I returned from Albuquerque and the weather started hinting more of spring. In 2022, I had a crew of friends, my sister, and my brother-in-law helping to clean the yard of what old man Winter had left behind. My sister and BIL were coming at the end of the month, but I was determined to get the needles and debris raked and bagged before their arrival. Every week, I maxed out the amount of extra yard bags the trash man would take at most of my neighbors.
Plants were purchased, flower boxes were planted and put into the greenhouse until safe to put outdoors (we can get snow into June, so it is tricky some years).
In my house, was a great deal of collectibles in the form of Swarovski crystals, Hand painted Limoges from France, dolls, elephants of all kinds and sizes, pewter figurines, Christmas Villages, and more – all from my previous neighbor who had passed away, and willed all to me. I had thought it would be fun to Ebay it all and make up little stories about each item, but upon returning from the Seattle trip, I knew that the last thing that I wanted to do was to perform my own customer service on all of these items. Dealing with packing and shipping, more questions back and forth on items people couldn’t see every nook and cranny of and hold for themselves, causes questions and concerns and back and forth with emails and more pics, and, and, and. I just needed a place to have it out to sell. The local antique mall came to mind and so in I went with the idea that I would pick a few of the locked cases that had similar items and ask the dealer if I could partner up with them. After noting the dealer numbers of a few that might work, I asked the gal at the dealer desk if I was able to get dealer info and relayed the why and what-for of my thoughts. She stopped me from going too far and said that I just needed to get my own case and work it myself. She included that if I was willing to be a “key dealer”, that the case could be paid for by coming in and working a 4-hour shift every other week. She had multiple cases, so she had a few steady shifts, but basically, the key dealers come in and when someone presses the buzzer that they need help with a locked case, one of the key dealers comes by and opens the case, shows the merchandise and puts it up front for the customer if they decide to purchase the item. The customer is given a numbered color coded card and is then free to keep shopping and each time they purchase another item, they just show the card and it is added to their stash behind the sales counter. Sounded easy enough for me and so, I filled out the dealer application and my name was to be put on the waiting list for a case. This was back in early March.
Since March, I had not heard from them to even say that they had my application or where I was on the list. I mean, I had been told that it was likely going to be a 6-9 month wait, but I thought that they likely should let people know that they were indeed on the list. Now that I was back in the vicinity, I stopped by one afternoon to ask for confirmation that they did indeed have my info and if the wait list was getting shorter. The gal behind the counter relayed that everything about the antique mall was antique and that included their communication structure. They were not in the habit of updating the waiting list, but when the time did come, a call would be made to me and I would have a few days to respond and get a case and that call was still likely 6-9 months in waiting. I said that I had been told about the “key dealership” program and asked if I could go ahead and start volunteering for shifts now and just have that cover the case when it became available. She replied that No, you cannot work if you don’t have a case, but if I was eager to work, then she would pass along the info to the scheduling manager and I could get bumped up nearer to the top of the waiting list as they were always looking for more key dealers. I provided my name and number and set to walking around the booths and stalls to see what kind of fun things I could spot. I hadn’t made it through 1/4 of the store before I received a call from a manager offering me a case. So much for the 6-9 month wait. I picked out a case and now we just had to fill it.
My case was to be available starting Mother’s Day, so my friend Traci and I set out to price, tag, and create a spreadsheet of internet prices for each item and the prices we would sell for. When I signed the dealer paperwork, I added Traci as my co-dealer so that she too could go into the case if needed and also get the dealer discounts when she wanted to purchase something from the store that might be from another dealer. And thus, “antique dealer” could be added to my short resume.
The last week of May was a flurry of activity. My sister and brother-in-law showed up to stay for a month, my cousin and daughter showed up with intent for daughter to stay with us while she looked to find a job in Colorado, and the annual Ted Memorial Cornhole tournament was held and again well attended. Congrats to Bob and Riley for winning this year.
The pretty tuxedo kitty in the pics was also one of the inherited items from the previous neighbor. Birdie was 15 when we got him and having never been an outdoor cat, he became quite curious about the flora and fauna of the yard. He also established himself as quite the therapy cat offering comfort in a most gentle manner. He really is the very best cat we could have ever asked for had we even thought of ever asking. Ted was allergic to cats, so it was never an option, but Birdie has become Devin’s cat and to see the two of them cuddling together always makes me happy.