Estate Sales

We Are Still Married: stories and letters by Garrison Keillor has a piece called "Estate" which is about a stint as a writer of obituaries and a frequenter of estate sales. He speaks of an editor:

But I managed to convince him that large beds of beautiful zinnias were one of the deceased's accomplishments in life and should be noted in her obituary. He wouldn't let me mention another woman's rhubarb cake. "Recipes don't belong in an obit. Too disrespectful," he said. But he did once let me say, "An employee of the Northern Pacific for thirty-seven years, Mr. Johnson was well known for his skill as an electrician and for taking good care of his tools.

Which statement provides the segue to a description of estate sales:

I thought of my obit-writing days the other evening, after I'd spent the afternoon going around to estate sales. Like the obit trade, they might have been depressing — the homes of the deceased opened up for the sale of stuff the survivors didn't want, and hundreds of us strangers tramping through the rooms looking for bargains — but they were not. Not to me, anyway. I found them very satisfying. I went to three houses, all small and jammed with stuff [...]

And turns the perspective upon himself

I'm a saver myself, and to my considerable collection I added a little bit of each of theirs [...] Going to estate sales, a person is struck by the fact that possessions survive us. [...] I'll hang on to them, they are so dear, but when I'm dead they should be sold to strangers at rock-bottom prices. People who may not be born yet should come by my house and snatch them up as the wonderful bargains they will be. That's why I took good care of them — to extend their usefulness beyond the unimaginable day when I'm no longer here.

And now to make the point explicit: blogging is like running an estate sale.

And so for day 504