Posted by: shelleyjo's life beat | January 19, 2010

Bigger or Better? Us ‘old timers’ call it the Texas Trade!

The other day I decided I had better check up on my blog site. It has been so long since I have written or even stopped in.  I had a note from my friend SarahBee, including a link to her new blog.

I clicked on her link and read her blog. It was fun reading. She is participating in a Trade. She calls it Bigger or Better and it is inspired by Kyle MacDonald. The idea is to post items you have for trade, and  you are to trade up each time. Hopefully you will, within a certain amount of trades, have something substantial you desire without waiting until you can earn the money. I guess people use Craig’s List for this.

As I read about her adventure in trade-land, I had a flashback of the happy kind. A memory from my high school years.

As I grew up, we attended a church as a family that started small. We met for worship above a music store. I believe the original “charter members” of this church were a total of 15, including us. As time went on, this church congregation grew under a wonderful and powerful pastor who preached a lot of hell fire and brimstone type messages. As a side note, he had a glass eye, which as a young, naive child I didn’t understand and I stood on the wrong side of this man every time I wanted his attention. (smile)

Our family moved regularly, but we always ended up back in our “home” city/town, coming and going but always at home in the original church family we had been a part of. I think originally the church bus had come around and given my sister a ride to church, then she brought us all. Thanks, Diana!

Eventually, before I was in high school this church merged with another church and the other pastor became our pastor. The church grew and expanded and built another building. The youth group was large enough to fill the old church sanctuary, and this became our meeting area.

By the time I was in youth group, we had youth pastors, a young couple with small children and lots of energy and creative ideas leading us. I have many fun memories of these years, and some very special and precious memories of lessons learned as well.

One night we had a youth event that had been prepared for us by our most fabulous youth leaders. It was called a Texas Trade.

We were divided into teams of 10 people, with a mix of male and female on each team. There were a couple of hundred of us, so we had a lot of teams. Each team was assigned a specific area of our city, and given a map of that area with the borders marked of the territory they were to “work”.

Each team was taken to the border of their territory and left as a group. Each team started this trade the same, with 2 raw eggs and some postcards identifying the youth group and the church. (I wish back then things were photographed as often as we do now. We should have been equipped with cameras and cam-corders. From the time we were dropped at our territory, each team was on foot the remainder of the time, all the way back to the church afterward.

The team traded speakers at each house, giving each of us an opportunity to be the “salesperson”. We knocked on a door, and when someone opened, we said, “Good evening. We are from * church youth group and we are competing in a Texas Trade. We have here these 2 fresh, raw eggs and would like to trade one of them for any item you have that you would like to get rid of.”  Then, we would accept the item they brought us, no matter what it was. And, of course we would leave them the church’s card and an invitation to the Sunday Service where the winning team would be announced and the total amount of proceeds revealed. We would explain that the next day, Saturday would be yard sale day of the items the teams came back with. They were invited to come and shop, too of course! One of the rules of the “game” was that any item we accepted had to be carried back to the church by the team! No cars or trucks allowed.

At the  next house, we would knock and say our speach and then say we have here one fresh, raw egg and (in our case) a cooked but fresh pork chop. At the next house, it was one fresh, cooked pork chop and one baby washcloth, and so on it went. We did have a time constraint to bring us in off the street early and keep us from knocking on doors past a reasonable hour.

The fun was in seeing all the “loot” that the teams managed to bring in. A working refrigerator, huge stuffed animals, a table and chairs, a recliner, great clothing and on it went. The yard sale was terrific and the proceeds went to the youth group for a mission trip to Mexico. It was great fun, and kept us out of trouble for the entire weekend!

We also had many neighbors show up to church to see what whacked-out place would send their youth out for such a crazy thing. Many of those neighbors became our friends as time went along.

I am glad Sarah posted her blog and jolted my warm memory to the front.

So, stop by Sarahbee’s website at . She has a fine looking drink pitcher available for trade, and a BBQ as well. Go by and check it out!


  1. yeah a new blog! I knew you could do it! lol I gotta sleep now. talk soon. Love, me

  2. wow it is the day the 1st day! we talked about not stressing your self with too much just have fun! Like it! danette

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