Hoarding Cantaloipes

Hoarding is fed by yard sales. I shop the sales searching for items for my hoard and often ask, as a I did at a recent sale, “Do you have any Christian literature?”

“We have the Bible Dad had,” The Son said. He walked over to the book table and returned carrying a huge paperback Bible. It looked brand new.

“Great! I could take that to Love Packages in Butler, Illinois.” Love Packages sends Christian literature to less fortunate English speaking countries. They especially need Bibles.

“Dad is in the nursing home. Someone offered free Bibles to the residents. Even though he already had a Bible, he took one because it was free.” He laid the Bible on the table.

“He is still a hoarder even in the nursing home,” The Mrs. said. “We clear things from his room that he has collected and hoarded. Let me tell you how much of a hoarder he is.”

She and her son looked at each other and laughed fondly at the memory of their once energetic, active hoarder of a husband and father. Over the years his collections stocked many yard sales. The business suits he once needed for his job hung in the closet for many years past his last day at the office. Once his health required residential care, his suits finally appeared at a yard sale.

Back in those days of wearing a suit, The Mr. visited a farmer. The two stood beside a field of ripening cantaloupes. The plants had begun to shrivel and die. The ripening orbs nestled on top of the leaves that had nurtured them.

“I am about done with this crop. I’m gonna have to plow it back under soon. I’ll try to get a few more to market but there is no way I can gather all those cantaloupes and sell them before they spoil,” the farmer shook his head. He knew the seasonal routines.

The Mr. looked askance at the farmer. He could not comprehend plowing under all those perfectly good cantaloupes!

“Would you sell some to me?” The Mr. asked.

“You can have all you want for five dollars,” the farmer said.

The Mr. grinned. “Can I get a basket of them?”

“Get all you want.”

So The Mr. did.

Carrying the basket, he entered the field, gathered up a basket of cantaloupes and dumped them into the pristine bed of his pick-up truck. It didn’t look like very many. He went back and gathered another basket of fruit and dumped them into the truck. He could use more than that.

Like the sorcerer’s apprentice, he returned to the field again and again, gathering baskets of cantaloupe and dumping them into the back of his truck.

“He loaded that pick-up as high as he could heap them,” The Mrs. recalled with a laugh. “I gave cantaloupes to all our neighbors, friends, folks at church and work. Anyone I knew I offered cantaloupes.”

They still had too many cantaloupes.

Around that time, The Mrs. held a yard sale to clear the house some of The Mr.’s hoarded goods – including that hoard of cantaloupes.

“We put out a sign offering four or five cantaloupes for a dollar,” she recalled. Very few people even looked at them, let alone bought them.

“Not everyone likes cantaloupes,” The Son murmured.

“Finally, we just had to throw them away,” The Mrs. said. Lesson learned. The Mr. never returned with another load of cantaloupes

I laughed at the memory, thanked them for the Bible and bought a couple items. Too bad they didn’t have any of those cheap cantaloupes, I might have purchased a couple.

About jottingjoan

retired former newspaper writer. Many children and grandchildren. One husband.
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