Friday, July 11, 2014

Rummage and Toil

After almost a month back in Wisconsin, I'm relearning my way around my hometown's streets. I was out for three hours today, visiting the post office and (of course) library, gathering blackberries at the park, and visiting a mere handful of the infinite rummage sales being advertised along the road. As I followed the bright orange and glo-in-the-dark green signs down obscure back roads in sunny but fairly empty subdivisions, I realized this would make an excellent setup for a serial kidnapper.

This actually is the perfect time for one of my favorite writing prompts--going to rummage sales, sorting through old treasures, knickknacks, junk, and stuff, and selecting something out of the mass to write a story about. Personally I think it's a courtesy to also buy the item you're going to write about, simply because rummage sellers can get pretty desperate to clear out merchandise. It's a buyer's market.

So far I've picked up a new jewelry box, and could have purchased a second bookcase if only I had the space for it in my room or my car. No stray rings have come along in the box, although you never know. I could have collected a lifetime supply of Harlequins or of beanie babies, and there was far more maternity wear than I foresee a personal need for. Also computer parts, several dish sets, and two prom gowns (not maternity). What I'm really searching for is a tea kettle, now that I've purchased a tea pot at the antiques mall in downtown Waukesha. I feel I've really committed to the literary lifestyle now that I own my first bookcase and a tea pot.

I'm only using two and a half shelves of the bookcase, though. I'm not only surprised but a little appalled at myself. One of those shelves, though--the entirety of it--holds my 'to read' list, including 15+ library books. And a Nook with over 200 volumes. This blog isn't called Story Addict for nothing.

Of the wild blackberries, I will say they are plentiful enough to almost make up for the near-complete lack of strawberries this year. I don't know if I should blame the rain or the cold winter for the latter, of if I was merely out of state during the week or so they're ripe. The blackberries are easier to spot, being higher off the grown and having a distinctive shape--both the bend of the blackberry cane and the crown of berries at the top, with the ripest inky-black ones at the center of the cluster. This year, they happen to have outsourced the job of self-defense form their thorns to hordes of mosquitoes. Having made this unfortunate discovery last Monday, I came prepared with bugspray today. I killed most of the critters that landed on me last time (and given the mosquitoes who suck blood are all preparing to lay eggs, I like to think I made a dent in the next generation)--but that's poor comfort when my arm's all one solid itch that long outlasts my harvet of berries.