In an attempt to clear out the old and prepare for my move to N's place, we held a sidewalk sale this past Saturday. We spoke with so many interesting people as they stopped by to take a look at the goods.

The Guatemalan woman (now a US citizen) who stood beside her gentle father who was visiting from Guatemala. She told me how difficult it is to live so far from her father, especially as he ages and I nodded with understanding and told her of my own parents.

The sweet and shy neighbor who connected with a large piece of art that was by far my most expensive item for sale. She stared at it for some time, but was intimidated by the pricetag. Happily, her boyfriend came by later and secretly bought it for her birthday.

The kindergarten teacher who appreciated my love of butterflies and listened intently as I described their various defense mechanisms. I sent her off with a few educational books and photos and asked that she tell her class a few of the stories I shared.

The 82-year-old veteran who mentioned several times how good his life is and how lucky he is to be alive. He was so thankful for the company and conversation.

The butterfly enthusiast who wanted to purchase every winged item I had and sweetly waved as she biked away with the butterfly loot.

And the middle-class advocate who complained about the recent increase in Chicago's sales tax and made the argument that the history and beauty of Chicago is in the working class and therein lies its' strength.

I was pleasantly surprised that a public sale could be such a unique opportunity to connect with people. I am enchanted by the stories that people carry with them. As the day went on and my items started to clear out, I realized how much of my own stories are stored in things. The quartz rock candle that an ex gave me on a very special day of my youth. A framed shadowbox of butterfly species collected with my oldest brother. Beat-up hand-me-down chairs that were made special with the help of my Mom and designer fabric samples.

In letting go of these things, the stories remain and also travel on to other homes and other lives.