Thursday, April 22, 2010

Simpler Life

Simplicity of life.

My sister, June, and I love antiquing. I consider us modern day adventurers in search of antiquity. We search for those reminders of our childhoods and those things we have come to love over the years.

This trip allowed us to travel twice to Shipshewana for the flea market held every Wednesday. The auction barn is filled from front to back with various stations for different vendors. June and I walk the barn looking for treasures. We go early enough to find items we are interested in bidding on. She looks for leaded windows she can repair and resell. I look for anything that I might discover that calls to my heart. We are in paradise.

At 9am the auctioneers begin their calls. Not just one auctioneer, but at least three. The chaos begins as the callers seem to compete with one another as their unique calls echoes through the barn. People crowd around the tables as old items, once cared for, move on to new owners. A couple of mounted deer heads are waiting to be auctioned. I pat their heads giving them one last prayer thinking that they would have been much happier roaming a forest. Guns and knives are sold. Pots and pans, books, old toys and so many other things that my parents probably threw out go home with new owners to be resold or as with me, just cherished.

I stood next to an Amish woman waiting for her item to come to the auctioneer’s attention. We laughed and talked as we waited and watched the crowd around the tables. Soon the oil lamp came to the block. This woman was not waiting for a collectible or something that tickled her fancy. No, she was bidding on a staple for her home. She walked away with her lamp and I walked away with my Haitian prints. It was a good day.

June and I went to the Amish restaurant, Yoder' for breakfast each of us devouring three huge pieces of old fashioned mush. The Amish women served the tables wearing their white caps and simple dresses. More and more of this community are going back to the simpler life.

I came home with a few treasures. Two old paintings from Haiti circa 1930’s or 40’s and a few old books. I didn’t come home with the teddy bear, dolls or tea jar. However, two sisters had the time of their lives doing what they love to do together.

On the way home, we passed a man plowing his field in the same way my father had once farmed. What a beautiful sight! Four Belgian horses pulling the plow.

“You know the Amish do not like their pictures taken,” my sister was saying as I hung my camera out the car window.

“I’m taking pictures of the horses,” I said as the Amish farmer returned my wave.

I had stepped back in time. I had stepped back to a simpler life. Once more two sisters made memories.

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