Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Garage Sale Gnome

Once upon a time, all great stories begin this way right? Well this is more than a story. It is an experience never to be forgotten. It is about strangers meeting and sharing a connection. It’s about adventure, and life and how one moment can change everything. It’s a legacy; it’s an ancestral history of the great gnome of Simi Valley. Have I gotten your interest yet? I hope so. Now the details may be a little shady, and maybe they are a little out of order. Just maybe, they aren’t quite right, but I know the story could change slightly over time, as all great stories do. It’s about the memories more than anything. It is the story of my family. I am Gerard the Gnome. This is the story of my grandpa Geoff the Gnome and his experience once upon a time in Simi Valley, CA.

So growing up I heard all about my Grandpa. He was a great Gnome, loved all other gnomes and was living the dream. He found a family and was living in their backyard. He felt like part of family and enjoyed watching their kids grow old. He was happy in his home and was content in his life. One day his hat got broken by one of the kids. They were playing and he got knocked over. But the family cleaned up the broken hat and let Geoff stay. He was so glad for that. Then one year the family sold their house, they were growing up and moving on, and getting a bigger place. Geoff was excited for the new experiences he would get. He had never moved and wasn’t sure what to expect. Then moving day came, and the house was all fluttering. Life was hectic, but Geoff was forgotten. He felt neglected and alone and didn’t know what to expect. He never expected his family to abandon him.

Soon a new couple moved in. They were a sweet couple, Denise and Neal who had been together quite some time. They were married and so much fun. This new couple didn’t have any kids but in time they got a dog. Koda was a good dog, he was big, but was friendly and kind. Geoff was happy with his new family. He knew he was no longer abandoned and life was going to be happy once again. He loved watching the family celebrate life events, and have parties. He enjoyed watching Koda play with his friends Hershey and Moose. He felt like he had never felt before. Years passed by and one day his new family held a garage sale. Things were changing once again. Geoff knew it too. He’d begun to realize that life changes, the life of a garden gnome is never the same, it’s unpredictable. One day you have a family and the next you don’t. You never know if you’ll stay in one yard or move on.

The day of the garage sale came and Denise’s sweet sister Renee came over to help. Renee was always a giver. She would spend her time helping when she could and was prepared to spend the day with Denise aiding the sale. Who knows where Neal was that day? The sisters were prepared. They set things up; they had their fanny pack and change. They had drinks and food and were ready to go. People came and went all morning and things were moving along nicely. Then along came a nice Irishman (I think it was an Irishman, like I said these stories can sometimes be a little off over time) the girls were ready

Girls: Good Afternoon, Sir
Man: Well hello there! I was wondering if you have any garden tools or supplies you might be selling?
Denise: I’m not sure if I have much, I know I have a gnome with a broken hat.
Man: I’d love to see this gnome with a broken hat!
Denise: Ok let’s go. (Denise and the man went to the backyard to check for garden supplies and see Geoff)

After some time in the back the gentleman buys the gnome! Geoff was on to a new yard and a new adventure! He was sad to leave Denise, Neal and Koda but was excited to see what he might find in his new place. He left with a tear in his eye and knew his life would never be the same! In time Denise and Neal moved on as well, their lives too would change. Renee was still the sister who would serve and help when possible. She would assist at all of Denise’s garage sale endeavors, except the one on a Friday when she had to work.

Another time during the great Texas tract garage sale, Denise would be assisting her friend Laura and saw this gentleman one day, she asked him if he was looking for a gnome with a broken hat! The gentleman smiled! He was thrilled so see his friend again! He was glad that he had gotten Geoff and was happy with his new friend! Renee would also see the gentleman that day, as she too was assisting a friend in the Texas Tract garage sale. She didn’t talk to the man that day, but remembered him and Geoff as well. It was a great laugh later for Denise and Renee to realize that they’d both seen their friend again!

Nobody knows now where Grandpa Geoff is living. But we know if he’s with the Irish gentleman who like to find gardening supplies at garage sales, then he is still the happiest garden gnome around! The gentleman has a great sense of humor and was so sweet. The girls have had a few garage sale adventures since then. Sadly, this has been without seeing their friend. Hopefully he too is living well and enjoying his gnome with a broken hat!

Now back to my story, as I said I am Gerard. A few short months ago when Denise and Neal were preparing to move once again, Renee saw me on clearance at Wal-Mart. She knew she couldn’t pass me up. I brought a smile to her face. She remembered her garage sale days with Denise. She remembered Grandpa Geoff and she remembered the Irishman. She wondered where he is this day. She knew that Denise would remember the good times too. She bought me and took me home. She knew that with Denise and Neal moving I would be a welcomed remembrance from their younger days in Simi Valley. She knew that I would bring a smile to Denise’s face and would be unexpected. She even thought about breaking my hat, but knew that was Grandpa’s story. Mine has yet to be learned or told. I have many adventures to experience yet! So I’ve spent several months with Renee. We’ve been picking lemons in her backyard, and on the occasional adventure, but mostly I’ve spent my time in Renee’s room. Things are always changing there too! But I miss the great outdoors, I miss having a garden and so now I am ready to travel. I hear I am going to South Carolina. I am not sure where that is, Renee tells me it’s pretty far from here. She says that my life there will be as exciting as Grandpa’s life was since I will be with Denise, Neal and even Koda. But she says that it will be different from Grandpa’s too! She said I am going to have 4 seasons. That I will maybe get to experience snow! She says that whatever happens, I will be well taken care of and loved. So I am excited for that new adventure. I am excited to finally meet them and look forward to the day when Renee comes to say hello. I can’t wait to show her my new yard and all the views it has. I can’t wait to see deer and other wildlife. I am ready to start my story. I may not be a garage sale gnome. But I am already loved beyond my wildest dreams and I know that grandpa Geoff is proud of me for standing up tall and being ready for adventure!

Well that is grandpa’s story, to the best of my recollection. It’s a fun story and I am thankful to have known it. I am glad to know that adventure is out there. I am glad to know that even if things change I can change too. I am glad to know that even if I have a broken hat I can still be loved. I am excited for my days ahead. I am excited to travel, and ready to experience snow and to meet everyone in South Carolina. This is the beginning to my story now and one day I will share it entirely too.

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