Flea Market

I get crazy notions sometimes.   Well, maybe I get crazy notions all the time. My Type A mind buzzes with ideas saner folks would shoot down.

For example, what 63 year old hops a plane to fly more than 1,000 miles to open her barn doors and start loading her old truck with furniture and boxes to take to a flea market?

What skinny osteoporosis gal would wrangle wooden file cabinets taller than herself into a pickup bed and wedge in tables between chairs, lights, clocks, glassware, and crystal boxes?

Who would creep down country roads in an overpacked GMC to rent a flea market booth in a dusty barn behind the Belle Clair Fairgrounds?  Who would set up said booth and man it from 6 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday just to try to sell some stuff to get a few bucks to donate to the kids of East St. Louis?

Uhhhhh….That would be me.  And I’m darn glad I did it.  The kids of the East St. Louis Christian Activity Center (www.cacesl.org ~ @cacesl) are $700 richer today.  Wow. -Who’d have thought my junk was worth so much?

You know, if I started listening to logic in my life,  I’d miss the adventure.  For example, you might say, “Why go to the trouble?”

Gosh – I had junk and my kids could use support – SOOOO – Why not?

Besides, I met some mighty good people in the dust of the sheep barn: like the cancer survivor who sold her artwork across the dirt aisle with her mission-minded daughter We talked God stuff and I bought her watch.

And then there was my kindly neighbor, the Match Box car man who’d give you the shirt off his back and loved to chat.  He bought my metal truck stating,  “It’s goin to a good cause.”

There were the trio of guys in the three booths with tools, old cameras, Christmas lights, and wooden sleds who helped me carry a file cabinet to a customer’s car.  I gave them a metal farm sign and told them to resell it. They insisted on donating ten dollars. “Give it to the kids,” the burly guy said.

There was the old man who explained the significance of my war bonds poster and then handed me a ten dollar bill without buying a thing.  There was the gentleman from Iran who bought a watch battery and told me I was a “good girl” to love the children so much.

There was the woman who bought a basket of gourds and told me to “keep the change.”  There was the young couple who fished out money to invest in a collectible. I gave them some freebies and their faces lit up at the notion of new things to decorate their apartment.Then there was the real estate broker from St. Louis who danced a bargain dance as we loaded a wood file cabinet into her car.  “I love it! I love it!,” she sang out.  “Now I can decorate my new home office!”

I never expected to make much money at the Flea Market.  This was a lark, really, an experiment, to see if my downsizing could actually help someone else.

It did.  Not only did my junk bless my kids, shoppers and fellow shopkeepers.  It blessed me.

I tore down my shop and began loading the pickup. I noticed an old guy, a veteran flea, sitting in the middle of a piled-high booth by a corner shed.  He slowly packed music posters, records, gas cans and dust mops, pausing to sit at intervals.

Flea Market Essentials.

I gave him two of my tables.  “Ah, honey,” he said. “Let me give you five bucks.”

“Oh, no,” I said, “Don’t worry about it.”

“It’s for the kids,” he said, fishing out a fiver from his baggy dockers.

“Yes,“ I thought as I thanked him.  It IS all for the kids, even my zany notions.

I know the money will bless the children of the East St. Louis Christian Activity Center and, truly, in the end…the flea market blessed me.



4 thoughts on “Flea Market

  1. The joy of downsizing…so many yesses! When I hit my 50’s I started looking around my home (a home we’ve lived in for almost 30 years) and seeing my “stuff” for what it can become…a burden. This is the season of living lighter (woo hoo!) and the more we pare down our belongings the more we are freeing ourselves to pick up stakes and go wherever the Lord carries us. One day soon there will be a flea market calling me to unload what is left. I am ready!


  2. Have high hopes of organizing and decluttering my craft area/loft. Wish I knew of some place to take my barely begun cross stitch pictures, my scrapbook paper that I will use, and some of my other forgotten projects…somewhere that they would be loved and finished.

    You write very well and I enjoyed getting a sense of your personality. You liked a photo I shared on Instagram today and so I stopped by to get to know you. We have several things in common – Type A and list maker. You are a list maker, right?

    I have found valuable resources through Focus on Family and had a dear friend who worked for them in the schools in El Paso. Such good work. I also have Biblegateway on speed dial!! I like reading Scripture in the different versions they provide.

    Anyway, thank you for stopping by.


    1. Awe! Thanks for stopping by! Yes! I am a list maker ;). I also love Focus on the Family and my kids grew up on Adventures in Odyssey ! I love Biblegateway and use it all the time. I’m the older Type A Lady trying to cope with crazy tendencies and get them focused on Jesus! By the way, I love your name and will be checking out your instagram :).


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