Annual events are the once-a-year things we do that make life worth living. Like it or not, every one of us has that annual event known as our birthday. Besides our birthdays, however, there are lots of other annual things to do.

When my children were little, every year we took an annual trip to the Wisconsin State Fair. I did the Illinois State Fair once, but it’s a four-hour drive to Springfield vs. 90 minutes to Wisconsin. So it’s easy to see why one fair won out over the other.

Many families hold an annual picnic or reunion. If you have the money, many people take a major annual trip. What about an annual visit to the zoo or museums? A few weeks back, I wrote about my annual visit to the African Festival of the Arts and this year was better than the last because I got to see The Stylistics perform and they were excellent.

September is my annual visit to see the Chicago Luxury Home Tour. That’s where you purchase a ticket that allows you to visit a number of luxury homes. Most parades of homes cluster all the homes in one location. The Luxe Home Tour is an opportunity to see homes all over the Chicago area priced at $1 million or more.

Now let’s be real. I and most other people I know can’t afford a million-dollar home. But what my girlfriends and I do is take inspiration from those homes to decorate our own. Over the years, I have used what I saw in those houses to take on smaller projects in mine. One year, every house we saw had a “breakfast bar” in the master bedroom. I used that as the inspiration to create a similar one in my bedroom to hide a small refrigerator and microwave. When I added a second-floor addition to my home several years ago, I planned a master bedroom suite that took up half the second floor. Those homes I had been seeing helped me define what I wanted the addition to look like, both inside and out.

After seeing the latest set of million-dollar homes, I now want a home theatre for my basement. It won’t be as grandiose as the ones I saw, but I believe I can buy the components and mimic them.

Many blocks in Austin have an annual block club party. My block used to do the same. But for the past few years, we haven’t had a party and that has been a disservice to the children living there. We tried to do one this year, but planned too late. So many of us on the block decided to have a new annual event. The 1600 N. Lockwood Block Club Front Yard Sale!

If there is one thing many of us have in living in a home, it’s “stuff.” I know I’ve accumulated plenty over the years as I worked on my home-or worse, saved things from the dumpster in hopes of using them elsewhere. For example, when I had the addition added to my house, I saved every interior door. But those bungalow doors are too tall to work in a newer area. I’ve kept those unpainted doors for seven years now. But those doors and lots of other stuff I’ve bought over the years are taking up space. So my neighbors and I are going to offer for sale all the things we no longer need.

This Saturday and Sunday, from 9 a.m. till 3 p.m., we invite you to visit the 1600 block of North Lockwood and rummage through our sale. I’ll be there as well. This is our first annual yard sale and part of the money we make will be used to pay for our block party next year.