September 27, 1999 Antiques
Monday September 27, 1999 11:57:35 PM

The Saturday before last began earlier than I would have liked, but it was for a good cause. Ruth and I had gathered enough pledges to raise $80 for a local crisis pregnancy center by joining about 40 other people for a two mile walk around a park. Although it was Ruth's idea, I found the rewards I gained from it far exceeded just free doughnuts and a walk around the park on a beautiful morning. In fact, I didn't even mind getting up early. I am sure, however, that all exercise benefits we gained were counterbalanced by the McDonald's we had for lunch but the way I see it, exercise and McDonald's is better than McDonald's alone, right?                                

After lunch, we spent a few hours wandering around the numerous antique shops of various sizes and stages of refinement that make up the lion's share of downtown Alton (the city I grew up in- just west of East Alton, the town I live in now). We do this occasionally. Don't get me wrong- I'm definitely not the "antique-ing" type, but every now and then I enjoy looking at some of the crazy old stuff people have for sale. There is one establishment I especially savor. Ruth hates it for the very reason I love it so. Simply put, the place is pervaded by an aura of dementia! I suppose part of this atmosphere is generated by the state of the building interior, and part is due to the care (or lack of it) with which a wildly diverse selection of weird stuff is strewn throughout it. The place gives Ruth the creeps, but it fills me with a feeling of vibrant invigoration.

I also enjoyed the more mainstream shops, too. I like old things, old technology, or things from previous generations. Browsing through antique stores is kind of like bush-league archeology. Looking at how people lived in the past is fascinating to me even if it is my own past, several times I said "Hey, I had one of these when I was a kid!"

One amusing incident occurred when Isaiah, who had been behaving marvelously as usual up to that point, started to fuss because he wanted out of his stroller. I took him out, and when my arms got tired, I put him up on my shoulders to ride piggy-back (as long as I hold both his hands he does fine). Well, as we were walking through one small shop, I thought I felt the top of my skull get warm...

"Ruth," I said, "Did the Boy just spit up on my head?"

"What? No, I don't think- um, yup." was the reply.

After that he went back in the stroller.

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