Sunday, July 29, 2007

Oh the humanity

I took a little road trip home this weekend - home being my parents' house about 3 1/2 hours west of my present address.  I don't visit often, partially because they come down this way a lot (all 3 of the kids in my family live on this side of the state, as well as the new grandbaby), and also because I really hate to drive.  I can not stand to be in a car for more than about 30 minutes.  This was the second multi-hour trip I'd taken in the past 2 weeks, so it was not the most pleasant time.
Anyhoo, the purpose of this visit was to peruse this awesome second-hand store my mother frequents...oh, and to go to my cousin's wedding.  Mainly the store, though - I confess that I abhor weddings.  Does that make me a bad person?  I thoroughly enjoyed my own wedding, but I was also quite drunk the whole time...  In general, I find weddings boring and irritating - especially church weddings, with all their sexist traditions.  I scrubbed my own ceremony of as much of that crap as I could - not least of which the introduction as "Mr. & Mrs. His Name."  Um, hello?  I still have a name? Grrr...OK, angry feminist rant coming on, so I better drop it! :)
The highlight of the trip was definitely the secondhand store.  This place is awesome - they clean up at estate sales, so it's partially antiques, but also just a lot of really useful junk.  I made a beeline for the vintage fabric collection, amassing quite a pile to use during my 2 month Wardrobe Refashion pledge that starts in a few days.  I also got my own canner.  I'm not sure if I saved money buying it there (at some point this place was amazingly cheap, but then the owners figured out that people were willing to pay good money for old stuff), but at least it is getting a second life.  Now I can try the great jam experiment again! :)  And hopefully come out with actual jam!
As for the wedding, the most interesting part was the drive there.  My cousin got married in the same country church that my parents  used.  It's out in the middle of nowhere on a gravel road (that was freshly washed out during that morning's rains).  The entire drive was right through corn country, with the occasional soy bean field appearing.  As we drove, I started to notice a stench.  It wasn't the small hog farm we was the giant feedlot operations just a little ways up the road.  I was chatting with my mom about the problems small farmers face and the inhumanity of feedlots, and discovered a fact about my grandfather, a lifelong farmer, that I never knew before - he was allergic to corn.  Couldn't touch it or eat it.  I bet that made mealtime interesting, as well as all of his field duties!  Imagine how he would have lived today, where a large majority of our food is corn-based?  They think his allergy, which didn't develop until his mid-forties, was triggered by exposure to certain farm chemicals.  Another point for organic farming, huh?