Thursday, April 7, 2011

Tent Sale Anyone?

Hey there,

The other day Henry asked me why garage sales weren't always held in people's garages. (they actually call them "rummage sales" here in Milwaukee but where I grew up they were called "garage sales" and I guess I have passed the phrase on to my children)

This question brought to mind the day Bob and I went to a tent sale.

We were looking for a tent.

For real.

Bob was always one for finding a deal and we were looking for a tent so when he read about a tent sale in the paper we headed out to the address in the ad. We arrived at a big field with a very large striped awning thing with tables set up under it displaying different products. We shrugged our shoulders, steeled ourselves against the wet wind, got out of the car, and began to meander around to the different tables looking for the tents.

I kid you not.

After looking at all the products and finding no tents (or anything related to a tent for that matter) we were confused. Bob walked boldly up to a very tall man who looked like he might be in charge of something, because his striped shirt matched the stripes on the awning, and asked him where we might find a tent.

Seriously, this is not a joke.

The man looked at us quizzically, as if he weren't sure if we might harm him, and slowly raised his right hand and pointed towards the sky, or the awning, or the TENT.

Yup, we were at a "tent sale" alright, everything for sale was under a tent.

We laughed so hard on the way home from that "tent sale" I am not sure how we stayed on the road. That memory entertained us on many a long car trip. One of us would only have to look at the other and say;

"Hey, I think I just saw a sign for a tent sale, you want to go check it out? We could really use a new tent......" and the two of us would be set off into peels of laughter.

So when Henry asked about the "garage sale" that isn't really in a garage I told him the story of his dad and me and our "tent sale" extravaganza.

And the two of us laughed so hard thinking about Bob and me standing under that big tent asking that tall man where we might find a tent that other members of the family had to come out of their rooms to see what was going on.

When Bob first died I dreaded the day that I would be able to talk about him without crying, as if he were just a guy I once knew.

But man did it feel good to laugh, belly laugh, with Henry about that darn tent sale and how silly (stupid?) his dad and I were sometimes.

I thought I would never be able to say the words "tent sale" to anyone ever again and see their face break into that knowing smile of an inside joke. Maybe the next time we are on a road trip I will ask Henry if he wants to go to a tent sale with me.......

Thanks for checking in-



  1. Very funny. I laughed out loud. And a wonderful story and memory to pass on to your family. Glad I stopped by.

  2. Ah the inside jokes when you are the only one on the inside now. So hard to describe to someone else why something is funny and then have them smile or laugh politely and respond with the hated, "guess you had to be there". Glad you got to tell Henry the story in colorful detail and have him enjoy it too!
    P.S. So glad it's April!

  3. WitM-I'm glad you stopped by too. Glad to know I wasn't the only one laughing.

    Anonymous- SO glad it is April!!!