Roger That

I’m on vacation. Or to be more specific, my husband is on vacation. Back in January, when the weather was bitter, we had to try to determine what dates we wanted to list on his vacation request form. If only we had a crystal ball. But without any help to predict the future, it was more like close your eyes and throw a dart at the calendar.

We chose yesterday and today as two of the days he’s allotted annually. And in what’s become a tradition known as the vacation curse, I’ve been sick. At least I’m on the upswing, so it could be worse.

Yesterday, we went to the movies.

I had seen Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End back on May 25, the day it was released. I know there have been mixed reviews and not everyone is as enthralled with it as I am, but I loved it. Okay, I admit it. As long as Johnny Depp is up there mugging, I’d be happy. And as a writer who struggles to achieve accuracy, I confess there are many moments when the viewer must suspend their grasp on reality. Or even likelihood. But as thrill rides goes, it’s a blast. Literally. And Geoffrey Rush is back as Barbossa, bickering with Cap’n Jack Sparrow. I love Geoffrey almost as much as I love Johnny. Almost.

Enough gushing. The point is Ray hadn’t seen it yet and I was about to burst from keeping my mouth shut and not spoiling it for him. So we went and sat in air-conditioned splendor with popcorn in hand.

One last thing about Pirates…if you haven’t seen it yet, make sure you stick around until after the end credits. The movie isn’t REALLY over until after the last credit rolls. There is one more, short scene that made the romantic in me almost weep.

Then this morning on a whim, we decided to take advantage of a free Friday and headed west to Rogers, Ohio.

Back in the day when we used to take the horses to Horsemen’s Camp at Beaver Creek State Park for long weekends, we used to make regular visits to Rogers. However, it’s probably been a year or more since we went there last. If you have to ask what’s so grand about Rogers, Ohio, you obviously don’t live anywhere in the western Pennsylvania, northern West Virginia, eastern Ohio area. Or if you do, you’ve lived a sheltered life.

Rogers is home to one of the biggest flea markets around. They don’t call it a flea market any longer. It’s an open air market. It’s also a bit of a carnival side show. You can buy shampoo. You can buy fruits, vegetables, baked goods. You can buy live plants or fake plants. You can buy antiques, junk, puppies (yes, puppies…don’t ask), t-shirts, flags, underwear, tools, jewelry, furniture, more junk, and just about anything else you can imagine. You can purchase every kind of greasy fried food imaginable. The aroma alone is enough to clog your arteries. You can also get run over by crazed shoppers pushing wheeled carts. I know this from first hand experience.

Did I mention that it was almost ninety degrees with skyrocketing humidity?

If you’ve never been to Rogers, you must go. Bring comfortable shoes and lots of cash. Small bills will do. But there are bigger items, too. We priced an antique pocket watch for three fifty. As in hundred. No, we didn’t buy it.

What did we buy? I bought a bottle of Mountain Dew. It was cold, wet, and caffeine. I also bought a new Rada knife. There must have been four or five vendors selling them. Just pick one. And I bought a case for my cell phone so I can clip it to my belt. Ray bought a few dollars worth of tools.

Rogers Flea Market…er…Open Air Market does not survive on us.

But I’m glad others keep them solvent. It’s one of those rare things in life that hasn’t changed much in the last twenty (thirty?) years. And it’s nice to know that next year when we have a Friday off and don’t know what to do with it, Rogers will be there.

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