By: Travis Wyrick, Visalia Technical Early College
The day is Sunday and I showed up to school to run the water in our livestock pastures. It is an early morning and starting the water doesn’t take long. So, by 7:30 a.m., I found myself ready to leave campus, but not ready to go home.
Luckily I saw a sign that read “Yard Sale.”
I have always been up for a good yard sale, because I can find a good deal on tools. So I was off, curious as to what I might find, but no luck: just baby clothes. Then in the distance I saw another sign, “Yard Sale.” This continued for hours as I drove around Visalia, never getting out of the car, but bouncing from community yard sale to community yard sale. I was struck, not by what was being sold or the number of yard sales, but by the communities, the streets, the houses and areas I was driving into.
See, I don’t have a reason to drive down a lot of subdivision streets and country roads. Most of the time a highway will get me almost there just fine. And since COVID-19, I can’t really visit student projects either. That means I don’t have a reason to be there, until NOW. Thank you yard sales. This may have been the first time in months that my mind switched from “What am I going to do for class?” and over to “What are my students going through?”
It was on this drive that I could tell, some families were having their annual yard sales and just cleaning out space. Tables with outgrown children’s clothes and boxes of old DVDs and movies. Those houses were organized and had a structure, it wasn’t their first sale.
Other families were selling items to make it by. I could see a car or truck packed full of boxes ready to move. The items for sale were too big, too bulky and couldn’t fit. Even from the street you could tell that something in that household’s life had changed and a decision had to be made.
Other homes were having estate sales and auctions. I like to hope it was for an elderly family member and they were just downsizing. Yet your mind wonders if someone had passed due to COVID-19 and this family is grieving. I could have gone in and explored more, but I kept my distance and stayed in the car; guess that is a sign of the times. Still, it was hard not to see that somewhere in this Sunday drive are my students going through something. Any one of the many houses I passed could have been theirs, and their yard sale could be next weekend.
I needed to kill some time to see what was all around me, and I bet I’m not alone. COVID-19 has shaken up every corner of our lives and we are all scrambling to make things happen. It’s hard to NOT put the blinders on and take it one step at a time, but blinders make us lose perspective.
So here is the challenge, go for a Sunday Drive. Head out into the country roads and into the residential areas. You might be surprised with what you find. Stay safe.
For more information about the California Agricultural Teachers’ Association, visit http://calagteachers.org/