Friday, March 16, 2012

Happy Saint Patrick's Day !

It's a great day for the Irish! I am proud of all my ancestors, but on this particular day, especially proud of my great grandmother Jane Fitzgerald. She came over to this country in the late 1800's from Ireland and worked as a housekeeper. I'd like to think maybe she recited this little Irish saying which I'll pass along to you....

"May you live as long as you want,

And never want as long as you live."

In honor of the Irish high holy day, I am re-posting this Irish themed Garage sale flip. Enjoy it with your cabbage, ham and green beer!

So last year I was at a community yard sale in the parking lot of the local supermarket. As I walked along on that warm Spring day, I encountered a first for me...a life size wood carved leprechaun! He should look familiar if you are a football fan. Officially known as the "Fighting Irish" Leprechaun, he's the often seen mascot of Notre Dame University. But I just called him Lucky! This guy was huge, over five feet tall and all hand carved. The owner of the supermarket had him positioned by the deli counter inside his store. After the supermarket received a face lift, old Lucky was put up for sale at the annual yard sale.

My timing was perfect, a young stock clerk had just hauled him outside to sell. I asked the kid how much for the big guy. The kid, apparently not checking with his boss said, "I dunno, twenty five?" I actually hesitated for a brief moment due to Lucky's size. How would I ship him? But my moment of doubt quickly vanished as I came to my senses. I thought for only twenty five, if I couldn't sell him I could always attach the mailbox to him and put him out on the curb! I peeled off the cash and had the stock clerk help me load him in my truck. As I left, another buyer asked me how much I paid for him. When I told him the crazy-low price he grimaced and looked pained. He was clearly bummed that he missed out on this deal.

Once I got Lucky home my young son nearly freaked out, wondering what the heck I brought home? I explained he was basically like the old Wooden Indians that sat out in front of Cigar stores. He looked at him like a weird stranger intruded into our house. I can't blame my son for being apprehensive about Lucky. The big guy had a constant scowl on his face and looked pretty mean. I placed Lucky in the family room where he kept an eye over my son as he watched Sponge Bob. With his constant looming presence, Lucky got to be a regular member of the family. Needless to say, Mrs. Dude was not thrilled. Her daily question to me was, "When are you going to sell that thing?" She was not bonding with old Lucky!

I decided the big guy was best sold on Ebay over Craigslist. I wanted as many people to see him as possible, especially those rabid Notre Dame fans! I originally started him with a "Buy it Now" price of $300. Due to his size there would be no shipping-it was pick-up only. I was pretty confident that a Fighting Irish football fan, or just a good Irishman would really want this fella as a conversation piece.

After about a month, two hard-core Nortre Dame fans bought Lucky. They co-owned a vacation condo near the University and headed up to Notre Dame on football weekends to root for the Irish. Lucky would find a new home at their condo. They paid me $225, a good deal for the buyers and a two hundred dollar profit for me. Could I have sold him for more? Probably, but because he was so unique it would have taken time to find the right buyer. With an offer of $225, I decided it was time for Lucky to move out of my house. So Sonny Boy and I transported the big guy to an agreed upon meeting point. (I charged them an extra $20 for transporting Lucky) When the buyers drove up you never saw two happier guys.

As we headed back, my son admitted to me that he was going to miss good old Lucky. I took the moment to teach him a little lesson about Dad's hobby. I began,

"Son, our house is sort of like animal shelter...but for stuff. Dad brings stuff home to stay with us for a short while. But while the stuff is fun to enjoy, at some point it has to move on to be with their rightful owner. See? Sort of like a dog pound!"

He looked at me skeptically, not sure if I was pulling his leg or being serious. (It was a little of both actually.) I tried to end on an upbeat note,

"But don't worry-even though Lucky is gone, you never know what new, cool stuff Dad will bring home for you to enjoy!"

That explanation seemed to satisfy him and we continued our drive home. Either way, I was $200 bucks to the good, so I was pretty satisfied. It's nice when I can combine making money with good parenting!

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!.....McDude

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  1. Top o' the mornin' to ya McDude! May the luck of the Irish be with you today as you search for your pot o' gold! :)

    1. Miss O'Clamco-

      A thousand welcomes to your and your family! You'll be glad to know my lucky Irish ancestry was with me this morning. Only two garage sales to attend, but I still snagged some good stuff! Ugg boots for $5 (The real ones) four vintage cigarette lighters at a buck per and "Leap Start" Infant toy MIB for $10!

      Great Grandmom Fitzgerald must have been smiling down on me!

      Hope you had a lucky morning too!....McDude!