Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Adventures with Mom

Wanda Moeller
The Daily Tribune Hibbing Minnesota
Monday, July 31st, 2006 09:13:35 AM

There are only a few things that my mother and I enjoy doing together. One is to go antiquing and the other is to attend farm household auctions.

We usually get along quite amicably during these events — until recently.

I learned at an early age that there’s an art to bidding at a farm auction. First, never raise your hand or nod you head until you’re willing to put your pocketbook on the line. Second, beware of the people standing on the outer edges of the auction — they’re vicious bidders. Third, beware of those shifty auctioneers who’ll get you to bid on any bargain that they think you need but really don’t. Finally, beware of your parent’s occasional nod — it can cost you a lot of money and an undesirable headache.

After scouring the newspaper on Friday morning, I noticed there was a household farm auction in Preston on Sunday morning that contained a lot of antiques. My dad declined the offer to go with me, while quickly offering my mother’s services. “She’s a bit more savvy when it comes to those things,” he said, noting she could always spot a good bargain. However, deep down I kind of knew my dad wouldn’t go. Farm auctions are what he calls “cackling events,” also know as too many women in one room gossiping about immaterial things.

Inside the auction house, I knew why my dad sent me with mother. It would give her an opportunity to chat with all her relatives in her hometown of Preston (which is almost half the town). While I’m busy trying to spot a few bargains, my mother spots one of her high school classmates. She quickly tells me she’s got to talk to him but to watch her cues.

After a few minutes, a mint condition antique egg basket is about to be auctioned. I spy my mother and she’s nodding her head yes. So I get in on the bidding. The bid keeps going higher and my mother is still nodding her head. Hmmm...she must really want that egg basket, I thought. So I kept on bidding. Finally the egg basket is sold to me for a mere $28. I thought to myself, “What in the world is my mother going to do with an antique egg basket?”

Later in the afternoon, my mother wanders back to the chair next to mine and we begin chatting. She asks, who paid that outrageous price for that egg basket.

I gave her this rather odd look and said, “What do you mean who bought that egg basket? I bought it because you kept nodding your head up and down. I thought you wanted it.”

“Now why would I want an egg basket? We don’t have chickens on the farm any more,” she informs me in her scolding tone.

As I rolled my eyes, I thought “what next?” But the good news is: I’m now the proud owner of a $28 antique egg basket that holds my recycled newspapers and magazines.