Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Hey! You! Boston Flower Market!

Yep, I'm talking to you!

I was thinking of you this morning.

I had to leave the house a little earlier than usual. My daughter left on her Big Field Trip today. Her entire Grade 8 class is going to Ottawa, in a giant purple coach. (Lucky!) I had to dig her out of bed at 5:30am. She usually sleeps until 8, runs around getting dressed and stuffing toast in her mouth while throwing her lunch together. She's not a morning person, but she's never grumpy. Just a little out of it. Like me. This morning she kept saying, "I don't think I've ever gotten up this early!"

"Sure you have. We used to do horse shows when you were little."

"Yeah, but you got up early. You were already gone when I got up. We went to church with Daddy and met you at the show later."

Oh yeah.

In a perfect world, I'd sleep til 8 every morning, but my life ain't like that. I'm up at 6 feeding the obnoxious funny curly tailed Pug critter and the very old dignified demanding Cat critter. I go back to bed. Sometimes I sleep, sometimes I read, mostly I listen to the radio through Jethro's snoring while I wait for Bucky to wake up. But I'm always awake around 6 am.

In my childhood, I wasn't required to do chores before school. I often chose to go out to the barn on weekends. I have memories of eating breakfast in a haze and following Dad out to the barn with heavy feet. I never was much good in the morning. My ol man's admitted now that he really doesn't like getting up early either; he just had to, so he did.

Sometimes all four of us went to the stockyards to sell some pigs. We had to get up really early, like 5 am. I have vague impressions of mist all over the road, but it could have been only behind my eyes. The stockyards were a crazy place. Lots of oinking and squeaking, mooing and whinnying, stomping and fivegimmefive anybodygottafive fivetwenny Fivetwennytwennytwenny fivetwennyfive. So many smells, both good and bad. When I was about twelve I was trying out my budding fashion sense. I had newish jeans. Hand me downs, of course, but new to me. They were dark blue! I wore them with my rubber cowboy boots (what, you think we could afford leather?) and my seersucker plaid blazer. Whoa. Dig me. I probably went to bed the night before with my hair in tiny braids so it would look crimped when I combed it out. I was really into that.

My sister and I were allowed to go off looking at the vendor's booths. I was so sure everybody was looking at me and admiring my daring outfit. Then I started to feel kinda stupid when I realized that a large percentage of people there were old order Mennonite or Amish and couldn't give a rat's backside as to what I was wearing.

A big lady with towering yellow hair set up a booth in summer to sell her colourful plastic jewelry. She was wearing one of those one piece strapless velour shorts jumpsuit type outfits. Very early 80s disco hangover. She had to keep tugging the top up. The velour-wrapped elastic was either displaying her white line or chafing the peeling skin off her tan. She matched her lipstick to the hot pink outfit. Fascinating. I never saw no nothin like that! What to look at -- the table full of plastic or the magnificent oddball selling it? Somebody walked past muttering about junk jewelry. "It's not junk," she sniffed haughtily as she pulled at her top, "it's beautiful." I bought two pairs of big go-go-girl hoopy earrings (my hard earned and agonized-over two bucks) and she called me "dear."

At noon, we'd go get burgers with fried onions on them.

When we were little kids, Sweetie and I would go for the occasional weekend at Grandma and Grandpa G's house. It took me decades to figure out that we weren't going there purely for our own entertainment... that maybe Mom and Dad actually had a social life. Huh. Weird. Anyways, my Grandpa G, like most retired Mennonite farmers, didn't go idle. Sure he liked to watch a little Wonder Woman or Looney Toons before his Sunday couch snooze, but he spent a lot of time in his cellar workshop with plywood and a jigsaw. He made wonderful garden ornaments with legs that spun around. Daffy Duck, of course, was one of my favourites. He made planters held up by horse silhouettes. On Saturdays, they loaded them into the trunk of the Dodge Dart to sell them at the craft market across from the stockyards.

Sweetie and I got to "help" sell stuff. I wonder if Grandpa made any more sales with us two little brown eyed girls there.

I remember him in his straw hat, white short sleeved shirt, and black suspenders holding up his black work pants. He was an amputee by then and got around on his fake feet with the help of two canes with four rubber grabbers at the bottom. He could be slowed down but not stopped. Grandma was pleasantly plump, with soft white hair and a smile that lit up an entire building.

Good times.

I think I yawned a lot. Grandma woke me very gently on those mornings. I don't ever remember the drive to the market.

I had these memories, standing on the sidewalk at the school at 6:30 this morning. Man, my Girl's had a soft life! She snapped to it pretty quick today, buzzing with excitement. It never really occurred to me that early mornings haven't really been part of her life. Lots of people are up working already at that time every day!

Like, people who are vendors at markets.

I got an email a while back from a very interesting fellow. He's a farmer, a writer of great sensitivity, a dog person, a boot wearing tractor driving kind of guy, who sells his work at the Boston Flower Market. He found my blog through another that he reads regularly.

To my amazement, it turns out that I have readers in Boston. I have never been to Boston. Maybe I should some day.

At times I think about these readers who grow things and sell them. I don't know much about them! I think they read this stuff of mine during slow times at work. They have a few chuckles when I try to make a funny, and even cheer me on when I'm down. At the end of a long dark winter, I got some flowers emailed to me. Big yellow ones. They were on my desktop for awhile, my big virtual yellow petals of cheeriness. Awwwww!

Hello Flower Marketers! Thank you!!!!! You kind of make my day, even though I don't know you in person. Now go home for a nap, you've probably been up since 4 am.

