Sunday, August 8, 2010

Alameda Antique Photo Op

Last Sunday, Robin and I went to the Alameda Antique Fair. It meant getting up extra early and skipping the gym (oh, darn!) We didn't trust the GPS and got lost a couple of times but eventually arrived after 8 a.m.

The day started out cold and foggy. Vendors were wrapped in blankets and my first goal was to buy a jacket. But I resisted and eventually the fog burned off and my face got sunburned.

We met Robin's friend Angela. Thank goodness since it was easier to keep track of her than Robin. She is taller and was wearing a colorful shirt (as opposed to Robin's jacket, the color of mulch.)

There was lots of good food and coffee, although I didn't partake of either. I brought my own Diet Coke, granola bar and canvas bags - all the better for efficient shopping.
I expected a flea market but it is much more upscale. I could have spent the entire day at one of the first booths with hundreds of vintage images.

Many of the booths were like small boutiques with very well designed displays.

There were so many wonderful things to take pictures of: collections of glass bottles refracting the sun, baskets of buttons, a taxidermied fox with a taxidermied squirrel in its mouth, and lots and lots of scary old dolls. 

Check out my flickr page for a visual banquet.
Although she fell in love with an old glider and antique desk, Robin escaped with a relatively inexpensive and eclectic collection of doll parts, glass aquarium plants, tiny ceramic monkeys and odds and ends.

Everything I bought was flat and heavy, meaning paper. I bought some fun old books and prints that will probably make an appearance in some craft project.

We were there until 12:30 and only got about halfway through. I was exhausted physically and mentally and visually.

We went to Ole's Waffle House for brunch. We had to stand in line for 20 minutes or so but it was worth it. Great service and biscuits and even turkey bacon.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Further Parenting Advice

Your baby will always be your baby.
 Diane Brown told me that 25 years ago but I didn't completely believe her. Then, as Mike grew, I was astounded to learn that my maternal instinct to protect and defend him did not abate even when he outgrew me. Then, after our last visit with him in July,  I started to think our relationshiip was mellowing into a less mama bear and cub one.
Then I got the phone call at 6 a.m. He started out saying, "Don't panic." No words were ever less reassuring. He had hit his head during a basketball game, was taken to the hospital by ambulance and received 6 staples to the back of his head. Chris immediately started searching for flights to DC. I didn't go but I did make him call me every couple of hours to let me know he hadn't slipped into a coma.
I was a wreck. And, the same day, I discovered that my first pumpkin ever was dead on the vine. And even my sunflowers are facing into the neighbor's yard, away from me.

Children must learn to face consequences.
My friend, Angeline, was the Queen of Consequences. She used to say, "Poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine." You have a report due tomorrow and haven't started but the library closes in an hour? That's unfortunate. Maybe you'll start earlier next time. When other parents were trotting to school with their kids' forgotten lunches or gym shorts, her kids faced the music and went hungry or got detention.
Angeline passed away recently and much too soon. I know her kids will miss her terribly. But she really prepared them to be independent and they will be fine adults. Angeline was beautiful and dynamic and funny.
She drove me crazy sometimes. For one thing, she set limits for me as clearly as she did with the kids. And her need to over-organize made things so complicated. But she taught me a lot about recognizing people's strengths and letting them shine in their own way.

The world is a more boring place without her.