We have a couple of favorite eateries. It has little to do with the food; it has everything to do with the people who eat there. The restaurants are filled with our neighbors from miles around who fill us in on new business, fun events and serious news that affects us as community members. So we’re driving around in the rain at 8:15AM on a Saturday morning. We’ve got some time to kill before my hair appointment, so we decide to try a different diner for breakfast.
We walked in and placed our order at a counter then found an empty booth. Usually, I enjoy listening to the locals chat about what’s going on around town. Today was different.
Complaints. Complaints. Complaints. NOTHING but complaints.
*One husband and wife sat at two completely separate tables. He pointed at a couple entering the restaurant, and she complained that she didn’t want to talk to them, so she went and sat in the car.
*The gentleman in the back complained about having to go to work…about twenty different times.
*The newest patrons, the couple the one lady didn’t want to talk to, announced that someone in the next town over had died. The man across from us was sure it had to be an overdose. “You know how those people are,” he said.
*There are too many unwanted dogs getting hit by cars. “They need to be put down.”
It was at this point that I looked up at my husband and said, “We have GOT to get out of here.” The complaints continued.
* Gas prices. Bad gas. “My truck is ruined because of watered-down gas.”
Finally, the biggest nay-sayer got a phone call and announced that he had to leave.
I can’t say that I have always loved garage sales, but in my adult life I have hosted and helped friends with several of them. I love cleaning out closets, getting up early, and putting similar items together. However, this weekend our family hosted an estate sale at the home of my father-in-law who passed away last November. Most of the family showed up to help organize and price the artifacts left behind by their father.
That’s where I drew the line.
It started a few weekends ago when I went up to help get ready for the sale. I had cleaned out a few of my own closets and found several things I could do without. They were donated to the cause without a thought, but then this question kept resurfacing: “Julie, how much do you want to put on this?” No matter what I said, my suggestion was either too high or too low. No matter how many times I declined to answer the question, they continued to ask. However, a few of my items were taken home by the family for personal use. I guess “free” was a good price for those. 🙂
One week before the sale, I let a friend do some shopping in the trailer. She spent $67 on two chairs, a quilt rack and a cat food bowl. Another friend bought the stereo for $50 and a pair of boots and a napkin holder for $10. Then it happened. “How much do you want for that outdoor furniture?” he asked. “It’s not priced? Are you sure it doesn’t have a price on it somewhere?” I replied. Really, I looked everywhere. My husband and I looked at each other. I had already told him that I was NOT going to price one single item because my prices were always rejected by his family, but he wouldn’t say anything so I decided. “$25 for the two chairs and table.” Needless to say, when I revealed that information on the day of the big sale, it was not well-received. All I could do was shrug my shoulders. I mean, someone walked out with a free $129 Tempur Pedic pillow, and the other pillow I donated was sold for $1. I guess I’m still not clear on the pricing procedure. I’m just glad it’s over.
We still have a trailer full of some over-priced and some under-priced goods. I just hate that I still can’t tell which is which.
For weeks I’ve gone to the goat shed to feed, and I’ve had my eye on a couple of goats that were pregnant. My mind was made up that I was going to make a documentary of them having the babies if I was home when they were delivered. I even looked up all the pictures that I could find on the Internet to see if I could handle what I was actually going to witness when a goat gave birth. How was I going to create something that did not have the feel of either Paranormal Activity or The Office? As it turns out, I missed all three deliveries. Yep, three. I was not prepared for the aftermath.
I had used my pregnant goats as a lure to teach my kids how great research could be. One student asked me how I knew a goat was pregnant. My reply was that it looked like a chair was sideways in its stomach. It was “just a feeling.” At the end of the lesson I showed them all a picture of the suspect. They agreed that I was probably right. For two weeks every day my students asked me if my kids had arrived. They hadn’t. The momentum was dying down and I was beginning to wonder if it was ever going to happen. It was about then that I realized there were three pregnant females on the premises. My students were so excited. I even got emails from parents inquiring about the event!
One Saturday I took off for an evening with some friends and left Greg at home to feed. Not thirty-five minutes after I left home, he called me to say that one of the goats had just given birth to twins. I’d missed it! This was compounded by the fact that the other one looked like she would give birth within twenty-four hours. A few hours later I called to make sure Greg had set up the heat lamps at the shed, and he informed me that we already had another set of twins!
The next morning I bundled up to head out into the below freezing weather to check on our new additions. Even though I’d missed the birth, I was armed with my camera. I was also carrying some compost pile material, so I separated from my husband to head in that direction first. I was not expecting the sound of distress that came out of his mouth, but when I looked in his direction, I understood. Maybe three feet from a heat lamp lay one of new baby’s lifeless little bodies. It was small and deflated as if Life had spent little time there. I could barely even see it. He hurried past it to the next pen where he found the same haunting image: one of the twins from the other doe, just a few feet away from warmth, was also dead.