(anybody wanna say hi to the flower vendors?  Leave your greeting in the comments section!)


coffeypot said...

I wake up around six every morning, but it is to do the old man pee thingy and then I go back to bed - or to couch, depending on if I want to watch TV for thirty seconds or so. I didn’t have grandparents when I was little. I did have a grandmother that was in her 90’s, about 5’ tall, stooped shouldered and walked with a cane. She looked like a witch to me and it scared my little 5 year old ass to death. I only saw her one time then she died. I don’t think it was my fault, but you never know. So be glad you have good memories of your grandparents.

Heidi the Hick said...

I am really lucky to have good memories of my grandparents. Until I was 16 I had all four of them. We spend a so much time with them when we were kids, and that's the kind of family connection I want for my kids. It is harder with our family living farther away from the extended family, but we try our best to make it work.

dilling said...

there's a 6 a.m., too?

Olly said...

Great post. I loved the eighties referrences. Those one piece velour outfits were truly awful!!! And? I can't remember how many nights I spent putting tiny braids in my hair, too. Until I bought a crimping iron, lol.

Hang on to those memories. I never knew either of my grandfathers. One grandmother was barking mad with Alzheimers, which I didn't understand at 5, so I hated her. The other grandmother was a nice German lady who lived until I was 21.

Biddie said...

Umm, ok, confession time here...I had one of those velour one piece thingies, too. In fact, I bet that I could even dig out a photo of it. Both Posh and I had one...That goes back to the whole..'Oooh, lets dress them alike' days.
I used to get up early, very many years ago when I was 17 and working three jobs. Now, I sleep as often and as late as I can. Still, I never seem to get enough of it.
My Dad used to take us to the stock yards, too, sometimes. Dunno why. Did you seeme there? I was wearing stripes, and had glasses bigger than my head, and my hair was always a bit greasy. Not Billy Ray Cyrus greasy, more like 'Does that kid have a mother?' Kind of yucky....

Heidi the Hick said...

Ha ha Biddie, it really is confession time! I think my sister and I both had one of them one piece outfits too! One was navy and one was red, with an strip of white piping across the front. We were the same size, so I can't remember which belonged to which, and as far as I know, there aren't any pictures of us in them!

Hey, when you hung around at the stockyards, did you ever go out on that catwalk over the sale barn??? Scary!

Olly, good times eh? I was too lazy to use a crimping iron. One girl brought hers to school and after a half hour in the cafeteria she wasn't done with my hair yet. There's a lot of it. Soon I stopped bothering with it at all! Oh the good ol days.

Dilling, let's just pretend there isn't a 6 am and everybody will be much happier!

Biddie said...

Yup. I walked on that crazy walkway. mind you, that is n mean feat for me, being terrified of heights and all.
LOL. Mine was navy with the white piping..Come to think of it, so was Poshes! Wait, did I just make that plural, like as in TWO of Posh? Yikes.
Of course, you know, my cool outfit came from Sears. ALL of my clothes did, cuz Mission Mary had a 15% discount.
I still sweeat when I go in that place........
You mean there really IS a 6 am?????????

Biddie said...

Holy typos. Good thing you are fluent in Biddie :)

Heidi the Hick said...

I speak Biddie.

Tod said...

That was a great read. I love to hear all about other peoples pasts. Thankfully I didn't have a velor one-piece. loL!

The Manic Street Preacher said...

I went out with a girl who turned up in one of those thingys. I talked a mate into walking her home.

Well? I had my street cred to consider! ;-)

I just turned down a publisher by the way.

Don't sell your soul babe.

Get published if it feels right and good luck t'yer if it does.

To me it just didn't.

WTF? Yer can't take money with yer eh?

I'm going to publish for free on a blog.

Mine's too raw to go another way.


Anita said...

Great post!

I'm up at 3 am, 7 days a week... lol Believe it or not, you can LEARN to be a morning person! I always thought I was a night owl... come to find out, I like early mornings and I was just approaching them from the wrong direction! :)

Lynn Sinclair said...

Velour thingee -- I had one in blue. Ah, the good days.

Nice post, Heidi.

Heidi the Hick said...

I think it's really funny that the ridiculous one piece strapless velour shorts onesie got such a response!

Anita said...

You know Heidi.. I actually had a strapless onsie shorts thing, but it wasn't velour, it was terrycloth... LOL Meant as a swimsuit cover-up I think...

Heidi the Hick said...

I think ours were terrycloth too. Sears had lots of terry clothes in the early 80s, and I got them from the family friends who were bigger and older.

Balloon Pirate said...

hey flower vendor guy! I'll be there in August. I'll be the big furry guy with two slightly smaller versions of myself who will be asking questions nonstop.

And by this ye shall know me.


JKB said...

You know Heidi, everything that was old is new again.

I kind of like the idea of those velour outfits. :)

Trailboss said...

I am out the door at 6am every morning but I try to sleep in on the weekends. It's not always easy though. Not that my 16 yr old daughter bothers me, it's my 2 boxers. For some reason they get up at the same time every morning and they are under the impression that I should too! They are sadly mistaken, but of course, being a responsible pet owner, I drag my butt out of bed (unless hubby has already taken care of them :). I really like the morning time, everything seems so fresh, ready for a new day. But the bed feels pretty dadgum good until about 8am!

Anonymous said...

i start work at 6am four mornings a week so am up at 5 been doing this for 7 years and it will be changing soon, but i love the quietness of the mornings. and yep i am full of live at 5am too ha ha.
its me at a new place