Did you miss me? I've been in Toronto at my sister Lisa's house. This trip was to celebrate my mom's 75th, our sister Brenda's 50th, my niece's graduation from primary school, and Father's Day. Fate had other plans. My mom fell over a toolbox the night before the big day and broke her elbow and upper arm, so instead of a leisurely brunch, my two sisters and I beetled off to the hospital. Father's Day was a wine bottle hand off in the hospital parking lot. My niece had fun, though it was difficult to get her to stop laughing and pose properly for a portrait. It might have had something to do with her auntie mooning her.
Half-a-century-old sister Brenda then left to drive home, and phoned ten minutes later in a panic saying she was in a tornado. She knows whereof she speaks, since a twister destroyed her home in 1984 WHILE SHE WAS IN IT. After much screaming and hyperventilating on the phone (from both sides) she outran the storm and survived, but now I've renamed her Dorothy aka The Tornado Magnet.
I had a marvelous time, despite all the drama (we also managed to flood my sister's upstairs toilet and her coffee machine in a 12 hour period.) My sister Lisa is an antiques dealer, so we attended a couple of auctions out in the country. The items at the second auction weren't worth staying for, more garage sale than antique sale, but the people watching more than made up for it. There was a preponderance of ample-bottomed women who looked like they packed their own portable bean bag chairs in their pants. (Not that I'm a lightweight by a long stretch, but I probably look like I'm hiding, say, a small bolster for a twin bed, or perhaps a couple of small ottomans, at most.) Then there was the star of the show, whom I'll call Luba.
Luba, who weighs maybe ninety pounds after a big meal, is a regular, and a thorn in my sister's side since Luba and her partner show up for the same auctions, bidding on the stuff my sister wants without actually buying it, thus driving the prices up along with my sister's blood pressure. Luba and her partner favour Cat Rescue tee-shirts, large round eyeglasses from the eighties, and ponytails so tight they can't blink without straining. While Luba is tall and thin, her partner is short and stout.
Luba's modus operandi is to constantly weave in and cut through the crowd to see what the auctioneer has in his hands. She'd grab a Player's cigarette from the packet shoved into the front pocket of her jeans and yell out to her partner did she want a Blue Mountain swan bowl for a buck, what about a bucket of driveway sealer, or how 'bout some of them punch glasses but one's missin' a handle, eh? Her partner, who never wavered from her position in front of the donut table at the back, would grunt approval or shake her head, but it didn't seem to matter, as it soon became apparent to all - what Luba wants, Luba gets. She lurched back and forth with cracked bowls, ceramic elephants missing their trunks, alabaster ashtrays....
Caught up in auction fever, I got into a heated bidding war and ended up the proud owner of a box of roller blinds for two dollars. Never mind they were odd sizes that fit none of my windows, or that they were dated and discoloured from being stored in a garage for 50 years, or that they didn't even come with the hardware needed to install them. Victory is mine, ah HA!
My sisters then flew to Vegas, leaving me to drive home and explain to my husband why I have a trunk full of fringed, beige roller blinds.