I pulled my car into the parking lot at my apartment building and saw it sitting there by the dumpster. It was beautiful. It was spectacular. It was a huge wicker chair. I wanted that chair. But I was embarrassed. What if the neighbors saw me? I went into my apartment and paced. I picked up the phone and called my best friend. Should I go get it? Should I wait until after dark, dress up like a ninja and grab it then? What if someone else takes it? Go get it before it’s gone he urged. I looked out the window hoping it was still there. After confirming it was, I took a deep breath and ran to the dumpster and proceeded to lug that chair back home. It held a place of honor on my patio for the next 3 years.
Then the financial crisis hit. My daughter became ill and I had to quit my job to care for her. Making ends meet was becoming impossible. One day, as I was sitting on the patio in my wicker chair, I saw a pickup pull up to the dumpster. A man and a woman got out and proceeded to dig through its’ contents. They loaded several things into the back of their pickup and drove away. I didn’t think much about until later that week. My best friend and I went to the flea market and wouldn’t you know, one of the vendors was the very couple I saw digging through the dumpster. They were selling items that had been thrown away!
On our way home, my friend and I saw a sign that said “Garage sale left overs! Free! Must take everything!” We drove to the address and sure enough, spread on a blue tarp on the driveway was an abundance of used clothes, baby toys, books and small appliances. We picked it up, tarp and all, and crammed it all into the trunk of the car. Over the next few weeks we continued to acquire more merchandise. Then, after obtaining the necessary permits, we rented a booth at the local flea market. Out first day we made over $150.00.