The Miracle of the Wheat

We lived in Eureka for 21 years. We are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Those of you who are familiar with our religion will know that prophets have emphasized food storage and having enough to take care of your family for at least one year. Those of us who have heeded the prophets’ counsel have tried to store enough for ourselves and to help others. If you have ever tried to store food, you will find wheat stores the easiest. It lasts the longest, is easy to pack, and isn’t very expensive. Needless to say, members of our church have a lot of wheat.

Wheat is heavy. It is not fun to move. So members in our area, when they would move, would often give away their wheat. We stored wheat and we learned how to use it. I make a lot of bread. It is really good. People know that. Often when people would move they would offer us their wheat stores. Drew, being concerned for others, always accepted their offers. I was not so eager for him to do so. I had to find a place for the wheat. And some of their wheat was really old…like 30 years old!

We also would buy wheat because we liked white wheat, most people stored red wheat, and the newer wheat makes better bread. Right as the pandemic was getting into full swing, we had just purchased 500 lbs of hard white wheat kernels. I had no idea how much wheat we had in the garage (which constituted all of the wheat others had given to us).

Mid-July we found out we were moving to Redding. I had so many things that I did not want to move, without even thinking about the wheat.

Side note: Up to this point in my life, I have held exactly one traditional yard sale. It was so much work to prepare and advertise. We made next to nothing and I still ended up with the majority of things that I wanted to be gone. I felt it was completely unworthy of my time and effort. I silently vowed I would never have another yard sale. EVER!

With this move, I needed to unload a lot of stuff and I needed to do it quickly. How was I going to do it? I lived on a busy street. We called it the magic corner because I could put something out, place a free sign on it, and have it disappear in a matter of hours. We picked a day for the yard sale. The goal of the sale was not to make money. It was to get rid of stuff.

I decided to have a ‘name your own price’ yard sale. As a psychology lover and student of human behavior, I was sure it would prove interesting. I also decided I would see if I could unload some of the wheat. Because I just wanted it gone, I would give it away for free. I had no idea if I would get rid of any of it….but any that left my house was that much less I had to deal with.

The night before the yard sale, I thought I had better figure out how much wheat I actually had in the garage. Just so you know, the week before I had moved 750 lbs of wheat that I wanted to keep to Redding. In the garage…my garage… I roughly counted 2,000 lbs of wheat. I KNOW I rounded down. I had over a ton, a literal TON of wheat in my garage!!!! I was floored! That night, as I was saying my prayers, I said, Heavenly Father, please send the right people for the wheat! That was my biggest concern….how to unload a ton of wheat.

The next morning, I put out 16 five gallon buckets of wheat. As people came, some would ask about the wheat. One of my girlfriends came over early to talk and visit. She was so intrigued by my ‘name your own price’ yard sale that she stayed to observe and help.

When others asked about the wheat I would explain. It is hard kernel wheat. Can we see it? Sure, and I opened a bucket. Can you eat it? Yes. What do you do with it? Well, you can grind it and make flour…so you can use it for anything you put flour into. Some people even feed it to their chickens.

One of my yard sale patrons overheard that comment. He said, You know, if you put out a sign that said ‘Free Chicken Feed,’ those buckets would fly off of your shelves. I knew immediately he was right. I ran into the house and made a quick sign.

Right about then a preschool teacher showed up. She was interested in the wheat. She looked inside the buckets. She said, You know, this would be perfect to fill my sensory tables! Yes, yes it would! And you are just giving it away? Yes, yes I am. I have a ton😂. I have preschool teaching friends. They also need to fill their sensory tables. Can I take more? Take as much as you will use.

People started taking a bucket here or there for their chickens. Others saw that they were taking it for free. They joined in. My visiting friend became invested in unloading the wheat. She began advertising it to the yard sale patrons. Are you sure you do not need some chicken feed? It is free. One by one the buckets started disappearing. Rachael (yard sale friend) decided to go and get more buckets out of the garage. She had my boys help her. We had seven metal barrels of 50 lbs of wheat. Rachael and the boys had to take them out the garage, through the backyard, out the gate and roll them around the corner to the front of the house. Rachael got rid of 6 of those! By the end of the day, I had one 50 lb barrel left! AND I had the number of a lady who said Call me if you have any wheat left….I will come back and get it. She was also the only person who said, I just feel bad taking it without giving you something for it, and she paid me $20. She came back and got that last barrel the next day.

