Thursday, March 17, 2011

Green Reality

My post today was going to be a few photos of green glazed pottery with no words just a Happy St. Patrick's Day wish for you. Sometimes, though, I start typing and the words flow freely. We finally made it to the local flea market which we'd packed up for a couple of weeks ago. We couldn't go then because the weather turned cold and attendance would have been low; then I fell ill; then Gary's back was bad. We finally made it there yesterday.

Sales started out slow since many folks get up late in these parts. I can't understand why, but they do. Even in summer we get up early and get our chores done before the sweltering heat overcomes all of our ambitions for the day. But the flea market vendors along with us were there before the light dawned on their booths.

Gary sold a few license plates from his collection. He's been collecting them for eons it seems. I sold a few garden books, I know them by heart after all these years. I brought a few pieces of pottery to sell, one of which sold, a large free form bowl, with slip applications some being native Florida clay. I hadn't signed the piece and borrowed a permanent marker to sign the bottom for the woman who purchased it.

Our booth neighbors were a gentleman selling shelled pecans for $7 a pound from his 32 acre farm in North Carolina. He was here in Florida for the winter living with his children. He makes the rounds to flea markets six days a week. Really he was none too gentlemanly partly based on the repeated telling of bawdy off color jokes, partly based on his snide remarks about each customer after they left his booth, but mostly about his saying he took back two packages of nuts because they were rotten and telling us he'd just sell them to the next person.

The other booth neighbors we had were a jewel of a full time RVer fisherman couple selling rods, reels, and tackle they towed in a custom wells cargo trailer. They did a hell of a business and we learned a whole lot about local fishing from them. I was even invited to go fishing in his boat in April to learn the ropes of Florida fishing.

The best part of the whole day for me was when the fisherman told me of fishing sixty miles out in the gulf with a friend one day and hundreds of swallows landed on their boat. The swallows were on the deck, on the windshield, and lined up on their fishing rods to rest during migration. He said if the birds were in his way he could gently pick them up cupped in his hand and move them to another spot to rest. I won't ever forget how he spoke with wonder about those barn swallows. His realizing the swallows were too tired to fear being handled by a fisherman while they rested their weary wings on the only land for miles in that great expanse of gulf water.

We didn't stray 20 feet from our flea market space yesterday, but we met a cross section of people from mainstream America. We met a mother and daughter selling items from their home and garage for a few dollars; an almost 400 pound veteran who rode in on an expensive Harley panhandling with a bucket up and down the aisles for spare change; folks reselling tomatoes they got from a local truck farm. We met so many folks selling odds and ends; selling what they can to make ends meet; green reality.


  1. Oh my, what a cross section you met. The rotten nut creep and the Harley begger made my skin crawl but the fisherman and the rest restore one's faith in humanity.
    Neat post.

  2. Just think you could have been sitting in a cubicle somewhere with bad lighting and a computer screen in front of you! Our politicians should get out and work at a flea market every once in a while and see who the voters really are. They aren't just the people paying $1000 a plate for a fund raising dinner. I love meeting people at yard sales and flea markets, so colorful and you don't easily forget them.

  3. Hi Patti, thanks, yes colorful group they all were, good way to meet the locals too.

    Hi Tracey, thanks, yes I worked too many days in cubicles with bad lighting and office politics, just the other day on the news it said some jobs were better off not having but staying unemployed cause it was bad for health to work in crappy environments for crappy bosses, boy that's the truth. I bet some polititians were there, offering 50 cents for something folks wanted one dollar for - ha.

  4. talk about meeting all kinds that would be the place to meet them.
    I need to practice for our Yard sale!

  5. Hi Meredith, thanks, yes you meet all kinds. When you have your sale stay firm on your prices or price items higher than you want to sell and then reduce to what you want and toughen up your skin ahead of time. Speaking from my experience, usually the richer they are the less they want to pay. I sold one hardback book to a woman for $1 and she asked if I'd throw in two magazines for free which I did, then she wanted another hardback book for 50 cents I said I'd just as soon stick with the dollar saying I didn't have change, she said I have change, I didn't say a word, she left in her Mercedes without buying the second book which was going to be for her daughter.

  6. All those colorful people would make great characters in a novel.

  7. I think you've got a term that so says what's going on now: Green reality. Wow! What perfect words! Since my hub's a veteran, that 400 lb beggar on a Harley frosted me! But the pecan vendor was flat wicked. The reason the pecans were rotten is because the vendor soaked them prior to shelling to increase their weight. This is an old, old trick greatly frowned upon. If you encounter this dude again, walk away. I'm a bit perplexed as to why folks get up so late; it's so counter-lifestyle as one has to get things done before the heat hits. I'd be interested in a follow-up if you get any info from others as to why. But, the guy on the boat and the swallows - oh, but a wonderful story that hearts the day! Really enjoyed this post, Linda. And happy your sold some items.

  8. You really did meet a cross section of people. It sounds like an overall good day. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  9. That sounds like a great adventure. You never know what kind of people you'll meet or imagine the stories that they'll tell. I like the green pottery!

  10. What an interesting assortment of people. The story of the fisherman and the swallows is so beautiful.

  11. really like the shades of green in those pieces in this post. And quinoa--- first ate it in Bolivia, my father's homeland. It's wonderful in soup, too. Even at a quinoa cookie while there.... :)

  12. Hi Paula, thanks, they sure would make great characters, perhaps one of these days I'll write a novel.

    Hi Kittie, thanks, my Gary is a veteran too and apparently Gary told me yesterday that this guy had a sign saying homeless veteran and several folks there know he isn't homeless. the guy with the nuts had the whole back of his van full of the nuts already shelled in plastic containers, they probably have been baking in the sun and sweating in the bags for months. Yes, the swallows, oh the swallows.

    Hi Mary, thanks, yes it was a good day, every person has a story it seems.

    Hi Mary, thanks, yes I never know and am thankful each time someone tells me a little bit about themselves.

    Hi Teresa, thanks, I truly loved learning about the swallows. I googled to see and apparently other fishermen have had the same experience. A tough journey for the birds for sure.

    Hi Amy, thanks, apparently quinoa is a native plant from the Andes, so thank you to your ancestors for this nutritious plant.

  13. Hi Linda, we start selling at the local Farmers Market in two weeks.. two days a week till December. I should be bale to tell some stories after that. W are selling pots and also beads and my porcelain baskets.
    Hope all is sunny and fun in Fl. Joan T

  14. Hi Joan, thanks, we're going to go back to the market, we figure some money is better than no money at all, it all helps pay the bills, good luck with your sales.


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