Sunday, April 22, 2007

Strange Bedfellows?

Garage sales and gusting prairie winds are the bedfellows of which I speak. My mother used to say, "People will buy a piece of paper if it's priced right." That might have been true in her day, but not today. Maybe we've all watched too many episodes of The Antiques Road Show or Cash in the Attic. We're all looking for that ten thousand dollar treasure, bought for a nickel.

Box after box of treasures accumulated by three families made their way to our garage from pick up trucks. Unloading and arranging said treasures was a royal pain with a stiff wind blowing sand and dust in our eyes. Anything weighing less than five pounds blew off the tables, keeping the young, strong legs of my nephew busy chasing down the wind-blown treasure. Shoppers persevered with mostly good humor and high spirits. Folks from Kansas, Nebraska, and even Colorado cruised the tables while holding to their hats or skirts, grinning a greeting, "What a beautiful day!" Yes, the sun was shining in a clear blue sky, and people living in the heartland of our country take the wind in stride.

Those pieces of paper of which my mother spoke would not have lasted long yesterday. Pillows and curtains blew down a slope into our woods. One departing woman lost a stuffed animal purchase. We found it rolling in the driveway after she left, pushed along by the wind. Two of my husband's treasured green glass canning jars blew off the table onto concrete, but did not break. The day was interesting but draining. I ended my day covered with grit and wind-blown to distraction.

The third bedfellow added to the mix is my writing. I'm not inspired right now, but keep working at it. A short story submitted to the Kansas Voices contest didn't make the winners' list. But a poem submitted to Bellowing Ark fared better. The editor said it was one of my best poems in his opinion, even though my customary sturm und drang were missing.

That's my garage sale in rural Kansas report. I'll spend today recuperating and regrouping from the excitement and the wind.

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I enjoy good writing by writers and poets who are not famous. My mother said I was born a hundred years too late. The older I get, the more I realize how right she was.

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