This Never Happens

August 10, 2010

Saturday’s are fun. That’s just the facts. On a Saturday, nearly every where you go, the majority of the U.S. population acquires a touch of lightheartedness. There is just a hint–the faintest whiff– of holiday spirit in the air. You know: the bounce-in-your-step/song-in-the-air/hope-in-your-heart usual mumbo jumbo…which quickly deteriorates into hate and rage when you come with in range of a department store. Yeah, all of that, prior to shopping. There seems to be the most miniscule smidge of that in the air on Saturdays. Don’t you notice it? I’ve wondered why that is, and whether or not I’ve simply imagined it. I don’t think I’ve made it up. I think its the real deal. And I think its because folks are just far enough removed from both Friday and Monday to let their hair down and put weekly worries on the back burner.

All this to say, Saturday’s are like a miniature holiday squeezed into each week. They are fun. They are not to be abused or taken for granted. Thus saith Mrs. Ward.

This most recent mini-holiday, i began it as I do every saturday: at the bakery. I arrived around 4:45 AM to help with production for the Farmer’s Market. If you live in or near Des Moines, I must only assume you have enjoyed the Market down on Court Avenue. However, if you’ve never been. Go now. You won’t regret it. Who could regret a block party (covering the spans of several blocks) at 7 AM filled with food, produce, flowers, music, and craft vendors? It is truly something that shouldn’t be missed.  That being said, I didn’t actually go to the Farmer’s Market. No, I just helped prepare for it.

Any way, after the market, I rushed home and showered up. You see, I had plans. Great plans. My dear friend, Elizabeth, had invited me to a once in a life time experience: The Antiques Roadshow!

The Roadshow was in Des Moines, and she had a ticket with my name on it. Elizabeth picked me up and we trooped downtown to the venue. We quickly found parking (that never happens!), and made our way to join the long line of those waiting to have their items appraised. Our wait was not as long as some because Elizabeth had special tickets that dropped us in the fast moving line (again, that never happens!)!  After about an hour, we were shuffled through a sorting area, and scootched into a line known as the “textile” line. And as luck would have it again, I think it had to be the shortest line in the joint…not like the “painting and prints” line. That line was atrocious.  Reports were that the wait for that line was over 1 1/2 hours—whew!

We got through our line in roughly 7 minutes, whereupon, we found ourselves facing the appraiser!

Here is Elizabeth’s lovely piece:

It was a French silk brocade vest from around the 1850’s which her 4 times great-grandmother wore in Switzerland when she would go to court. Elizabeth also brought along her families genealogy book complete with a story of her great (4x) grandmother and the vest!

The appraiser was very informative and kind. He complemented the beautiful wear on the vest and that it also had a story. We discovered the price to be in the range of $200 to $300.

What a fun experience! I loved seeing how the roadshow was set up and how efficiently they functioned. For instance: did you know the antique appraisers on the  Roadshow do not get paid for participating? No, in fact, they even have to pay their ticket to get to the shows various locations. They are simply collectors/admirers, or children of collectors/admirers or museum curators who love antiques and want to share their knowledge. Crazy!

I am sorry to say that once we had the piece appraised, we were both so famished (ahem, read: I was so famished) that we left in search of a very late lunch. You see, I had been so excited about the Antique’s Roadshow, that other than a piece of toast at the bakery, I had not yet eaten on this day!

Both of us being in the mood for ethnic fair, we traipsed over the downtown bridge to the east village to Ban Thai, where they have the best panang curry that I have ever experienced. To my heartache and dismay, they were not open, and nor would they be for 3 (three). More. Hours. Bah!  I peeked mournfully through their windows before moping my way back to the car, trying to delay giving Elizabeth the bad news. Just when i had reached the car, a man came running out of the restaurant, waving to get my attention. When he caught up with me, before he could say anything, I sputtered out something like, “I saw you are closed until 5, but you have the best panang curry in all of Des Moines!”

It was then that he asked the sweetest question I had heard since Aaron asked me to marry him. “Do you want to eat here, we will open a table for you?”

Cue a light beam from the heavens and the angelic choir!  Once more, I would like to say, this never happens!

“Yes! Yes! Yes, we want to eat here,” I all but screamed, jumping up and down in excitement, “Elizabeth, park the car! It’s time to EAT!”

I worked to calm myself down to a more dignified state as we made our way up to the entrance.  The lights were off, and all tables had their chairs sitting atop them, but he pulled the chairs down off of a table by the front window and invited us to sit down.

We then proceeded to have the kind of meal one can only have when overwhelmed by generosity while being utterly famished. Delightful.

We, of course, both ordered the panang curry.

Here you can see our spread. A green papaya salad, Elizabeth’s tofu and veggie panang curry, and my catfish and eggplant panang curry.

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2 Responses to “This Never Happens”

  1. Myetta said

    I loved this story. Isn’t it amazing that God gives us these little things in life so we know He cares for us??

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