Saturday, August 2, 2014

A Smile and a Friendly Word

On our way back from picking up dog food Saturday, we stopped at a light in the down trodden part of town, right beside a homeless shelter. A man, perhaps in his 50s or 60s, approached our car, cup in his outstretched hand. We grabbed a handful of change for him and after a friendly thank you, he cheerily continued on his way. I was left pondering his circumstance and how he might have ended up there. Was it substance abuse or mental illness that landed him in such dire straits? Or maybe only a series of bad luck, maybe a job layoff, a marriage breakdown, and no alternatives. How many twists of fate would it take for any of us to end up in the same circumstances, having to beg for our next cup of joe? Be kind.

After we had the dog food packed into the freezer, we got in the car again, this time in a different direction. Our destination was a liquidation warehouse that deals with Costco and other store returns and over stock. As luck would have it, all t-shirts and jeans were $5, so I stocked up on both. Afterwards we stopped at the little local dive restaurant for some lunch. We both had Greek gyros with fries - but the point of this story is the service. It was fantastic. The waitress had glasses of water tinkling with ice cubes for us almost before we sat down. She brought over menus and was back to take our orders the instant we had decided. The food was good, and at a good price too. As we were nearing the end of our meal she came over again, this time with a big pitcher of icy water to refill our glasses. All with a smile and friendly word. Now that's good service!

After all that you wouldn't think there would be time for the swing, but there was :-)

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I thought that this is where my post would end... but Sunday morning Trudie called to see if I wanted to go 'junking'. Since Carm was out for the day I jumped at the chance to get out of the house. First stop was the gas station. As we pulled in I noticed a bright red pickup truck already at the pumps. It wouldn't be my choice of colour, but it was eye catching. They finished first, and as he started pulling away I noticed a pair of handcuffs hanging from the rear view mirror. I was curious as to what sort of person would choose such a decoration, and thought maybe they were just being playful or wacky. But as the truck passed me, the driver turned and we locked eyes... a chill passed over me. With a scowl and rather mean looking face, the ornament seemed suddenly more sinister. Maybe I just have a wild imagination.

After some more driving (it seemed like forever), we arrived at our destination - a flea market in Smiths Falls. We started outside... I could hardly believe how much junk could be strewn around a yard. It was overwhelming. Luckily I had my camera with me so I could get a few photos.

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As I was focusing in for one shot, right there in my viewfinder was the small vacuum hose that I'd been wanting! In the trailer there are a few carpeted steps right by the door - because of their location they collect a lot of dirt and leaves, etc. and since the central vac outlet is right there I figured a short length of hose, one that could be stored right in the step, would save me hauling out the whole shebang for quick touch-ups. So there it was! I was happy.

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We finished 'browsing' outside and headed into the building. I was amazed to see that it was a giant building FULL of junk. I mean, FULL.It was all piled together in a massive jumble. I couldn't even calculate how many homes this stuff would have come out of, surely it was hundreds.  Anyway, we poked around for a while - I found a few more little things, and then it was time to negotiate. Since Trudie is a pro I let her do her magic, so spent hardly anything.

While Trudie finished checking out the rest of the room we were in, I chatted with the owner. After a few minutes of pleasant conversation, he ask me if I was married, and seemed disappointed that I was (it happens so rarely now - I am easily chuffed with a slight flirtation, even with the junk man!). Blah, blah... he had mentioned that he was Greek, so I told him about a friend of mine - who turned out to be his cousin. It truly is a small world.

Even once we got home, my day wasn't over. We headed into town for a nice supper with my parents, brother Graham, his kids, and cousin Tanner. A relaxing end to an interesting day.

Oh, I’ve posted another few chapters of Spike’s book – I’m up to chapter 7.

Chapter 1; Chapter 2; Chapter 3; Chapter 4; Chapter 5; Chapter 6; Chapter 7

Sweet, sweet burn of sun and summer wind, and you my friend, my new fun thing, my summer fling. ~k.d. lang