Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Lots of Stuff

This post is like Lizzie Wenger's store: it has a lot of random stuff in it.

I've been home over a week and have been up to my chin in Girls For God Club, laundry, prepping for two women's retreats, catching up, and putting together the Perfect Outfit for a wedding next week.

Our fine young friends Esta and Justin are getting married in Toronto, where Esta's from and also where Ben lives, so of course we have to go.  Paul and I are an "honorary couple" and I'm not sure what that means but I was asked to wear cream, sage green, or black.

I was planning to sew a dress but then last Sunday in church Jenny was sitting to my left, and her friend "Bridget" was sitting beside her, and Bridget was wearing a very dressy sage green dress.  The wheels spun in my head.

I asked Bridget and her mom after church. Sure! they said.  Or the mom did.  Bridget may have been more hesitant.

Maneuverings were done in the restroom.  I could zip the dress, which counts as an excellent fit.

I bought three little black "shrugs" and will choose one to wear and return the rest.

I am happy.

But Jenny is horrified, just very vocally chagrined and grossed out and horrified, that her MOM is wearing her FRIEND'S dress to this wedding.

EWWW.  That's just WEIRD.

Jenny doesn't know how hard it can be to find a dress that fits when you're 50.
*     *     *

But I still had a few things cogitating about our momentous trip East.  So I'll write Hopefully The Last Eastern Trip Post.

Here are some things I experienced for the first time on that trip:

1. Stink bugs.

We were at the cabin after Christmas when I saw one, walking along the table with its flat gray body.  I was about to pounce when the girls said, "Mom! Don't squish it!  It's a stink bug!"


"I'm serious.  DON'T squish it."

I wrapped it in about six layers of kleenex and squished, since moms always know best.  Soon it smelled awful in there.

Wow.  Oops.

When I got my luggage in Portland, what should I see crawling on the outside of my suitcase but a stink bug!  I decided I had to save Oregon from the plague, smell or not.  So I did.

2. Chick Fil A.

Amy was driving me to the airport.  Where shall we stop to eat?  I scanned the sign with all the options.  Yes!  Chick Fil A!

The chicken sandwich was excellent and so was the iced tea.

Let's bring Chick Fil A to Oregon.

3. Lizzie's.

"I want to take you shopping at Lizzie Wenger's," said my sister Margaret with an innocent smile on her face.

Actually, she didn't say Lizzie Wenger's, it was Lizzie-Something-Else, but on the very-off chance that Lizzie vanity-Googles her name someday, I'm changing it slightly.

Margaret drove to this farmhouse out in the country and told us we can wander around.  Ok, sure.

There was a lot of junk outside.  The more you looked, the more there was.  And an old barn.  With a horse inside, since Lizzie and her husband are horse-and-buggy Mennonite.
We kept wandering.

More stuff.  More and more and more stuff, everywhere.

We went through the rabbit hole into this dark little shed.  It was full of stuff.  More stuff than you ever saw in that amount of square footage in your whole life.

Then I saw a door leading to another room.  It was full of old Tupperware.  Oh!  Another door!  Baby clothes.  Another door!  Coats!

It was like a really bad dream.  Dark, low ceilings, more and more and more rooms and spaces and sheds and doors, stuff stuff stuff stuff stuff, on and on and on.  And it was freezing cold.
I had a brief panicky moment when I wondered if I'd ever find my way out.

All the stuff was for sale.

Clothes and books and knick-knacks and kitchen utensils and a million other things.
I've never seen anything like it.

I didn't leave with anything except a few pictures, memories, and a new resolve to get rid of my stuff as I get older lest I turn into Lizzie Wenger.

I got to meet Lizzie after I found my way back out.  Margaret went inside the house to pay for a few things so I joined her.  Lizzie was big and robust, with a brown checkered dress and a brown apron and little round glasses.  She talked and talked.  Her patient old husband, Mahlon, was sitting in the kitchen.  He had the flu.  So, she told us, she's giving him "Cream-a-tartar!  In water!  It cleans the blood, ya know!"

Meanwhile, Emily asked Lizzie if she could use her bathroom.  Lizzie said yes, and barked at Mahlon to show Emily where the bathroom is.  It took her a long time to come back, and I think you should all go over to The Girl in the Red Rubber Boots and prevail on her to tell the story for herself.

"So," said Margaret with a big grin when we left, "now you've been to Lizzie's."

Yes.  We have.

 And here's one conclusion I came to:

There are just more antiques in the East.  I'm sure of it.  And they are a lot cheaper than they are here.  Barb's beautiful house is decorated in antiques*  that I'm told were bought for low/reasonable prices.  I don't think you could do that in Oregon.
*Emily: "It looks like Pinterest exploded in here."

Your average little out-of-the-way secondhand store in Pennsylvania will have antique furniture sitting around for not much, like this sturdy old kitchen chair I was drooling over, for $10, near SMBI.

I think the Oregon antiques are in moldering piles somewhere on the east side of the Rockies where the wagon trains dumped them off.


Quote of the Day:
Me:[modeling a tiered denim skirt]  Does this skirt make me look 50 going on 14?
Jenny: No, it makes you look like 50 going on homeschool mom.

[The Smucker house: where you'll always get an honest answer.]


  1. My in-laws used to take a tractor trailer load of antiques to Oregon (from PA and VA) once a year.

  2. So fun to read your perspective of my side of the world. Really, first stink bug? I can hardly fathom. And can you point me to those second hand stores...apparently I haven't found the right ones yet.

  3. I had no idea the East was so different! I feel like I immediately need to go antiquing and take advantage of it.

    I squash stink bugs when I see them and I don't think they smell - maybe there's a gene for smelling them and I don't have it??

  4. I have been reading Emily's blog and quite thoroughly enjoying it! Thanks for the heads up! :-) And the antiques thing must be a PA thing, because they sure aren't plentiful here in OH. (But maybe we count as Midwest and the pioneers still were being able to keep all their stuff in their wagons as they trekked through here!

  5. The Baritone1/17/2013 9:07 AM

    Eat Mor Chik'n. :-)

    --I too am surprised that you had never seen a stink bug before, wow.--

  6. No stink bugs in Oregon?? If yall could just get the sun to shine out there yet you'd be well on your way to being the promised land....

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  8. In April of 2011, we traveled from NM to MD for my grandfather's funeral. On the way there, our aged vehicle began acting up. While in Maryland,we traded in the Yukon for a very nice used Tahoe with all kinds of bells and whistles and STINKBUGS! They creeped, crawled and oozed out of every nook, cranny and crack of that vehicle. For months. We tossed them out in every state the whole way home. Always many miles apart, hoping that they would not find each other and breed.

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  10. That actually makes sense...if a wagon broke down or they needed to make room..I am sure they only kept necessities on board. Or didn't take them at all.

  11. Yah and don't try to flush a stink bug...before you get to the handle they are flying out again. EWWW!

    I'd love to find Lizzie's it actually almost looked familiar