Leroy's mother decided she wants to sell out and go to a Home. She surprised us when she announced her decision but I'm sure she will like being in a Home with more company and no responsibilities. At the age of 93, I don't blame her for not wanting to take care of her own house anymore.
In the process of preparing to make this change, she had a private family-only sale on Saturday for things she thought should stay in the family or that the family might want. When we had my mother's estate sale, I was the main bidder. This time it was Leroy's turn to be the main bidder. I helped with the clerking as this was entirely a family affair and no professional auctioneer was involved.
All of our children were there and bought what appealed to them. As auctions go, some things sold for more than they were actually worth and others for less. We didn't get everything we had hoped to but are satisfied with what we got. And we also have the satisfaction of knowing that what we didn't get is still in the family.
As far as I know, no one went away with bitter feelings about anything. I know too many stories of families that things did not go well and people were bitter for years afterward. It is a blessing to be part of a family that can get along and respect each other even though we don't all agree on all points.
The big deal for our family in this sale was a pedal tractor we badly wanted to buy back. Back in the 1970s, Leroy rescued it from the junk pile at the place he worked. The axle was broken so he fixed it and our oldest boys played with it---hard. They had pretty much worn it out. Then Leroy's dad said he would buy us a new one in exchange for it and we took him up on the offer. The old one sat in his shop for years and then he finally restored it. He knew it was a rare valuable model from the 1950s.
We really wanted to buy it back but how many others would like to have it? We did not know. Our children discussed it among themselves and agreed which one of them should buy it. When the bidding began, he put a reasonable opening bid on it and we held our breath to see who would bid against him and where it might end. Not one other person bid!! And he got it for his first bid. We did not expect that to happen. After it was knocked off to him, he stood up and said, "Is everyone ok with this? It's worth more than that." Everyone was ok with it and showed it with a round of applause. It brings tears every time I think about it. What a blessing to be part of such a gracious family! Instead of a fight, there was applause.
Our son took the tractor home and presented it to his five-year-old son who is named for his great-grandpa who restored the tractor.
Another example of this gracious family involved our youngest son. He didn't have a lot of money to spend and didn't buy much because he was hoping to buy the kitchen table and chairs. They were not sold until the end of the sale. He did bid on the grandmother clock but let it go because he was waiting for the table and chairs. He did not get them and at the end of the sale had almost nothing. He went to his cousin who had bought the clock and asked about it. The cousin immediately agreed to sell it for what he had paid. He said he didn't want it that bad and was happy to pass it on to someone who really wanted it. So our son added a ten dollar tip to the purchase price and was delighted to have a very nice keepsake after all.
We and our children were all together for supper after the sale and of course there was a recap. One of the older sons said it's nice to have some keepsakes but "we must remember that eventually the groundhogs will be bringing our mail." In other words, we will leave everything behind when we leave this world. All these things are only ours to use while we are here. So it's not worth having a family feud over things that are only temporary.
Kudos to the Stauffer family for a successful family sale!