Auction Escapes

June 3, 2012 at 8:15 am (Life, Memoir) (, , , , , , , , , , )

I was about eleven when I went to my first auction. Uncle D took my younger brother and me along with his two boys, who were around the same age, to the permanent auction building outside of Watson. It involved a half hour car trip and a Saturday mostly alone for my mother – this was a treat for my mother as well as for us. We owned no car so seldom left town; perhaps once a month on average, more in the summer, less in the winter and oh, too often for dentist and doctor appointments.

The auction building was huge. The building seemed huge but it wasn’t much bigger than the ice rink back home. It smelled of livestock and sawdust which made sense as this was a farm auction. There would be cows, pigs, sheep, and rabbits for sale along with farm machinery and the occasional antique. I liked staring at the cows and petting the horses. I liked being in the middle of activity and having everyone ignore me as I read my book, I always took a book everywhere with me (then and now).

by Devon Christopher Adams

My baby brother bid on and got a rabbit. A rabbit and a cage; I don’t remember what colour the rabbit was but dusty brown is what lingers in the back of my mind. I have no idea where the money came from. I’m thinking baby brother whined long enough and our uncle bought it for him.

Mom was not happy when we got home. She did not want a rabbit, the responsibility of a rabbit; this was during a short time in my childhood when we were totally pet-free. Being pet free didn’t last long, father was always trying to give us pets – he bought us gerbils then when they disappeared he brought us a dog. We also had fish for a while (another “gift” from father).

Disappeared – such an innocuous word. The rabbit and the gerbils didn’t “disappear”. They were liberated, set free, aka released into the wilds aka a small grove of trees, surrounding a farmhouse, just outside of town. I hope the rabbit adjusted and had a long, hoppy life. I suspect the gerbils died during the first heavy frost.

This is why you don’t give a child a pet unless the parents also agree to it!!

I like old stuff. I like looking through other people’s stuff and making up stories about them.

Where were we? Ah yes, auctions.

The summer I came back from finishing university there were a lot of street auctions in my small home town as the older residents moved on and out. A street auction is when an auctioneer sets up shop in front of the residence and sells everything you want gone.

I bought a lot of tea cups that summer. Tea cups are one of the things that I like to collect. Old china tea cups are delicate and elegant, something I’ve never felt that I am or ever will be. I use to envy my classmates with their elegant kitchens and grandmothers’ tea cups sparkling center stage. My grandmothers had tea cups but we were not allowed to use them. I only could admire the tea cups when I was dusting them.

When I was young and quiet and perfect, my mother and I use to go over to Grandma F’s (a neighbour not my real grandma) for afternoon tea. Grandma Katie would make me chamomile tea (with lots of milk and sugar) and we would use her best tea cups. I felt grown-up. I thank the stars that tea cups make me think of this kind old lady who didn’t worry about cups getting cracked or broken. I want to be a little old lady like that but I have miles to go yet – I still hold on too tightly to my most precious things.

I worry about my books getting ripped, my tea cups getting broken and my toys getting wrecked.

My precious…

This is my favourite tea cup. I like that there is an extra saucer for dainties. I use to use it a lot but not lately. Lately, I’ve been stingy even with myself. I’ve been worried that I’ll break it and then I’ll have nothing left but memories.

I keep hearing don’t touch, be careful, you’re not good enough to use something so perfect; you’re too poor to have nice things.

Isn’t it amazing how much class issues dictate our lives in this, our supposedly, class-less society.

Orphan saucers

Where were we? Ah yes, auctions.

I like them all. I like rink auctions, auctions held in auction houses, art auctions and estate auctions.

I only wish I had money to waste right now. I want a card catalog but the one at the local antique store is almost 6 grand plus too large but oh so majestic in all its oak-ness. I covet it.

I would like to spend the summer perusing auctions but I will make do with just starting the summer with one.

I was at a family auction yesterday. It was a lot of hard work. It was also fun.

Where were we? Ah yes, auctions.


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