I must admit it…I found my Nirvana!!
Nirvana is described as Perfect Peace and Happiness!
And I FOUND IT!!!
At the St. Augustine Florida Flea Market!!!!
Before someone calls in the Doctors and Psychiatrists, let it be known, that I have a Junk Habit!!!! I Love the stuff!! I Love collecting it. I Love selling it! I Love looking it over! I Love making decisions about what I can do with the Junk, what I can make with the Junk, what I can decorate with the Junk! To me, Junk is a reservoir for creative juices! Anything is possible with Junk!!!
So, I went late to the Flea Market.
It is early spring in Florida and we have Zillions of Northerners here escaping this most horrible Winter. I just didn’t want to fight crowds on a perfect Saturday afternoon, so I went late!! By the time I filled up my car and drove the distance, it was about an hour before closing; no problem!!. I easily found a parking spot close to the entrance and I proceeded to enter the covered stalls and walkways and within moments, I was in a state of Panic!!!!!
First, how was I going to make it through all of these vendors (300+) and through all of the acres (10 acres) by 4:00??? I had no idea that this was a Junkers Paradise! It had been years since I had been to a Flea Market and even then, they were filled with sno-cones and tube socks and tools!!!!
Table after table, stall after stall, and walkway upon walkway filled with JUNK! And I mean the kind of stuff you have to go to 20 garage sales to find!! There were books and fresh flowers, pottery and jewelry, vintage Barbies and 1940s tricycles.
The smells of cotton candy and hot dogs wafted through the air giving the place a Circus atmosphere. The crowds had thinned so I picked up my walking speed. I came upon an elderly woman selling old costume jewelry. 50cents apiece, so I chose 10 pieces and she threw in 10 more!!! It was the end of the day and she didn’t want to pack the stuff up!!!! Moments like that just swell my heart!!!
Another over sized stall was loaded with furniture. Rocking chairs, chests of drawers, headboards, kitchen tables all covered in layers of dust and grime but stickers stating “$10 firm”, “$5 will neg” , “Make an offer” appeared on the pieces. I made a mental note to return next weekend with a measuring tape and an updated inventory of what I needed (nothing) and could use (everything).
I worked my way among vendors starting to load up their wares and began to scan the “promise of treasures found” more quickly. Since I was still in the first building of 11 and time was beginning to work against me, I decided to just concentrate on this building and return next week to tour the others. This was not going to be an easy shopping (Junking) trip!! And I had to move fast!!
Finally, the loud speaker announced that the Flea Market had closed and the Vendors were more interested in calling it a day. I relaxed as I turned around to retrace my steps and leisurely watched as the tables were covered and chicken wire doors were secured. The vendors shared stories of their long day and laughed at all they had seen. A few made quite a bit of money to hear them tell it. Others were disappointed by the lack of customers or too much dust or sunshine. The children who had come with their parents were tired and hungry and wanted to hurry to leave.
I carried my packages back to my car while planning my next trip to this magical wonderland of Junk Nirvana. This was so much more fun than the glittery shopping Mall where displays and chrome advertise overpriced clothes on mannequins that are too skinny. So much more interesting than going in and out of perfume-scented entryways up escalators to towels and bath décor that would break the bank. And certainly, much more entertaining than the parade of teenage Lotharios and princesses endlessly traversing the center of the Mall!
Yes, even while driving away and passing the now empty stalls and the all you can pick Strawberry fields, I knew I had found my Junking Center!!