Hey, Babe What's YOUR Sign?

[Previous Rural Farmgirl, April 2009 – May 2010]
Recently my friend Sarah Sumerlin and I were driving down the back roads between Washington and Oregon snapping pictures. Sarah’s a brilliant photographer and I love to take pictures to remind myself of stories I want to share. It was a perfect time of the day, and we were finding all kinds of things that “spoke” to us. Then out of nowhere, there it was…a sign!

Someone had made a sign that to me read “Free house for sale.” Now, I know that I am not the sharpest tool in the shed, and most days I don’t even care. But before I could even stop myself, I had the car in reverse so that I could read the sign again. Convinced that my dyslexia was in full swing, I turned to Sarah and said, “Does that say what I think it says?” In sheer disbelief she shook her head and simply asked the question; WHAT?
Any passers-by on the road that day, after seeing the sign for themselves, would not have questioned why we were sitting in the middle of the road dissecting this sign. More curious than ever, I decided to go check out this “free house for sale.” Driving down the lane we were met by one sign after another.
As we came to the end of the road we started to think that perhaps we were in some bad movie with the Hatfield’s’ and McCoy’s, as there seemed to be no actual “county dump” just private acreage, so we decided to turn and leave as fast as we could.
As we headed for Sarah’s home, we contemplated those signs and then just signs in general. We began to think that perhaps life would be so much easier if we as people had signs. I have met some people and wished they had a visual sign that said, “Your sign and my sign are not compatible; please step away from my sign.” Sweet, right? Can you imagine the heartache and the headaches that having those signs would save us?
Of course we would have to have some kind of standardized test like we take at the DMV, to make sure that the signs we were carrying around were accurate descriptions and universal, but hey… details. I think that I am a pretty good judge of people, although my “sign detector” has been a bit off lately. Or maybe it’s not off so much as I have just ignored it for whatever reason. So I would also like to have some kind of device that shocks me when I sense that my sign and another sign shouldn’t be within 500 miles of one another, yet I choose to ignore the warnings. I don’t want just a little “ouch!” but a knock-me-on-my-butt-to-make-sure-I-get-the-message kind of thing, with flashing lights and a big foghorn noise.
I can see it now, me strolling down the roads of life, passing people with their signs highly visible, them reading my sign and me reading theirs. “Oh look,” I’ll say to myself, “That one says she’s the sweetest person I will ever meet, and that one loves to mother, and that one is the best of friends…” These are all signs that I would gravitate toward, or when I start to head towards one of those “other” signs, I’ll feel a shock like no other that will stop me dead in my tracks and blast out “warning” run as fast as you can. Oh, the heart-ache it could save.
Well, no matter if they are road signs or people signs, signs intrigue me. I love them. I especially love when they provoke great conversations, laughter and insight.
So what’s your sign?

  1. I have always loved funny signs & I think this one of yours is about the best ever! One that I loved growing up here by the ocean, was in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, CA. For the longest time it said "Surfboard Upholstery shop" – Well, it really was two shops a surfboard shop and an upholstery shop but the sign was unclear and amusing…So, I always looked out at the surf for chintz padded boards hanging ten! Another sign I loved in Valley Center, Ca says "Fresh Eggs Shoe Repair". Gosh, I didn’t know eggs had feet! let alone needed their shoes repaired…

  2. Gary says:

    Funny Bloggie Rene’…
    On the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee, there is a Mennonite Community, and they sell some of their farm products. As you drive down the road, you will see handmade signs with the names of items on them, like: "Honey" "Muffins and Bread" "Saddles and Belts" and various crops.
    I had a girlfriend, Lisa, who loved to go there to shop, and I remember standing with her in a Lady’s kitchen, while our goods were being wrapped, and her daughters, with 18th Century dresses and bonnets, were sitting around a table, making a quilt.
    I noticed one of the young girls poke another and whisper something and they giggled. The Mom stopped and said: "There’ll be none of that. I apologize for my daughter making fun of your dungarees young Lady." Lisa was stunned when she realized that these girls thought she looked odd.
    Ahhh… *Signs* of the times ‘eh…
    GodSpeed to Y’all…!
    in Tampa

  3. Catherine says:

    There were a couple of signs in our "neighborhood" that I really wish I had snapped a photo of. One said "turn hear". And the other, a sign for the church where my husband was associate pastor for a time…..EVE Worship 6 pm. I think that may have been part of the issues with the church 😉 LOL!
    Your posts are always a day brightener, thank you!
    Catherine…..who really doesn’t wish that some people came equipped with their own sign…it would make life so much simpler! 🙂

    Catherine~ Your "eve worship" cracks me up~

  4. Lori Jeske says:

    Every year, we have a "discussion" on where signs should be place. I have a completely different idea of where signs should be place but he’s gracious enough to drive around and pound stakes and staple signs to fence posts, so I have to keep a tight lip!! The sign that drew the most comments and chuckles from fellow gardeners far and wide, was the "Dirt Cheap Plant Sale".

  5. Michele says:

    There is the cutest sign on the side of the road in Oregon, Ohio. Has a chicken painted on it and says "Cackleberries for sale" Eggs, get it?
    It is so cute I am going to embroider it on a tea towel.

  6. Shirley says:

    What memories this brings back! I grew up in East Texas and every Sunday we took the ‘long’ 30 minute ride to Grandma’s house for dinner. There was a building on a corner where we turned and I thought for about 12 years that it said ‘wedding shop’. I couldn’t understand why someone would want to get married in such a old, dirty looking place.
    Finally one day the light bulb came on and I realized it actually read…’welding shop’! I still cannot pass that corner without smiling.

  7. jessica says:

    In Washington state we came across a roadside stand that had a sign with an eagle on it, he didn’t look so good, underneath it said Ill Eagle Fireworks….Illegal fireworks, get it? I’m still kicking myself for not taking a picture!

  8. Eva says:

    I spent part of my childhood in Arkansas and one of the back road turns to get to my home was right across from a cemetary. The unusual part of this "intersection" was that the road right next to the cemetary just ended…It, of course, had a sign stating "Dead End" located not ten feet away from the nearest headstone.

    hahah.. now that is County planning 🙂

  9. Tammie says:

    I love not only signs, but sayings as well.
    My favorite sign that I saw on a Church said "I wish I was half the man my dog thinks I am."
    My favorite saying, (sorry, I have no idea who wrote it) says:
    "I know you think you understand what you thought I said, but I’m not so sure that what you heard is what I meant."

  10. Dale says:

    A number of years ago a real estate sign showed for sale "2 bdrm, 1 bath orange tree"! I’ve got a picture of it somewhere too! Orange trees down here in Florida don’t get real tall, so that’s gotta be a mighty small home!

  11. KerrLynne30 says:

    I took my first personal loans when I was 20 and that helped me very much. However, I need the commercial loan as well.

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