( Photo on Foter.com )

We’re almost to the middle of April, yet it snowed here for much of the day. Not a real winter snow that accumulates on the ground, but enough to keep my less-busy co-workers from walking outside today.  I’m not as unhappy about it as others, though I didn’t get to see it until I finished for the day (late). It’s just enough to have to put your windshield wipers on delay to keep the window clear while you drive, but the ground is too warm for the snow, so it isn’t lasting, and it will change to rain this evening.

But it’s odd, after the non-winter we had, to be getting snow now, when the flowers are beginning to bloom.  I have a yard sale planned for next month, and now I’m wondering if it will be nice enough then to do that.  I’m sure it will, and I don’t intend to change the date now that I have all my help lined up, including my kids.  Plus I hate yard sales. I worked retail for so long, and my last retail job was so terrible, that I am not looking forward to this yard sale, but it has to be done, and it will clear out a lot of ‘someone else’s treasure’ stuff for my family.  It’s just a lot of prep and then a need for a lot of patience on the day. I can’t remember the last time I went to a yard sale, maybe when I was in college, with a friend. I prefer flea markets, but I suppose they’re mostly the same when it comes down to it, though I have made some nice finds at the flea market–pretty old vases, or kitchen utensils.

The heroine in the shifter story I’m writing at the moment has shopped flea markets and second-hand shops the past few years, but not for treasures, for necessity.  It’s been a long time since she had the budget flexibility to do any unnecessary shopping, but her new job has given her a little cushion.

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Joe caught her arm. “Where are you going?”

“The clearance section.”

His eyebrows went up a little.  “I thought you were looking for a new blouse.”

Piper flushed. “I am.” She looked away. “I can always find something in the clearance racks.”

“But you liked that blouse back there.” His eyes narrowed a little.

“It’s too much.” Heat spread from her cheeks to her throat, and it took all her self-control not to squirm under his gaze when the understanding dawned.

“Okay.”

She frowned now. That was too easy.  When he didn’t say anything else, she led the way to the sale racks, resolutely ignoring everything else they walked by. She wanted to turn around and tell him it wasn’t a big deal. The last time she’d needed something, she went to a thrift store and settled for someone else’s castoffs. She started to rifle through the shirts in her size, skipping over sweaters and colors she didn’t like. Piper paused, her hand on a blue blouse. Now that she thought about it, though, she didn’t remember the last time she’d bought anything for herself that hadn’t come from a second-hand store.

“What’s wrong?”

She startled, then glanced up at Joe. “Nothing. Just looking.” She pushed the hanger away and kept going. He’d always been too observant, even when they were kids and she’d been tagging along with him and her brother. Even when she hadn’t asked to be included, he always made sure to include here, most of the time over Chris’s protests.  Piper frowned and lifted a white blouse from the rack. Plain, button-down, and boring. For a second, she thought of the pretty blouse with the tucked front that she’d looked at earlier. This would do the job, and–she glanced at the sale tag–at a quarter of the price. It didn’t have to be pretty.

In under ten minutes, she’d collected half a dozen tops, two skirts, and a pair of navy pants, all from the clearance racks. With the things in her current wardrobe, this would bolster her work clothes enough for her to save her next several paychecks for rent. She had to start apartment-hunting. She hated being in the way at Joe’s.

“Is that all?” Joe’s mild tone distracted her from her dismal thoughts.

She made herself smile. “Yes, that will do.”

“Fastest shopper ever,” he teased as they turned toward the front of the store again. “I think you shop even faster than Tessa. Hell, you shop faster than I do. India would be horrified if she was here. She lives to shop, you know. This wouldn’t even be long enough for her to be warmed up.”

Piper shook her head. His sister could afford to shop to her heart’s content. Piper didn’t have that luxury, and she was okay with that reality. She had her daughter to think of.

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I’m going to go get a little writing in before I call it a night. So how do you feel about yard sales? Or flea markets? Love them? Hate them? On the fence? I’ll be spending my weekend doing more prep for ours, so wish me luck!

 

 

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