Therese Arkenberg's home on the web

Rummage and Toil

Posted by on Jul 11, 2014 in Blog Posts, Uncategorized | 0 comments

After almost a month back in Wisconsin, I’m relearning my way around my hometown’s streets. I was out for three hours today, visiting the post office and (of course) library, gathering blackberries at the park, and visiting a mere handful of the infinite rummage sales being advertised along the road. As I followed the bright orange and glo-in-the-dark green signs down obscure back roads in sunny but fairly empty subdivisions, I realized this would make an excellent setup for a serial kidnapper.

This actually is the perfect time for one of my favorite writing prompts–going to rummage sales, sorting through old treasures, knickknacks, junk, and stuff, and selecting something out of the mass to write a story about. Personally I think it’s a courtesy to also buy the item you’re going to write about, simply because rummage sellers can get pretty desperate to clear out merchandise. It’s a buyer’s market.

So far I’ve picked up a new jewelry box, and could have purchased a second bookcase if only I had the space for it in my room or my car. No stray rings have come along in the box, although you never know. I could have collected a lifetime supply of Harlequins or of beanie babies, and there was far more maternity wear than I foresee a personal need for. Also computer parts, several dish sets, and two prom gowns (not maternity). What I’m really searching for is a tea kettle, now that I’ve purchased a tea pot at the antiques mall in downtown Waukesha. I feel I’ve really committed to the literary lifestyle now that I own my first bookcase and a tea pot.

I’m only using two and a half shelves of the bookcase, though. I’m not only surprised but a little appalled at myself. One of those shelves, though–the entirety of it–holds my ‘to read’ list, including 15+ library books. And a Nook with over 200 volumes. This blog isn’t called Story Addict for nothing.

Of the wild blackberries, I will say they are plentiful enough to almost make up for the near-complete lack of strawberries this year. I don’t know if I should blame the rain or the cold winter for the latter, of if I was merely out of state during the week or so they’re ripe. The blackberries are easier to spot, being higher off the grown and having a distinctive shape–both the bend of the blackberry cane and the crown of berries at the top, with the ripest inky-black ones at the center of the cluster. This year, they happen to have outsourced the job of self-defense form their thorns to hordes of mosquitoes. Having made this unfortunate discovery last Monday, I came prepared with bugspray today. I killed most of the critters that landed on me last time (and given the mosquitoes who suck blood are all preparing to lay eggs, I like to think I made a dent in the next generation)–but that’s poor comfort when my arm’s all one solid itch that long outlasts my harvet of berries.

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