Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Sam Walter Foss

House by the Side of the Road

public domain
There are hermit souls that live withdrawn
In the place of their self-content;
There are souls like stars, that dwell apart,
In a fellowless firmament;
There are pioneer souls that blaze the paths
Where highways never ran-
But let me live by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.

Let me live in a house by the side of the road
Where the race of men go by-
The men who are good and the men who are bad,
As good and as bad as I.
I would not sit in the scorner's seat
Nor hurl the cynic's ban-
Let me live in a house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.

I see from my house by the side of the road
By the side of the highway of life,
The men who press with the ardor of hope,
The men who are faint with the strife,
But I turn not away from their smiles and tears,
Both parts of an infinite plan-
Let me live in a house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.

I know there are brook-gladdened meadows ahead,
And mountains of wearisome height;
That the road passes on through the long afternoon
And stretches away to the night.
And still I rejoice when the travelers rejoice
And weep with the strangers that moan,
Nor live in my house by the side of the road
Like a man who dwells alone.

Let me live in my house by the side of the road,
Where the race of men go by-
They are good, they are bad, they are weak, they are strong,
Wise, foolish - so am I.
Then why should I sit in the scorner's seat,
Or hurl the cynic's ban?
Let me live in my house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.

This poem came to mind as I was thinking about my weekend at the Dixie Highway Yard Sale.  We were there to sell our wares, of course, but there is so much more that goes on.  We meet really nice vendors who come from venues different than ours.  It was fascinating to meet the carver who uses a chain saw and huge logs to create replicas of nature's animals.

 He is a down-to-earth, hard working man who has an extraordinary talent for carving with a chain saw.

His work has a lot of detail in it.

We were all set up in the parking lot of a small variety store called "Stuff 4 Less".  Another vendor-neighbor was selling Hematite jewelry.  He said some of his pieces were priceless.
He and his partner collect and prep the pieces and form them into necklaces, lanyards, key rings, etc.

During the Dixie Highway Yard Sale the store owner brings some of his wares out onto the front sidewalk.  This little store is owned by a couple and their daughter.  Truly a Mom and Pop operation.  Some of the nicest people you would ever want to meet.

It is always nice to have a food vendor close by.  Vonna and Doug have just set up their Food Stand in this little out building.  Last year they were set up on the parking lot with a tent and a grill.  They serve some of the best Fried Bologna Sandwiches you have ever tasted.

Of course, we were there with our fourteen tables of collectibles, toys, sporting goods, etc.  This year we did have a specialty item that gained the attention of a lot of shoppers before they were sold.

Yes, these are fox furs complete with heads, tails, and paws.  Many people tried them on but our favorite model was this man.

He and his wife are from Iowa and they are currently in this area working at a Youth Camp on Lookout Mountain.  This is John and Judy and they are chaplains with Christian Resort Ministries.  They travel from state to state in their RV and serve as counselors for Youth Camps.

The item that was most fascinating for the young kids was this pink guitar.

This is Cheyenne and she is a beauty pageant winner.  A lefty playing a pink guitar.

I believe the guitar went home with this little doll!

Of course, there was a love story here too.  This man is a retired New York City Firefighter.  He had lived in Chattanooga, TN about 40 years ago and had met a neat lady while there. 

 At the end of his tour  he went home to New Jersey and became a NY Firefighter.  He retired a couple of years ago and decided to try to re-connect with some of his Southern friends.  After a couple of calls he learned that his lady love of the past was still here.  He left word that he would like to hear from her.  In a day or two she called him and invited him to come down for a visit.  He came and stayed a week.  He returned to Jersey and in a couple months he came back and visited for two weeks.  He returned to Jersey.  A few months later he came back and stayed for THREE weeks.  When he went back to Jersey this time, he packed up his belongings and came back to the South to stay!  His friend and he are enjoying their new life together.

My DH and I have a soft spot in our hearts for kids.  At every sale we meet a young person, usually a young guy, who just clicks with us.  This sale was no exception.  We met Zach last year and got to know him a little bit.  This year Zach is 16 and working for the owner of this little store helping with various chores.  He was in and out of our booth all three days. He was a delight for us to chat with and get his take on life.  He says "People should be good to other people."  This comment was made when he observed some adults behaving rudely. 

He bought this rip stick and was trying to learn to ride it in the parking lot.  He came to us looking for pads and a helmet.

"Let me sell my wares by the side of the road and be a friend to man".  We meet some of the nicest people along the way.  Every one has a story.  I have shared a little of our story with you today.

Ever since I told my DH that I would help with the big Yard Sales I have enjoyed visiting with the customers, watching the cute little children, and meeting lots of dogs.  For me, it is about the people.  That is what makes all of this hard work fun!!!!

It is back to the Studio for me this week and preparing for a visit from one of our grandsons.  The next big Yard Sale for us is in August.  We will set up at the Highway 127 Longest Yard Sale.  Another week of meeting new friends "on the side of the road".




  1. Sandy, this was a very moving story! I, too, am a people watcher/lover and I love Zach's comment; it means there is still hope for our youth! Hope to see you at the next sale!

    1. Hope you make it, too!
      Glad you enjoyed the story.

  2. Wonderful post. I love that poem.

  3. Wonderful story to read Sandi. And the poem was just as wonderful now to read as it was when I read it before...thanks for sharing your wonderful story with us....