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Yard sale offers remnants of quiet, frugal life

It was a sunny Saturday morning that spring day in April. At the center of the village, some activity was noted at the home of some people recently passed away.

They each had met their ends in quick succession. Nearby neighbors became aware that signs of life no longer came from the home. After some delay, they entered the home and found the old folks deceased.

The neighbors informed some of the folks’ distant relatives of the situation. They came and made the funeral arrangements. But now the time had come to clear out the home and dispose of the many unwanted and outdated items of these old people.

The relatives set up long tables in the front and side yards and placed the obsolete objects on the tables. These were no longer of any value to them, so they displayed it all for quick and easy sale.

They first went through the home and made the unexpected discovery upstairs of three large milk cans, each 10 gallons or more, all filled to the brim with silver coins. This for years was the old man’s payment for repairing and creating new farm implements, including sturdy farm wagons.

Prior to the war, the coinage had always been in silver. During the war years, however, this had changed to sink and lead.

But the old folks had kept the silver coins and continued to save all of it in the cans. They stored it all upstairs with its heavy weight almost collapsing the ceiling of the rooms below. The coins were still valid and, although out of date, the bank would honor the value of it all.

The sale of the items on the tables was a slow show. Not many onlookers were interested in the old-fashioned stuff.

But the neighborhood youngsters had a good time of it. They had grabbed some of the lady’s hats and were running around the area showing off in gleeful merriment the outdated fashions worn on Sundays and special occasions.

The home was emptied out and sold at a later date. And so it goes ...

Even after living a quiet life, being frugal all those years and working hard at daily tasks, the folks had little to show for those efforts but some outdated tools and old clothing — with the exception of the silver in the cans.

Such is life: The grass withers, the flower blooms, the wind comes and the place is known no more.

Tony Antonides lives in Central Point.