This weekend my husband and I traveled to Brimfield Massachusetts to the huge Brimfield Antique Flea Market.
Brimfield is held three times a year, and it’s always a crazy event. For more than 50 years, the nuttiest folks from all over the globe collect junk and come together to see if they can fleece the public. It’s like the whole town becomes a junkyard. In fact, Brimfield is actually a group of 20 individual shows (each one big in its own right) all vying for a piece of the junkyard pie.
Oh sure, there’s some real antiques. But mostly it is the stuff that your husband has in the cellar that you have been begging him to throw away.
We woke to rain, but the sky was bright and the forecast called for clearing. So we dressed in warm clothes that we could peel off in layers, and comfortable shoes, and filled our travel mugs with coffee for the 75 mile drive. Naturally, we already had coffee at home, and so we required a pit stop before too long. And I was gratified that it was Hubby and not me that needed the stop (for a change).
After the nature break, I enjoyed the nature ride. We came upon four horses in a pasture. These guys were all wearing blankets. Granted it was a cool day, but a cool day in May. Those horses were wimps. I don’t see cows wearing sweaters. One horse was sporting a zebra-striped blanket. He may have thought he had a great disguise. But he didn’t fool me.
Once we got to Brimfield, we were encouraged in the most friendly way to park in everyone’s yards for $7.00. One guy with a really big yard had a fistful of dollars in his hand. We gave him a few more. His yard was more of a field, but it was dry enough, and we had taken the truck, just in case we found something great – and big.
So another pit stop at the port-a-potties. Those things are the worst part of any outdoor event, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t really, really grateful.
Finally we were ready to shop. There were thousands of vendors. You could buy broken dolls and buckled paintings. You could buy ancient scythes and dusty beer bottles. Clocks that stopped running in 1945 and old 45 records that had a definite curve to their bodies. Costume jewelry that even my great-aunt Lil would have thought too gaudy.
Oh, there was some nice stuff. I saw a beautiful opal and amethyst ring, But since I already have an opal and ruby ring, I didn’t succumb. My husband found an ugly old coca-cola cooler – which reminded him of his childhood so naturally he wanted to buy it and turn it into a shrine with his toy trains and Hardy Boys books. I pointed out nicely that this cooler was extremely rusty, weighs 77 pounds empty, and costs more than an opal and amethyst ring. I was subtle and congenial though. I said, “That’s friggin’ hideous!”
We had to search to find something relatively healthy to eat. All the vendors from every carnival and country fair you ever went to were there. This would have delighted us five years ago, but we don’t eat that shit anymore – we finally found a deli sandwich stand. Not exactly health food, but a considerable step up from deep-fried oreos.
The best part was the dogs. Brimfield is a dog-friendly event. There were almost as many dogs there as people. And they were all adorable (The dogs, not the people. The people are mostly your regular homely folk.) One vendor had a pug puppy asleep in an old urn. The guy let me wake the puppy so I could see her smile. She didn’t smile. But she gave me an excellent dirty look.
Lately, I want a dog quite badly. But so far, I have recovered my sanity just in time, before I commit to a chewing, pooping, barking little friend. Maybe when I fully retire. I’d like a curly-haired dog to lie at my feet when I write my next novel. Doesn’t that sound nice?
We ended up at the Ben and Jerry’s booth for frozen yogurt, which was okay, even though neither of us got what we ordered. We would have been better off switching cups, as that would have put us a little closer to what we had actually asked for, but then we would have had to forego all the enjoyable bitching.
And that was our day – $7.00 for parking and $16.00 for lunch and I think about $27.00 for two child-size incorrect frozen yogurts.
Oh, and one more expense. Hubby was very sleepy as we started home, and our coffee was gone, so he stopped at a convenience store/gas station for more. I never go into those places. Because mostly what is convenient is potato chips. Which is about my favorite thing in the world, after puppies.
Only Hubby didn’t come out with coffee. He decided on the beef jerky.
“You’re going to open that in the car?” I asked.
“Yeah, he answered already ripping the bag open. “It’s healthier than some of the other stuff in there. What’s the problem?”
“Because it smells like dog food! Don’t you think it smells exactly like dog food?”
“Not until right this minute.”
And it was a quiet ride home.
But a nice day overall.
And I woke up the next day to poison ivy on my foot. From parking in the field, I suppose.