Erik Quinn: The Heart of a Family: Bulbs and Babes

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Bulbs and Babes

I just got back from my yearly holiday extravaganza with my zany neighbor Lisa. Erik is coming down with something, and I left him home with his dad for some TLC and male bonding. We drove to the next town to attend the holiday fair at the county fairgrounds. It's never a cheap trip, but they ply us with thimble-sized plastic cups of hot spiced wine and gourmet foods such as chunks of bread dipped in flavored vinegars, jalapeno jelly on crackers, Danish pastries, and pieces of chicken coated with samples of spicy barbecue sauces. To die for. The first booth we hit, of course, was the wine booth, where a very salt-of-the-earth wine expert gave us an informal lecture on his vineyard and wines which seemed to have a rather kitschy flying saucer theme and claimed to be "out of this world." The whole booth had a little bit of a creepy Heaven's Gate cult feel to it, but his shameless flirting, very specific compliments on our eyes and embarrassingly identical attire, and generous samples ensured that we each walked away with a decent bottle of merlot and brochures on his vineyard. I located my favorite vendors from last year and emptied my purse in each of them. We toured all of the booths in an hour and walked out with bulging sacks, the handles of which cut into our fingers and turned them white with lack of circulation. Still, we both agreed we could have gone another two hours. I also discovered a brochure about a ranch here in town that provides therapy for the disabled using horses, of all things. They claim that being with and riding their horses (using adaptive riding equipment on horses in a lighted, indoor arena) has physical, cognitive, emotional, and social benefits, and I previously heard rave reviews about it. It was suggested to me long ago by a therapist at Erik's school, but I was in a teensy bit of denial about ever needing it and threw away the information provided to me. Why I discovered this neat little stack of brochures in the chaos of twinkling lights, premature Santas, sizzling foods, and a massive crowd in that place is a complete mystery, but I took it as a sign and a nudge for me to find out more.

After loading the Jeep with our loot, we drove downtown in this little city I rarely visit anymore, parked, and walked down the main drag to explore quaint antique shops full of dusty treasures. I have a horribly rampant lamp fetish that has mushroomed out of control over the years. I don't know why. I adore beaded boudoir lamps, torchieres, buffet lamps, chandeliers, night lights, track lighting, sconces, lava lamps, and Tiffany lamps big and small. If it lights up, I want it. Most girls have a closet full of shoes or purses. Not me. I love lamps. We saw some fabulous items today, my favorites including a bejeweled pink chandelier, jumbo-sized, illuminated purple grapes suspended from a hook by a rickety chain, and a seemingly gravity-defying glass cocktail table skewered by a massive lamp supported by a stack of crystal orbs with a giant, satiny lamp shade. The cocktail table looked like something that would be quite comfortable in the living room at Graceland. Having a gigantic imagination, I always fantasize about the homes where these pieces formerly resided and wonder if the rest of the furnishings were as fabulous. I can touch a piece and visualize beehive hairdos, cat eye glasses, family gatherings, and domestic disputes. I suppose I'm a furniture psychic of sorts. An antique whisperer.

Our next stop was the sports bar at the end of the main drag. The nicer restaurants within walking distance were limited, and our stomachs would take us no further. This particular joint featured a giant television screen as big as one wall and too many smaller screens to count featuring every football game being played in every American hamlet. I know from radio spots advertising this particular establishment there is sometimes a mechanical bull that bikini-clad contestants ride in a delightful little contest by the name of "Bulls and Babes." However, on this quiet afternoon, the bull was nowhere to be found, and only a handful of affable football fans and silent cowboys enjoyed standard bar fare. We split a hamburger, fries, and a chicken salad with our respective reduced-calorie cocktails of choice as we discussed Lisa's recent sweet victory over her husband playing Golden Tee and our favorite vacation destinations. It was a relaxing end to a very fun, adult afternoon.

Time to extinguish my new swing-arm wall lamp with faux cracked leather shade and tend to a tired, hungry husband and a progressively feverish little boy.

4 Comments:

Blogger Lisa R said...

Sound like alot of fun...even the light cal cocktails...Rum and Diet coke???

Chris is dying for the leg lamp from A Christmas Story, I am opting for the night light it is way way cheaper.:)

1:07 PM  
Blogger Aspen said...

What a great way to spend your day! A girl’s day out full of antique shopping and wine sipping, just a brilliantly planned out day. ;-)

I am terribly sorry Erik isn't feeling well. We have recently gone through the cold in this household. Yuck! Thankfully we are on the mending side now.

Thanks for sharing your day with us.

LOVE YOU!

5:08 PM  
Blogger Kati said...

I am glad you had a nice day....so, you are crazy of lamps :))) Let me share a secret with you, I am crazy of towels and carpets...
I hope you are well, love, Kati

11:21 AM  
Blogger PASLAY'S FROM IDAHO said...

AHHHHH... TO GO SHOPPING, EAT GOOD FOOD AND HANG WITH A FUN GIRLFRIEND! GOOD FOR YOU NANCE!

I TRUST THAT MY SWEET NEPHEW IS FEELING BETTER AND GETTING READY TO EAT SOME GOOD GRUB AT HIS GRAMMA & BOPPA'S HOME THIS THANKSGIVING. :)

BIG HUGS ALL AROUND...

3:18 PM  

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