Within 30 hours we unloaded more than a ton of wheat in Eureka!

Heavenly Father answered my simple prayer with a miracle! He definitely sent the ‘right’ people. I would never have unloaded that much wheat without Rachael’s enthusiasm and determination to get it gone! I would not have gotten rid of so many buckets without the random yard sale guy who said….make a sign saying Free Chicken Feed. It wouldn’t have happened without the preschool teacher who had preschool teaching friends who all needed something to put into their sensory tables. And of course it would not have happened without all of the people who wanted a little bit to feed to their chickens! All of the ‘right people’ were there.

copyright: Karen Larsen photography

You may also be interested in knowing how the rest of the yard sale went.

It was one of the best days I have ever had! WHEN I have another yard sale, I will definitely have a ‘name your own price’ yard sale. It was so fun to watch the people! Oh my goodness…hysterical! A person would come up and say ‘how much do you want for this.’ And Rachael or I would say ‘This is a name your own price yard sale. How much do you want to pay?’ The younger generation would say ‘I want to pay this.’ Okay. And we would take their money. One young man bought my Ninja blender. It worked. But it only had one mixing container. He paid $20, which is more than I would have asked or expected. The older generation would low ball the price, which is consistent with what they are used to paying. You would never pay full price at a yard sale! One older gentleman bought a Costco size oatmeal box of nuts, bolts, various small tools. He paid $2, but he only had $100 bill and I had to make change! I had three wooden, office arm chairs. We had a set of four but one broke. A middle-aged man asked How much do you want for the chairs? Standard response, This is a name your own price yard sale…how much do you want to pay? He hemmed and hawed for at least 10 minutes. Then he said I really don’t like this…what if these are your grandmother’s chairs and they are worth a lot to you and I say $20 and it is too little and now I have offended you? And I said, What if I told you they came from my mother-in-law? Now how much are they worth? Sooo funny! I had a king sized, heavy reversible comforter in excellent condition. It was cream with a lot of greenery and cream flowers. Very beautiful. A woman brought it to the front and said How much do you want for this? Standard response: This is a name your own price yard sale…how much do you want to pay? She said That is ridiculous! I mean if I said I only wanted to pay $2 for this, you would not be happy with that! And I said Well if that is what you want to pay, I would be. She was totally disgusted! She slammed her $2 on the table, picked up her comforter, and stormed away! I was dying laughing! I WISH I had said Well if that is all you think it is worth, then sure. She was willing to violate her own conscience because I was too stupid to know the value of what I was selling! I am sure she is telling stories about the idiot yard sale lady who doesn’t know anything! People are so funny! There were a couple of sweet moments. One young man was eying a bicycle. It needed work. He ran into his friend at my sale. He told his friend that he and his wife had just had their first baby and he was trying to figure out how to get back and forth to work. He needed to go home and get some cash to pay for the bicycle. I obviously overheard their conversation. I told him to just take the bicycle….don’t go home and get any money. He questioned me three times. No seriously, just take the bike. You are going to have to put some money into it to make it work for you. It wasn’t about the money. He obviously needed it and I just wanted it gone. Another young woman was looking at my artificial Christmas tree. She thought her boyfriend would want it. She also didn’t have any money with her. It was getting late (for a yard sale). Just take the tree. Seriously, just take it. Over all, we made just over $300! Which consequently was how much it cost us to make the dump runs and throw away the rest of our junk. I probably came away from that day about 3000-4000 lbs lighter and had hysterical stories of human behavior! I will definitely do it again….just to watch the people!

And that, my friends, is the miracle of the wheat! God will help us when we ask. He can do things we cannot even imagine! He can do them quickly if it suits His purposes….or He can withhold the blessings until we conform our attitude or behavior and lend our heart to the process. He truly is our loving Father in Heaven. His work and His glory is to bring to pass our immortality and eternal life….our growth and development. His total concern is for us, His children.

copyright: Karen Larsen photography. Tulips are my favorite! Thanks, Karen!
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