It’s been a busy week that took me all over the place including a trip to my internist for my biannual appointment. He pronounced me five pounds up from when I last saw him. I already knew that, of course, and was ready with a promise that I’m starting Weight Watchers and walking this weekend. Lecture averted and he’s expecting follow-up e-mails. He knows me well. I do better when accountability is part of the equation.
The senior citizen’s hall has a lot of outings spring through fall and I’m starting to catch on about the mystery trips they sponsor. They go to places you don’t think are interesting until after you’ve been there. The mystery tour I went to today was to a large medical research institute that has 314 scientists and their support staff who are all working on finding cures and treatments for various cancers and neuro-degenerative diseases. Plus they have a wing with research labs they lease out to universities adding more people working in the building. When I thought about scientists working on cures I pictured a dedicated loner here and there spread out across the country, all locked in a cramped lab totally void of human contact. The institute I toured was spacious with hallways large enough to host parties and lots of glass walls, serene areas, a symposium hall and ‘Thank God it’s Friday’ beer nights in the cafeteria. And young! When did people doing such important work get so young? It also cracked me up that in the cafeteria every chair was close enough to a bank of floor plugs to power a lap top. I’ve never seen so many floor plugs all in one place in my life.
Also this week I went on a tour of a four year culinary arts college. I’ve been there before and I would go again. The tours always end the same way: with a classy meal at their high-style restaurant where the students serve in starched uniforms and the dessert cart holds picture-perfect and decadent offerings. My entrée choice was, “apple cider ginger braised pork shoulder with toasted kamut raisin pilaf, broccoli, crisp bacon, topped with tomato chimichurri, crunchy bread flute and ‘oeuf sur le plat’” but I debated between that and the, “beef tenderloin ribbons 'Straccetti-style' scorched in olive oil, garlic, and rosemary and served on Roman-style gnocchi, pizziola sauce and glazed asparagus.” I wonder if the students have to take a class on how to write menus. You need a translator to understand everything. The soup they served was cauliflower but it had a lot of tiny and uncommon ingredients that had us all talking and asking questions. All and all it was a great way to spend a rainy day.
Since last fall when I moved out my antique booth in a near-by town I’ve been keeping an eye out to find another booth closer to home and smaller. This week I rented a 2’ x 8’ space in a mall where the place has more of a mid-century vide than true antiques which suits me just fine because I’ll be able to sell a wider range of things than in my old booth. With another summer of e-Baying and mall sales I should finally be downsized enough to make me happy and positioned better to move, should something interesting pop up. The only ‘if’ in the equation is the mall is new and unknown but it’s on an extremely busy intersection so I’m betting on that. Plus the rent is cheap and the lease is short so I can call it summer entertainment if I don’t sell well there. I move in the middle of April.
I love being around other collectors. When I walk into antique malls, I feel an instant camaraderie. It’s hard to explain but after signing the lease, I felt a calm come over me, like I’d found myself again. As much as I’ve been around the women at the senior hall and the Red Hat Society, I don’t feel like I fit in all that well. They’re all lovely people, don’t get me wrong. But collectors, for one thing, don’t spend much time talking about their grandkids, churches and trips aboard. It’s more, “Where did you ever find that?” and “What do you know about this------?” And they understand the thrill of finding something like another square fruit jar with an embossed cross-hatched pattern. (I use them for canisters.) Yup, I feel like I’m back in the saddle again! Now, if summer would get to Michigan I could be happy again. ©