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May 17, 2003
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Garage Sale Day

9:36 pm: A very, very busy day today, busier, I think than we really thought it would be or, really, wanted it to be, but it was pretty good anyway.

We started the morning early, with the thawed butter braid from the night before. Just bake and eat and go. We hit various garage sales in Frederick, near the new Safeway they have. There were several connected, new developments where real estate agents organized a bunch of group garage sales, so nearly every street had someone cleaning out the garage. It was pretty astonishing.

We spent four hours there. Just wandering through places, picking over stuff, walking through the streets, seeing all the little houses all alike, and buying a few things here and there. There were clothes for Jet, and we managed to get a good deal on some shorts that were definitely his size, so he's set for the summer, I think. It was one of those things that he's running short on, and there are a pair or two of his shorts that could do with some repairs.

We ended up with one set of houses that was about a dozen of them all up and down a couple blocks' worth of walking. Across the street was a playground, at the very last house, and we went over there when we were done. Jet really wanted to play, but he was kind of lagging. A bunch of boys came up with an ATV hooked up to a wagon with a cooler, and they were selling lemonade for a quarter a glass. We bought Jet one and he absorbed it instantly. He was pretty thirsty. After drinking that, he played and played for a good long while, and then was tired enough to want to go home.

He went to sleep on the way home, and when he woke up, we gave him water, slathered him in sunscreen, and took him to the Erie Town Fair. It was time to see Alex's demonstration.

There was a small stage on the old baseball field, where Alex got to show off his karate skills. The whole dojo came out and did demonstrations, with much breaking of boards. Alex's whole family was there to cheer him on, and get mildly sunburnt. Sunshine here, seems glass-clear, compared to Seattle's water hazed air, sharp and insistent about the danger of sunburn. We were all slathered up in sunscreen, and it amused me that the Mary Kay representative was passing out sunscreen as her freebie. John, Jet and I went through three bottles of water in only two hours.

Jet had fun watching the demonstration and played with Haley as well, a little, before we all went out separate ways. John, Jet and I wandered the whole fair as Haley, Joan and Alex played in the Kids' Fair area.

Erie's Town Fair started with a flight of half a dozen hot air balloons, early in the morning. All the vendors came out, to set up, and watch the balloons fly overhead. The fair, itself, consisted of a hodgepodge of local doctors, dentists, insurance agencies, restaurants, a guy who made flyswatters from golf clubs' handles, lots of little crafts, a few booths that looks like nothing more than junk, pre-made dehydrated food stores, local beauty products, Mary Kay, bright clothing booths, henna tattoos, massage therapists galore, First Bank, tiny toy stores, a row of Fair food, an area of field set aside for kids, and ended in half a street's worth of high-gloss hot rods owned by local families. Pretty much anyone that wanted to could set up a booth. There was also a decisive Mexican presence, with food, crafts, and clothing slanted in that direction. The only art I could see consisted of a guy making weathervanes from completely accurate models of small planes or the guy that carved various shaped cutting

Jet loved the kids area. There was a petting zoo, giant, inflatable slides and jumping areas, and a playground. Just outside of the area was also was small train, built from a lawn tractor, and a bunch of boxes on wheels. It had an incredible turning radius, and to do a U-turn in the space to parking slots, so it zipped around the Fair, kids in tow and parents open-mouthed at the insane driving of the conductor. Jet had to go on the train, but once he was on with John he got very serious. He kept telling John that he really liked what was going on, but he never really smiled. I guess he was just concentrating on his ride.

The food consisted entirely of barbecue, deep-fried candy bars, smoked turkey wings, funnel cake, cotton candy, and the usual collection of hot dogs, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, and fries. The fries are pretty impressive, though. They were thick-cut, fresh off the potato, and fried before your eyes. They were far too hot, when they actually handed them to you, and Jet kept picking one up, handing it to me, and asking me to blow on it until it was cool enough for him to eat. Yes, Jet made an entire meal out of French fries.

It was pretty fun, all together, but the sunshine and the heat made it very draining. We got home at 3:30, and were so tired that John called off a trip to a friend's in the afternoon to see his brewing setup. Instead, we just stayed home, let Jet play quietly with his cars and trains for a while and drink a lot of water. Then we headed out to the Erie Safeway and stocked up on pizza, beer, and groceries for the week.

The pizza was the Take and Bake Papa Murphy's, and the beer was at the liquor store that also stocked the Thomas Kemper pops. We got a few of those as well. I enjoyed that a lot. Then we stocked up on groceries and had Jet strapped into the cart with side seats where he could thump his heels. He really wanted to get down and run around, but we decided not to let him. I ended up taking him for rides on the penny bronco and he enjoyed that a lot before insisting on walking himself out to the car. He's not doing so well, any more, about holding hands with us in the parking lots or streets. I don't like that at all, but we've been pretty quietly insistent about it, and since it's a matter of safety, we'll just have to keep insisting on it.

He had a pretty cranky evening. He wouldn't eat pizza. We finally made him a hot dog on a stick and he actually ate the whole thing along with a quarter of an apple. So I felt a bit better about his nutritional intake. It took him a while to get to sleep, too. We'll see how he does. I'm pretty achy, but emotionally less strung from earlier in the week. The exercise and walking around helped, too

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