Worth Much More Than You Pay!

Last weekend was a yardsale weekend. Two friends came over, and we did the first dump from my parents’ home — a towering New Englander that has been continuously occupied since it was built in 1913.

Bryant Store 301 300dpi0001
104 years after carpenter Fred Johnson built 301 Maine Street as a family home, it is still crammed to the studs with two generations’ of possessions. The little store next door was built later, then expanded into a “tiny house” rental.

Yard sale shoppers never value your possessions as you do. They tend to look critically at the pair of “captains’ chairs”, locally made, that were among the first furniture your parents bought for their first real house, and offer “I’ll give you $10 for just the one.

You, in turn, have to choose what has the most worth for you: the potential for an extra $15 or $20 from another customer or the immediate opportunity to remove one more item from the house for good.

I took the $10. Also a lot of $2s and $3s and $5s. It added up, remarkably, to more than $700 over seven hours. Which is, in itself, worth much less than having the house more empty and closer to sale-ready.

There’s no telling what this house will be “worth” to the next person who chooses to own it. The odds are good that the 1974 kitchen will be gutted and updated. A new buyer won’t see that the outdated cabinets and formica replaced the 1913 beadboard cabinets, with their sticky varnish that never came clean. A buyer might tear down the barn, which rests insecurely on a rock foundation. The half-acre property, in what has become a very desirable neighborhood, might be seen as having more “worth” with condos replacing the old house.

Counting “worth” in dollars is a current national pastime.We display our “worth” in wardrobe and decor, in the tally of restaurants and concerts we’ve visited, and the vehicles we drive. By these terms, my parents — dressed in thrift store attire, rarely traveling, “eating out” once a week at a diner — appeared to have little “worth.”

When my brother reviewed their financials after both died, they turned out to be “worth” much more than many of their well-dressed, well-traveled peers. In that way, they were like one of my largest donors at a charity where I used to work. Walmart shoppers and McDonald’s diners, they popped in one day with almost no notice to drop a six-figure check on my desk.

Financial worth can’t be measured in appearances. How much less can we measure the value a person’s character adds to the world.

In the film classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” Jimmy Stewart plays a small town credit union manager who is so discouraged he wants to die. (The film was a failure in its own time!)

Enjoy your valuable, wonderful life. It’s worth is not measured in dollars but in loving deeds. Live well, love well. Bless you.

This post responds to the Five Minute Friday prompt “Worth.”

About Carlene Hill Byron

The former editor of New England Church Life and The New England Christian, Carlene Hill Byron is enjoying being home in Maine after 20 years in North Carolina. She is a member of the Redbud Writers Guild. Find her at christianpurposeblog.wordpress.com, churchandmentalillness.wordpress.com and on Facebook at Carlene Hill Byron - Writer.
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5 Responses to Worth Much More Than You Pay!

  1. Tara L. Cole says:

    Love this post on our worth! Thank you for your reflections.


  2. takethelake says:

    Money will buy the house, but not the memories.


  3. Heather says:

    It’s a Wonderful Life, yard sales and seeing the potential worth in the history of old homes are three of my favorite things! Lovely reflections!


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