I’ve been very busy this past summer and into this fall engaged in the tough task of downsizing. When my wife Molly passed away this past December, I resisted making any rash decisions on our properties. I spent nearly every weekend up at our Beaver Dam place but it was not the same without Molly. By the time spring rolled around I decided it was time to get rid of the lake property. I told my two sons of my decision and offered them first chance at the property but they were at points in their lives where this was not something they wanted to pursue so I talked Dianne Bell, a realtor that lives about four doors down Sunset Beach Road, about listing the lake house. It was decided to list it on July 1.

Selling the house was easy. By the 4th of July a Beaver Dam couple had made an offer and deposited earnest money. I made a counter offer which they accepted and we agreed to an end of August closing.

Now the real hard work began. I could not have accomplished the clean out without the help of my two sons and their wives. Scott and Jim did all of the heavy lifting while Jana and Anne cleaned out cupboards and closets and packed boxes. My neighbor, Kim Janovitz, lent us the use of his pickup truck and many trips were made between Beaver Dam and a storage bin at Lake Windsor. I spent my time giving my opinion as to what we should keep and what should be tossed in the dumpsters (we filled up two of them). I got sentimental remembering all of the great times we had up at Beaver Dam.

The Beaver Dam lake house was cleaned out just in time for the end of August closing date but the job was only half over. The storage bin at Lake Windsor was filled to bursting and I could barely get my car into the garage with the extra furniture and boxes in the garage. I had years of accumulated stuff in the basement. It was time to call in the Bethel Sales group.

Molly was one of the volunteers in the Bethel Sales group for a number of years. It was one of her favorite volunteer groups. Bethel Sales started out years ago. At first they just ran the Bethel Sales House next to Bethel Lutheran Church in down town Madison where people could bring in their used clothes, household goods and furniture and the Bethel Sales group would sell it from the house.

Then the idea came about that the volunteer group would get into the estate sales business where they would go into the house or apartment of someone who wanted to downsize in order to relocate into a nursing home or assisted living or the person had passed away and the heir(s) wanted to liquidate the contents left in the house. They worked hard at it and built up a good reputation over the years.

I called them and said I still wanted to live here in my DeForest home but I had to get rid of a lot of stuff. Pat and Zelda came out and looked at the stuff in the house and out in the storage shed and said Bethel Sales would take the sale but it would take extra time to get the sale ready. About twelve to twenty workers show up at the house every Wednesday and Thursday and work all day on cleaning things out and then rearranging and pricing them for the sale. After about four or five working days they said they were running out of house, I would have to rent a tent for the overflow! So the tent is arriving October 8 and will be here through the sale days. The sale dates will be Wednesday (8:30-4:00) and Thursday (8:30-3:00) October 16 and 17. If you have a chance, come on over to 316 Meadow Lane and take a look.

The ladies and men of Bethel Sales have decided to close down business after this sale. It’s hard, dirty work and they are slowly losing volunteers. I remember Molly at age 76 was one of the younger ones of the group. Most of them are in their eighties and even nineties. They enjoy each other and what they do and have formed a real sisterhood within the group. Their good work will be missed. Over the years the non-profit group has given thousands of dollars to Bethel Lutheran Church projects and other non-profit organizations such as Porchlight and veterans support groups.

Thank you ladies (and one or two gentlemen) of Bethel Sales for all the hard work that you have done. You will be missed.

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