OPINION

September Journey with Phyllis Buell

Syracuse Journal-Democrat

We Are, Aren’t We?

People watching is high on my “fun things to do” list.

I think I could spend hours in some inconspicuous corner of a busy mall just watching people.

They - “we”, do the darnedest things. Indeed, people are funny!

This past week I witnessed enough “funnies” to keep me laughing for weeks.

I attended the rummage/bake sale at the church I attended while I lived in Lincoln. I came in the kitchen door with my rolls just like I always did when I brought food for a gathering.

Of course, living in the boonies, I forgot my mask. It is required everywhere in Lincoln now.

I was sent to a door where masks were available for anyone that did the same thing I did. Forget theirs, in other words.

When I got to the door and reached for the box of masks, that was the exact moment the door opened to let people in for the sale.

I didn’t stand a chance! The box went flying out of my hands and I was physically propelled, along with the crowd towards the gym where the treasures they were seeking awaited!

Last year, due to the pandemic, the annual fundraiser wasn’t held. So – there were two years worth of accumulation of donations. And – all of the persons that were waiting for this great event had been denied it for two years. They were ready!

It seemed everyone in the congregation had cleaned their houses from attic to basement. Garage, too, and even the garden. The gym was full to overflowing. The Commons area held great furniture and the Sunday School rooms were bulging with holiday decorations.

Well – back to my dilemma. I didn’t think I was going to have much luck breaking out of the crowd so I decided to just go with the flow and see where it carried me.

One man at the side of the pack peeled off at the jewelry booth. He was prepared with a jewelers loop to check for markings and began to fill a bag quickly. I recalled seeing him in past years.

As we reached the gym doors, one lady grabbed a pull along grocery cart t that was for sale and began filling it with “stuff.” I don’t think she even looked at what she was putting in her carrier. Another grabbed a trash can and did the same thing.

I planned to be just an observer, but I did find a nice skillet I needed. After all, I divested myself of any practical cookware eight years ago when we moved into Assisted Living.

Copper bottomed stainless steel pans are definitely not the “in” things right now. There was a small one with a lid just like the two I already have. I remember they cost $2.98 back in 1949 when we were married! Mine still look like brand new. I wonder if some of the fashionably new “in” cookware of today will still be around in 70 plus years?

Nothing was marked with an asking price. Several women of the congregation had the questionable honor of determining a price with the person purchasing items. It was very interesting to watch that process. I am always amazed at the tenacity of a haggler when it comes to 50 cents or a dollar.

That morning certainly gave me my people watching fix for several days. I have remembered scenes from the experience with a smile many times since then.

And – my “new” skillet is great. Well worth the dollar it cost me!

P.S – Really, that is what was asked. Big spender that I am - I gave them two!