Monday, April 27, 2009

Surreality: Amish on Rollerblades

It's Monday morning and I can't believe the weekend flew by so fast. I know it always does but it doesn't mean I wouldn't have liked to have reached out and grabbed hold of it to make it last longer.

It was, as anticipated, a lovely weekend. The weather was unbelievable. Just a week ago, we were all shivering in the frosty chill of the morning. This morning, the temperature is already 70 degrees. The weekend was hot. There was always a strong wind blowing which, at times, served to cool down the hot day and, at others, add a layer of sultry humidity so that it emphasized the heat.

I learned that I love garage sales this weekend. I spent the day with my sister and brother-in-law on Saturday going around to the sales. The nice thing about a City Wide Garage Sale Day is that no matter which neighbourhood you're in, someone is having a sale. I spent a grand total of $14 and came home with a box of treasures. I found a nice food processor for $1 which works just fine. I found drinking glasses for ten cents, brand new leather boots in my size for $2 and a ton of other treasures. I did learn that the more expensive the neighbourhood, the higher the price tags on the items. This is a rather ironic thing given that people with money still have the same sort of junk as everyone else. Overall, I learned that garage sale-ing is fun yet exhausting and the earlier you start, the better the deals. We started at 9 a.m. and by 11:30 a.m. many places were already packing up, the only sale-ables left were meager pickings of children's clothes and bric-a-brac that doesn't seem to fit anywhere.

The rest of my weekend was also wonderful. I got to spend time with my parents and Sausage. I decided this was the weekend where I would teach Sausage to walk on a leash. This has been attempted before but has only ever resulted in Sausage plopping himself down on the floor, lying as stiff as a board and refusing to budge. The only way to get him to move is to drag him which I don't like to do because, well, it's not very nice.'s not easy. He's very heavy when he decides to play "Rigor Mortis Sausage," as I have dubbed it. He also stares up at me with those massive sad eyes, pleading for me to stop and just let him sleep. Have I mentioned he's manipulative?

However, this weekend, I decided to try him with a harness rather than a collar. Also, I decided carrying a piece of chicken would, perhaps, provide an incentive. I can proudly declare my mission successful. Not only did Sausage walk nicely on the leash but he also went for a bit of a lollop. This is how I describe Sausage when he runs. He's got rather tiny legs and his long body looks awfully comical as he tries to move quickly and so rather than run, he lollops. I think, perhaps, it might have been the chicken that inspired both the walking and the lolloping. I suspect this because on the first attempt, I rewarded him by stopping on a patch of grass and giving him his chicken. On the second attempt, I was chicken-less but he managed to stop in the exact same place as before and sniff to see if there was any more chicken. Sausage has a good nose. There was no more chicken but still he walked on the leash. I hope the success continues. I'm supposed to Sausage-sit while my parents take a trip to the UK next month and it would make life much easier if he will walk on a leash to do his business.

Overall, I would say, it was a very successful weekend. I had fun, Sausage walked on a leash and I got to see my family. I'd say that was a pretty good way to spend my days. Even the two hour drive to get there and get home was nice. Being that it's spring and that I have to drive through a lot of countryside to get to my parents, it's a fine time to be driving. The fields are full of cows, sheep and horses and they all have new babies. I love seing the new lambs and calves still glued to the sides of their parents and still trying to find their feet a little.

One other thing I saw on my drive is probably one of the most surreal things I've seen in a while. I think I've mentioned that my parent's town is close to an area where many Amish families have settled. Usually on my drive, I pass at least one horse and buggy. Yesterday, being that it was a beautiful day, I passed several. One of them was packed full to the brim with a family. The father drove the horses, the mother sat next to him with a baby on her lap. Crammed onto the bench beside her were two small little boys. Behind the buggy, clad in the lighter dresses that the Amish females wear in summer were two little Amish girls. They held onto the back of the buggy and they were both wearing rollerblades.

I had to do a double-take when I saw that. I mean, it just seemed to be one of those sights that you have to stare at to take in. When I thought about it, it seemed to me to solve the problem of not having room in the buggy in a rather innovative fashion. I would have snapped a picture but I know the Amish do not like to have their picture taken and I didn't want to violate that. However, I wish I could show you. It's one of those moments in life that you just have to say, "huh, would never have thought of that!" when you see it. It brought to mind the movie "Back to the Future" in which you see Marty hang on to the back of vehicles on his skateboard. I suppose that might just be the Amish equivalent. They had the wheels under their feet, even if it did look a little odd with their long homemade dresses. They had the vehicle. It might have been driven by a giant cart horse but it was still a vehicle. Now if those girls had suddenly broken out into some fancy skating moves, I might have been a little more alarmed. As it was, it was a sight to see in it's simplicity.

Now, I sit here on a Monday morning, enjoying the fact that it's quiet for now. It's supposed to be another gorgeous day today with only a slight chance of storms tonight. Even though I'm in the office, I can feel the sun beaming through the filtered light of my basement "window" and that makes a big difference when starting the work week. Here's hoping it's a great week for everyone.

Happy Monday.

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