I swore I would never have a garage sale, and I have been faithful to my promise—until now. I never anticipated that my daughter would have a garage sale. Of course, I had to be there to supervise as she and her 13-year-old best friend sold their junk.

Because that’s all it is, folks—junk.

The sparkly dress she wore in the Christmas play. The butterfly pillow she received at her 2-year-old birthday party. The ceramic dogs she bought from the dollar store. The camp fan. Eventually it all ends up neatly arranged on white plastic tables in a driveway.

My daughter is young enough that she is embarrassed by people looking through her stuff. She’ll get over it. She’ll become callous like me.

But last weekend we were at my parents’ house. (It’s still my parents’ house, even though my mom is gone.) My daughter walked from room to room, touching my mom’s things—her clothes, her shoes, her 4th of July decorations.

And I thought of that line from Wendell Berry’s excellent novel, “Hannah Coulter,” when Nancy Beechum’s things are passed down at the wedding shower: “They were handled around the room as if they were living things.”