Sally and Sal are friends of a friend who, after 52 years in the same Southern California home, were downsizing and moving to the East coast to be closer to their only son and his family.
On the Saturday I drove up to their massive garage sale I felt like I'd hit the mother load of all moving sales! There were boxes and tables full of their accumulated possessions from over half a century spread all over the lawn, up the driveway and stacked to the hilt in the garage-- And it was all priced to sell.
I waded through china, linens, nicknacks, mismatched Tupperware, books, board games, holiday decorations, toys, tools, 1970s furniture, mothball-smelling clothes and I whole lot of junk until I got to an item that stopped me dead in my tracks.
There, next to macrame plant hangers and an old high chair, was a hand written sign that read--
FOR SALE: 2 BRAND NEW CEMETERY PLOTS
My first thought was-- Brand new? Is there such a thing as a "used" cemetery plot?
My second thought was WTH!
Apparently, 20 years ago, forward thinking Sally and Sal were trying to make their afterlife easier for their living loved ones and had purchased two picture perfect grave sites in their local cemetery with no thought at the time of ever leaving the state.
Since they were now moving East, with no intention of returning to the West coast, not even for the "big sleep", they wanted to unload their future resting place so they could ultimately be buried near their son.
Sally, who reminded me of a nearly 80 year old "Valley Girl", saw me eyeing the For Sale sign and immediately went into her "never been used" shpeel. It was all I could do to keep a straight face as she painted the detailed picture of her lovely grave sites and how sad she was to part with her "real estate". She ended with a big sigh then clearly indicated she was ready to make a deal-- Afterall, we were at a garage sale.
Now, it just so happens that the plots are in same granite garden where my husband's family rests and that got me thinking....
We all need to go somewhere eventually but, do I really want to go through all of eternity in a grave purchased at a garage sale?
I took Sally and Sal's phone number and all the info then paid a visit to Shady Acres to see my possible patch of grass.
Turns out, Sally and Sal's grave sites were positioned under a giant magnolia tree just a stone's throw away from our loved ones. So I took a few pictures-- kind of a creep thing to do in a cemetery, and presented the idea of purchasing our future resting place to my Beloved Husband.
Frankly, it gave him pause.
And then he laughed.
Once the hysteria subsided, I explained all about Sally and Sal's big move, the logistics of transferring the plots, the finances of the possible garage sale bargain and of course, I reminded Beloved the plots were "brand new and never used".
We slept on it for a night or two and decided it was a smart purchase. Sally was thrilled when she heard the news and quite proud of the sales pitch she'd given that reeled me in so I didn't let on to what really closed the deal-- Other than the fact that they were "brand new plots".
Realizing this is a somewhat morbid acquisition, we weighed our decision with our sense of humor firmly in place. It was actually the photo of our "neighbor" in the grave next to ours that helped closed the deal. Her headstone reads "She was one hell of a broad". We think we'll fit right into the neighborhood-- when the time come, and she'll get a good laugh out of our garage sale purchase.
Have you bought any real estate lately?
Welcome to The Fifty Factor - Joanna Jenkins