Friday, August 14, 2009

Simple pleasures

I’ve been in a shopping frenzy since mid July as I’ve run a thrice-weekly circuit between Home Depot and Target to procure items of questionable need as a response to the great Moving/Vacation/Going-to-Kindergarten Shop-o-rama Extravaganza!

I have bought a veritable dime store of ordinary things in the past six weeks: Storage containers, soap dishes, new caddies for a cluster of new cleaning products for under the kitchen sink; there were toothbrush holders and shower rods, curtains and hangers for bathrooms; and dish drainers, dish stackers and baskets for the kitchen cabinets.

Even in vacation the pesky purchasing persisted: I bought tubes and tubes of sun block, products for mosquito massacre and more toys and beach playthings than we had room in the car to return with.

Of course the school supplies put the non-dairy topping on the cake: Washable markers, Twistable crayons, hard-covered binders, oversized book bags and even a blanket for napping.

There is more – of everything – than any family of four could possibly need, so I’ll spare you the details. But as always, I just feel like an overdone chicken every time I spend money: Kind of crisp yet rubbery.

Isn't it strange how rarely things you are compelled to buy produce the satisfaction of simple pleasure? Things such as dropping a couple of bucks into a machine at the do-it-yourself car wash and vacuuming a car floor you haven’t seen for the detritus in three years just surprise you later with an unexpected satisfaction. You almost forget about the missing pocket change and the nine minutes of grunty-grubby work trying to snake that hose around to the backseat passanger side of your sedan until you slide into the vehicle at the end of the workday and are reminded by a clean carpet. You smile. It was the best two bucks you've spent in a long, long time.

A weekend of simple pleasures
There are few triggers in life that bring a person back to their childhood as weird as a pig roast. But there you have it … a succulent, whole pig turning on a spit does it to me every time.

When I was a kid my parents were close friends with some Irish folks –- not unlike ourselves -- but who raised pigs. Whenever one died as a result of an accident (usually the runt) they’d call all their friends and have a pig roast. It was quite a spectacle: I remember “The Third Man,” showing in the living room, William Kennedy holding court in the den, and a belly dancer, in full regalia, gyrating on the porch. Those days may be gone but pig roasts are still with us.

On Saturday at 1 p.m., the Tsatsawassa Protective Fire Company, serving Brainard, East Nassau and surrounding areas, will host its 21st annual pig roast at the firehouse grounds located off Routes 20 and 66. Refreshments, including hotdogs and hamburgers, start as 1 p.m. as firehouse staff roast the pig, which is served at 5 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children ages 5 to 12, and include food throughout the day. The event is the company’s major fundraiser for the year. A raffle for gift certificates from area merchants will also be held.

Tickets for the roast are still available, however you better get there early. For more information, call 766-3815.

Farm to table
If you’ve spent the summer pushing a wonky-wheeled cart through a super(air-cooled)market, why not get out this weekend and meet some of the people who actually make the food you eat? Farmer’s markets are pulling in their best produce now and every community seems to have one.

Troy Farmer’s Market in Riverfront Park is one of the best in the area, featuring more than 50 local farmers, bakers and artisans sell the freshest local vegetables, fruits, meats, breads, cheeses, baked goods and handmade goods, such as soaps, pottery and crafts. The even is held every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Under the stars

Handy Boys Enterprise in Millerton has established “A Night Under The Stars,” an outdoor movie shown on a large, inflatable screen, at 8:45 p.m. every Saturday night at Eddie Collins Ball Field, between Millerton and Irondale along Route 22. Saturday’s feature film is Madagascar 2. It's an easy and cheap night out. Just bring yourselves, a picnic and a blanket and lawn chairs. The stars (both literal and figurative) will be provided free.

No comments: