Farm Progress

Paying retail, selling wholesale

“When are we going to put up the Christmas tree?”

Shelley E. Huguley, Editor

December 9, 2017

3 Min Read

About a week before Thanksgiving my 9-year-old began asking me, well, really begging me, “When are we going to put up the Christmas tree?” Repeatedly, I looked into those big brown eyes and, like any good mother, I used her question as a teachable moment to tell her why we wait until after Thanksgiving to put up the tree. You see, I have a deep conviction about Thanksgiving. I don’t want to skip over the opportunity to focus on thankfulness. I don’t want to gloss over all that Jesus Christ has blessed us with before we enter a season that seems, all too often, to be consumed by dialogue about what we are going to “get” rather than “give.”

But it wasn’t only my Thanksgiving convictions that were deep. It was the pile of garage sale items that stood between the bottom of the basement stairwell and the corner where our pre-lit Christmas tree stood, awaiting yet another year of being strung with hand-made school decorations, one-legged ice skaters (which used to have two) and circular, faded kindergarten pictures of each of the kids, glued to their cut-out handprints that served as angel’s wings.

In order to reach that Christmas tree and make the spirit of Christmas come alive in our home, my farmer was going to have to scale those garage-sale gems that I had been stock-piling for a year, and like some of our cotton that didn’t weather the cool, cloudy weeks of August and September very well, that might result in a low mic in our marriage.

So I did the only thing I could do —I threw an impromptu-garage sale the next morning, carefully displaying unopened packages of taupe-colored knee highs that had been passed down by a thoughtful relative, a new, “in-the-box” 2005 version of Excel, and a pair of jeans I had purchased for my farmer that had 2 percent spandex in them, which, apparently made them unthinkable —somewhat understandable for a cotton farmer, I guess.

Impromptu garage sales cause you to be creative. For example, I made a clothes rack using a broom suspended between two ladders, on which to hang my out-of-date clothes. My first Facebook post stated that because my garage sale was last minute, I had no cash, and therefore, “please come prepared.” And to make their shopping experience more enjoyable, I assured my audience on Facebook-live that I would have Christmas music playing while they shopped.

Overall, I would have to say, my garage sale was a success. The floor of the basement was cleared of my priceless and somewhat dated possessions. The Christmas tree was easily retrieved, resulting in joy to world with a silent night.

To top off the tree, so to speak, I made some “extra” cash, to which my farmer profoundly observed: “You know, farming is a lot like garage sales. You pay retail but sell for wholesale.” Well, when you put it that way… By the way, if you’re in the market for that 2005 version of Excel, it’s still available!

About the Author(s)

Shelley E. Huguley

Editor, Southwest Farm Press

Shelley Huguley has been involved in agriculture for the last 25 years. She began her career in agricultural communications at the Texas Forest Service West Texas Nursery in Lubbock, where she developed and produced the Windbreak Quarterly, a newspaper about windbreak trees and their benefit to wildlife, production agriculture and livestock operations. While with the Forest Service she also served as an information officer and team leader on fires during the 1998 fire season and later produced the Firebrands newsletter that was distributed quarterly throughout Texas to Volunteer Fire Departments. Her most personal involvement in agriculture also came in 1998, when she married the love of her life and cotton farmer Preston Huguley of Olton, Texas. As a farmwife, she knows first-hand the ups and downs of farming, the endless decisions made each season based on “if” it rains, “if” the drought continues, “if” the market holds. She is the bookkeeper for their family farming operation and cherishes moments on the farm such as taking harvest meals to the field or starting a sprinkler in the summer with the whole family lending a hand. Shelley has also freelanced for agricultural companies such as Olton CO-OP Gin, producing the newsletter Cotton Connections while also designing marketing materials to promote the gin. She has published articles in agricultural publications such as Southwest Farm Press while also volunteering her marketing and writing skills to non-profit organizations such as Refuge Services, an equine-assisted therapy group in Lubbock. She and her husband reside in Olton with their three children Breely, Brennon and HalleeKate.

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