about skiing, and other things, there. Had one heck of a lot of fun. Broke a pair of skiis doing jumps. Competed in a race or two. I got to be good enough to do more than survive the black diamonds. And skied some places bigger than a bump. Keystone. Aspen. Places like that. But when I went to college my skiing days pretty much ended. No time. Or money. It’s been a long time since I last schussed. But man was I inspired!
Lots of people will be athletically inspired by the Olympics. Great careers will be launched by little kids watching the great athletes. Hobbies will be begun by those thinking it would be fun to try rowing or cycling or something. And thousands will be inspired to get off the couch and do something. Anything. At least for a little while until the Olympic memory fades, and day to day realities once again take over.
But we were inspired. And we did something. And so it is part of our personal history. Skiiing played a big part in my personal history. What inspires you? What has become part of your personal history? Write it down for the future. So others will know. www.personalhistorywriter.com
A yard sale seems like a pretty simple affair. Put all of your unwanted junk in the yard, or garage for those who are a little more refined, let people know about the event and match new owners with what have suddenly become treasures. All the while making a few bucks.
But there is a lot of work that goes into this whole process. The main thing is being able to let go of your junk. And to realize that no matter how much you may have once liked it, the new owner isn’t going to pay anywhere near as much for it as you did. That thirty-five dollar shirt is now worth two bucks. Maybe.
My big fear when doing one of these things has always been running out of change. You need to start out with a lot of one dollar bills and quarters. To make change for the fifty cent shirts. And you need plastic bags for your customers to put all their new stuff in. Of course you have to price all this stuff, and be prepared to change the price in midstream. Nobody pays the sticker price. Even something marked for twenty-five cents has room for negotiation. Funny how that piece of junk you are desperate to get rid of takes on much greater value when someone is trying to get it from you for a song. Make sure it’s all nicely displayed so people can see it. And be awake at the crack of dawn for early birds, even when your advertisement specifies no early birds.
Sellers are usually people who do this once in a while to clean out their closets, garage or basement. Buyers on the other hand are often professional yard sale goers. They come in knowing exactly what they want, look around, buy it if you have it, and get out to go to the next garage or yard. This is their business. Buy and sell. Enterprising entrepreneurs. I’m not there yet. I go and look and think about what might sell or resell, and what won’t. I mostly look, and buy a few things that I like that will fill up my house until I clean it out again.
What I like best is seeing all the people who come out. Whether you are a buyer or seller, first timer or pro, in it for fun or profit, the yardsale is part of your personal history. Small part. Large part. Make some notes about how much fun it was. Perhaps you too will become a pro. www.personalhistorywriter.com
With teeth like a rabid wolf, my dog is none the less afraid of thunderstorms. The other night I had to get down on the floor to sleep next to her. She didn’t sleep, and neither did I. She pants like crazy as soon as she senses any thunder in the area. I’m not sure why exactly, but I think it has to do with her puppy hood.
We got her when she was ten weeks old as a rescue. Apparently she had been living in a dumpster at a mobile home park. That would scare me, not to mention some thunderstorm. Only she knows what that was like, and she isn’t saying, but it’s all part of her personal history. Yes, dogs have interesting lives too. Maybe you could capture the life of your dog as a memoir. Or your cat. Or bird. Whatever kind of pet you have, aren’t they part of your family?
This dog is a big part of my personal history too. And that of my family. She is the fourth dog I have had as a pet, but she is my favorite. I feel the closest to her. Perhaps I don’t really remember the first one too well as I was a child back then. The second dog was really my brother’s dog. The third one was mean. This one and I got the power paradigm straight real early. I nearly killed myself demonstrating that I was “the big dog.” But we understand each other now. And she follows me everywhere.
The thunderstorm reminded me of her first night with us. She was in her crate. Downstairs. Alone. And she was whimpering. I went down and lay down next ot the crate and slept there all night with her. She made it through the night.
Pets are part of our family, and our family history. there is no telling how that story might have been different without her. Capture their story too. www.personalhistorywriter.com