I have a Recycling side business that I conduct from the garage. I buy items from local Estate/yard sales, clean them up, and offer them on eBay. It is more interesting than it sounds and I do it out of choice. You meet a lot of interesting people, stories and things. And I like sending the things out to have a new life. It is also more work than it sounds. All the scouting, sprucing up, staging, photography, setting a price for eBay, packing, shipping, and dealing with customers. My wife complains but it is my only vice, so she lets it slide. Even helps.
This piece was fascinating to start with. One of those garden gnomes, it was Doc, one of the Seven Dwarfs. A foot high, with signature glasses, he looked very charming and nice. I picked him up at an estate sale. A daughter was clearing out her mother’s stuff after the Mum was reluctantly moved to a retirement home. Not happily, from the sounds of it. Apparently, there had originally been a whole set of the seven dwarfs, but now only Doc remained. Mum had been very attached to them.
The first strange thing that happened was that the daughter called me to say that I must have forgotten to take Doc with me, he was still in their garden. Really? I could have sworn I picked him up. Anyway, I went and got him. Doc was in pretty good shape. Just a small crack on one shoe, hardly visible. I posted his picture, put him in our garden to enjoy for a bit, while waiting for a response. Our five-year-old daughter, Emma, likes to stage Sunday afternoon garden tea-parties with her ‘tea-set’ and chosen stuffed ‘friends.’ This time she included Doc, setting up near him and talking to him animatedly.
A couple of days later someone bought Doc. He looked sad as I packed him up nicely in elegant rice paper and shipped him off.
Come Sunday, Emma had her tea-party. I could not believe my eyes when I saw that Doc was in attendance. ‘Oh, we promised that we would have tea every Sunday,’ said Emma. When and where did he come from? I called his buyer. They had received him, loved him, put him in the garden, but he was now missing. They assumed someone stole him. Without telling them that he had reappeared in my garden, I told them that actually I had another piece and would be happy to send it to them. They agreed and so I did, at a heavy discount, which they appreciated.
Next Sunday, Doc was back for the tea-party. Emma was thrilled, served her favorite Marmalade sandwiches, and also invited Paddington Bear (a frequent guest since the Jubilee). I was freaked out. Both Emma and Doc seemed to have developed a bond and both looked so happy. I am happy to let him stay, find a new home with us. But should I?
I do not know what to do.
Saddie Hopes has always been an observer, learner, overthinker, muser. A story-lover, she enjoys reading, listening and watching stories unfold. Real or not. Inspired by a talk by Lydia Davis, she has been exploring short forms of writing. A favorite is the prompt-based, flash fiction platform ‘vss365’ (Very Short Story 365) on Twitter. She is still clearly figuring it out - and telling stories as she goes along.