Sometimes all you need are a good buddy and a dandelion plucker.
I ran into my Dad this week in one of the most unlikely places — an antique auction in the middle of Amish country. We live within an hour’s drive of my parents’ house and I see them with some regularity, but this encounter was an unexpected delight.
Dad was at the auction with my uncle, which was another surprise. These two fellows have history, and most would consider them unlikely buddies (it’s complicated), but they have a lot in common and on this day, it was snooping around the auction.
While my friend kept an eye on an auction ring that looked promising and my uncle went in search of treasures, I walked around with my Dad. It was fun to watch him taking in the scene. At 80+ years, Dad’s been around, but he had never been to an indoor auction. It was a lot to take in. The auctioneers sang out their banter, taking bids at the nod of a head or wriggle of a finger, but Dad paid them no mind. He had no plans to buy. He was just along for the ride.
Leaning against the wall in a stall outside the auction floor stood a long metal contraption with a price on its handle. Dad picked it up, examined it and exclaimed “Do you know what this is?” Of course, I had no clue — but he did.
“It’s a dandelion plucker!”
Beaming over his discovery, dad tugged the mechanism that was designed to extract a dandelion from a clump of grass, then pronounced it worthy. “It works,” he said, then put it back against the wall and we walked on.
My uncle reappeared and hauled Dad off to see something he’d found, and I went looking for my friend. Half an hour later, I saw Dad again and he waved the dandelion plucker at me.
“Makes a good cane,” he said with a grin.
I wasn’t surprised to learn he’d paid the price for the dandelion plucker. Dad loves gadgets, good deals, a special “find”. He likes nothing more than coming up with a new use for an item that’s been discarded. Goodwill is his favorite store and all his offspring have benefited from his bargain hunting.
On this day, I recognize again that it doesn’t take much to make Dad happy and I feel blessed to look at the world through his eyes. A handy tool, a good buddy and an unexpected adventure with someone you love –what could be better than that.