Twenty-five years ago I was newly divorced, a single mom of three, and holiday weekends had a tendency to drag on. Add to that I had just broken up with my boyfriend and a little diversion was in order. My dad, never real keen when it came to understanding relationships, thought an hour ride in his classic car to a flea market–with three kids in the back seat, mind you–would cheer me up. (And you wonder why he was married three times?!) We got lost. The kids had to use the bathroom. It was hot–circa 1950-something classic cars don’t have air-conditioning. I don’t really remember much about the day other than that drive. But something must have stuck because I still return at least once a year to that same flea market.
We people watch. Eat carnival food. Buy baked goods from the Amish. And hubby always has to chuck puppies under their chin, and look at me with his own puppy dog eyes, as if we can take home every puppy for sale. (Or bunny or kitten or guinea pig or … ) Sometimes Memorial Day in Michigan is cold and rainy, so we have to wait until July 4 or Labor Day. But this weekend the weather was about as postcard perfect as it comes: 80 degrees, blue sky, and just a hint of a breeze.
It was also crowded. We parked half a mile away and waited in line to get in. The main aisles were packed–but there’s a buzz when it’s busy, an energy that is absent on dreary weather flea market holidays.
This year I was on a mission. The woven Amish rugs I’d purchased ten years ago (and machine washed) were unraveling so badly I demoted them to the basement. For the past few years, the color selection has been just ‘meh’. Browns and tans. But this year I saw the bright jewel tones from two stalls away–BINGO! I was in business.
We also found a little treasure I’ve never tasted: cider slushies. Just cider in a slushie machine, no sugar or additives. Autumn meets summer. The consistency was a little more crystal-y than, say, a 7-11 Slurpee, but I think that might have had to do with the sugar content? Whatever the case, we’ll stop again for one of those goodies.
So a couple miles of walking, two hand-woven rugs, a package of molasses cookies later, it was a wrap–a perfect day trip with my hubby, who, by the way, is that boyfriend I once broke up with so many, many years ago.