Saturdays are usually the days I spend mornings with my dad doing some rummage-sale therapy.
I call it therapy because it’s good for him. My dad has Alzheimer’s. He’s 92 years old and still pretty spry, but he needs to get out and exercise and with my mother as the primary caregiver it’s good to give her a break.
Why therapy – he has to walk, get in and out of the car, sometimes engage with people – like Saturday at St. Mary’s annual rummage.
It was brown bag bargain day. Fit anything into the bag and it was alllll yours, for $3. Some things you expect to see – old Password games, sandals that have seen better days, a stack of National Geographic magazines, and table upon table of clothes.
One thing we didn’t expect was to run into Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner. Serious… the Representative for the 5th Congressional District was shopping at St. Mary’s rummage.
“This is my second sale I’ve been at today,” said a cheerful Sensenbrenner as he stood between a cart full of green plants and a table full of milk glass.
Sensenbrenner was posing for pictures, talking with constituents and rummaging.
“I’m going to be a grandfather for the first time,” he said.
Sensenbrenner, 73, was ecstatic with the news. “I’m shopping for a onesie.”
Well, this was the St. Mary’s rummage and he came to the right place.
“Do you even know what a onesie is,” I asked.
I figure I can do that…. I’m a reporter don’tcha know.
“Yes…. I know what a onesie is,” said Sensenbrenner. “I have one. Congressman Duffy gave it to me as a gift.”
Oh my. That was actually more than I needed to know. (sorry for planting that vision for the rest of you)
Sensenbrenner is not a small man. He’d admit that himself.
We, (meaning my father and myself) shook the Congressman’s hand and pushed along…
When we got back home I showed the photo to my mother. She did not immediately recognize the Congressman – but she did get a good laugh.
It was a bit larger than the laugh she had when I told her we were going to bring her a rooster home from the barn sale we were at a couple weeks ago.
Serious. It was only $5. It would have spiced up her life…. and then, we could have donated it to Rick at Meadowbrook Orchard.
While I’m not sure how much my dad takes away from these experiences, it sure is fun to spend quality time together. I know he still likes the rummage sales.
PS: Here’s a link to the story about the rummage sale we went to in Kewaskum a couple years ago. Bob Motl recently reminded me of the outing – he said it was his favorite story about my dad.