I was her shadow.
This weekend I opened the doors for my own garage sale, and my heart was lonely for her, as I remembered the lessons taught in front of the tool bench.
Lessons that were too big to stay in the garage. Grandma called it “puttin’ on the Ritz”.
1. Excellence is the standard.
The garage swept clean. Care given to hang clothes neatly. Nothing put out dusty or dirty. Each item presented in an appealing fashion. (At my own sale I poked each pair of earrings through a 3 x 5 card before placing them neatly on display, just like grandma used to do.)
Excellence is its own advertisement.
In her garage sale were many items grandma found in the alley dumpster, repaired, cleaned thoroughly, and presented beautifully. Things thrown away regained value with grandma's touch of Ritz.
2. Kindness is the job.
Now watch. This is how you do it, she would whisper in my ear. What a beautiful blouse. That color makes your eyes stand out, she would say to the lady paying for her handful of treasures.
After the woman left, grandma would turn to me and say, Now see. It’s not hard to find something kind to say to each person, and did you see the smile that came to her face with just a small compliment?
On grandma's list of garage sale tasks was making people’s eyes light up.
“Clothe yourselves…with kindness.” (Colossians 3:12)
If my house were on fire and I could only grab two things, I would pick excellence and kindness. Mixed together those qualities draw people in people who are looking for a great find.
Are you puttin’ on the Ritz?