A couple of months ago, Tara got involved in online estate auctions.
She’d bid on vintage items like swag lamps and wicker mirrors. The idea is to buy them cheap, clean them up, then turn around and sell them for a profit. She even considered renting space at St. Joe Antiques Mall, but there’s a pretty long waiting list for that opportunity.
The way these auctions work is, when you win the bid, you don’t just get the one item: you get the whole lot. Your lamp might come with a couple of vases, a chipped figurine or two, crappy artwork. It’s mostly junk, but there are occasional diamonds in the rough. A few weeks ago, I found one. Tara had piled a bunch of stuff she didn’t want on top of the garbage bin. I was looking through it and literally gasped out loud when I saw this.
“Babe!” I said excitedly. “You got a dinner bell!”
“Yes?” she replied, waiting for the punch line. But ha-ha, the joke’s on her. There was none.
“This is awesome!” I said.
“This is trash,” she countered.
“I’ve always wanted a dinner bell!”
“What are you going to do with it?”
“Hang it up and ring it when dinner’s ready. Duh!”
Seriously, I’ve longed for a dinner bell for years. I can’t believe my wife isn’t as enthusiastic over this as I am. She said I could just, you know, tell her when dinner’s ready. But where’s the fun in that?! Why waste breath on words when you can clang a bell instead?
I’m a big picture kind of guy. We’re going to get a lot of mileage out of this dinner bell, trust me. The whole neighborhood will know when Team MarTar is fixin’ to tie on the feed bag.
We appear to have finally turned a corner with our weather. They were forecasting a warm-up Saturday, but we had no idea it was going to reach 85º. We took advantage by prepping the yard and garden. Tara should be able to transfer her plants to the raised beds in a couple of weeks, so we made a trip to Menards for soil and mulch. But we didn’t get as much mulch as we needed, so it was back to Menards for more mulch.
In between the multiple Menards mulch maneuvers, I took a hike up Buzzards Roost. Luckily, there was a strong breeze blowing. This helped keep me cool (and nearly blew me off the ridge at one point).
We ended our day with cards, records, cocktails, and pizza.
I came home a few weeks ago to find a jury summons in the mail. That’s almost as exciting as learning a beloved family member has died.
Look, I have nothing against the American judicial system. I got to serve on a jury two years ago and it was a great experience. Just not one I feel any desire to repeat. And the way it works in South Dakota is kind of weird. My panel’s term of service is the entire month of May. I was telling my boss this, and he said both his wife and brother-in-law had six-month terms! I’d hate to be in limbo for half a year. One month is bad enough.
Then there’s the fact that I’ve got a bunch of travel this month. Tomorrow, I’m headed across the state on business. And we’ve got a trip to Fort Collins over Memorial Day weekend. I called the court clerk and got myself excused for this week because of my business trip, and it’s a good thing: my panel was called to report Wednesday morning. I’m hoping this means they’ll move on to a different panel next week, but who knows. I’m still in the dark over how this whole thing works out here.
I forgot to get myself excused for the Colorado trip, so if I am called to report, I may have to get creative when questioned.
Have you ever served on a jury? What was your experience like? Do you know of anybody who gave memorable excuses to get out of serving, and if so, what were they? Asking for a friend…