Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Strange Gift

This is a dog from the fifties. 

Mom's sister-in-law, Aunt MaryBelle, was known for sending weird gifts. For Christmas in 1952, she sent this ceramic dachshund to my dad. Mom and I puzzled over it for days. We finally decided it had to be a planter. But why would Aunt MaryBelle send my dad a planter?  He didn't know an African violet from a philodendron. 

Mom couldn't just hide the dog in the closet, because Uncle Cliff and Aunt MaryBelle visited several times a year.  So she gamely stuck a couple houseplants in it and displayed it prominently on the dining-room window sill with her other plants. When Aunt MaryBelle finally saw it, she laughed. This dog was intended for my dad's dresser, she explained. He was supposed to hang his rings on its tail, put his watch around its neck, and use the baskets for his keys and wallet.

Mom removed the plants and Dad pretended to use it for awhile. Then it quietly found its way to the closet. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Quirky Cabin

Our cabin in Knox County, OH has a few quirks. This is because we weren't around much during its construction. Things happened. Such as the installation of two totally out-of-reach electrical outlets.

See what I mean?

The cabin was built by an Amish man and his crew. Although the Amish electrician had no electricity in his own house, he made sure we had plenty of outlets in the cabin.  There's even an outlet inside a kitchen cabinet. Now that I can understand. But this? Apparently he took it upon himself to install a couple of spare outlets while the scaffolding was up. When we asked about them, he said, "Well, I thought you'd need them for Christmas lights." Guess it didn't occur to him that the scaffold would be long gone by then. 

About a month ago, my sister and her husband were staying at the cabin. The builder's crew--all Amish, of course-- came back one day to power-wash the exterior. Margaret and Russ were sweeping fireplace ashes into the chute, when part of the lid disappeared down the chute. They called us. We suggested they ask Roman, the foreman, about how to retrieve it.

Russ approached one of the men.  "Is Roman here?"
"Well, can I get in touch with him?"

He turned away. Russ heard him mutter, as if this should have been obvious, "He don't have a cell phone."