If this keeps up, it may become a habit. The first day of September was a Sunday, which made the 15th a very early “third Sunday”, which is the day for the monthly meeting of the Free Thinkers. The first time we attended a meeting, our sister city was holding an Open Street fair, and the handicapped daughter and I had to hobble two blocks, to get in.
On this 15th, Open Street was on again, but opening was delayed till noon. The daughter’s BarterWorks group had reserved some space. She wanted to attend the Free Thinkers, and then have me deliver her down the street to set up.
As sometimes happens, the son’s weekend sleep schedule was destroyed. So happy and wound-up that the work-week was over, he couldn’t go to sleep Saturday morning, and was still babbling till 3:00 PM. We woke him again at eight, so that we could all eat supper between 9 and 10, but he was asleep again shortly after midnight.
Before he crashed, I offered him a chance to attend. Sure enough, when I rose Sunday morning, he dressed, and came along with the daughter and her friend. He and I sat on opposite sides of a long table. He talked to the people to my right, and I talked to people to his right.
He might not have the highest IQ, or be the smartest person where he works, but he damns himself with faint praise by claiming he’s the best spoken. That doesn’t take much. He expounds clearly, concisely and knowledgably, on a variety of subjects, both trivial and serious – and gets nothing back. He was thrilled to spend time in a roomful of people who, not only kept up, but caused him to stretch himself. He wants to ride the ride again.
On our way to the downtown hotel, we came out of a side street behind a plaza, and turned down a four-lane, one-way street toward the main drag. Three wide, we and two other cars, went up a rise and around a bend – to suddenly confront a car coming directly at us, going the wrong way. He quickly pulled to the curb so I could go past. I watched in my mirror. As soon as the rest of traffic cleared, he pulled a U-turn. Only 25 days till Oktoberfest, I think he was from out of town.
While many free thinkers tend to be individualists, there is still an urge for like to join with like. We accepted a business card from a lady representing www.sacredsecularsanctuary.com which offers support and guidance to those leaving their religious safety nets.
The group president was on a business trip to Switzerland, so neither he nor the ex-Mennonite lady was there. The oldest member, while in apparent good health, had suddenly died. We offered no prayers.
Since the set-up for the street fair was to begin at noon, we left early – about 12:10, and not a moment too soon. They had blocked off the street, and were just about to block off the hotel’s driveway when I backed onto the street. I didn’t get downtown for this summer’s Cruise Night, but got to look at 50/60 examples of beautiful classic cars as I slowly threaded down to where the daughter needed to set up.
While the food is good, the prices reasonable, and the service crisp, efficient and friendly, the old hotel where they hold these luncheons is an old hotel. The room we use is a half flight down from the already basement restaurant. It was a malting room for the brewery, with the tanks removed. The inscription on the doorway lintel stone reads 1856.
With no elevators, and lots of steps, it makes it difficult for folks like the daughter to reach. We would normally skip next month, but they’re trying a newer hotel in downtown Kitchener. It has elevators, lots of free parking, and is much closer to the daughter’s house. We’ve decided to attend, try it out, and cast a vote.
While not a rousing commercial success, the daughter’s afternoon with BarterWorks was fun, and a chance for further social interaction, something that’s limited for the mobility-impaired. She ran into an old friend she hadn’t seen in years, and gabbed and gushed and got caught up.
She took along the newest one (to her) of her spinning wheels, for demonstration, and entranced gobs of lookers. It’s 40/50 years old, and worth about $500 new. Somebody must have turned grandma’s stuff in to the Thrift Shoppe, where she found it, and picked it up for $25. I came back to pick her and the wheel up just before it rained.
Native Canadian Indians have a strong presence at each of the universities up in Waterloo. At U of W, the larger, each fall they hold a Pow-Wow, much like a smaller version of the Multi-Cultural Festival held in Kitchener’s Victoria Park. It will be held on Saturday, Sept. 28. This would be the normal day for the daughter’s BarterWorks display, but she applied early enough, and was granted space at the Pow-Wow.
A table at the University will give her much more exposure than at the little BarterWorks get-together, probably with more cash sales. Also, it will be a 9 to 5 session, instead of only 11 till 3. I will be up early to haul all of her stuff, including a wheel and the nylon gazebo for weather protection, along with her, her friend, and the grandson for support.
No drugs, no booze, no dancing, no all-night raves, no random, anonymous sex, (well, none I’m admitting to), doing things the old-fashioned way, this is the exciting way we spend a day or weekend. Like Hercule Poirot, we stimulate “the little grey cells” to have fun. I’ll report back, and tell you all about it. You’ve been warned.