It’s early morning on a sunny, warm Sunday in April, and I am pulling out of my driveway with cash in hand before the rest of my family have even opened their eyes. I have a purpose. I need a rocking chair for my porch. I have a destination. Todd Farm, a flea market, located in Rowley, MA. ( www.toddfarm.com ) It has been a New England fixture for 37 years. I have been going there for the past 15 years. I am looking forward to strolling up and down the aisles created in a field in search of my rocking chair. I also look forward to talking with the vendors about the histories of the objects they are selling and possibly claiming a “find”. To me, this is an enjoyable shopping experience.
Flea markets are not for everyone. Many would prefer a clean store with brand name items displayed in an orderly fashion with price tags showing the cost. Don’t get me wrong, I shop there too. But for those of us that enjoy the search for that “perfect object”, haggling over price, getting some dust on our shoes and even walking away from the item is worth a few hours spent outside at a flea market, yard sale or antique store. I have great stories from my visits to The Brimfield Antique and Flea Market (www.Brimfield.com ), Salt Marsh Antiques (www.saltmarshantiques.com ) and a great store in Newburyport called Flukes, Finds and Friends located at 70 State Street. You can also shop online at eBay, Craig’s list or freecycle.com in the comfort of your own home!
For me, the pleasure of searching for the item is just as rewarding as actually finding and purchasing it. I am learning that with most things in my life, it is really the process work that provides me with that satisfying feeling in the end. As with most purchases, you should do your due diligence in researching the value of the object compared to the amount you are willing to pay for the condition it is in. I have bought many items that were “damaged”, but the value I saw in them from an emotional standpoint weighed in their favor. I also know that I have the resources available to have repairs made to an item. Whether those repairs are made by my husband, me or a professional, restoring an item to its beauty can be very satisfying. To me, there is something special about having something withstand many years of use and shared by many people. Maybe that is why I live in a 110 year old house and drive a 40 year old car!
I am not sure if I purchased my rocking chair that day at Todd Farm. I do know that over the course of many years I have purchased at least 6 old rocking chairs that I have lovingly painted or my husband has restored. I have also found beautiful depression glass items that are worthy of being collectibles; however, to me they are functional objects of beauty that I love to use when we are entertaining. Along with furniture; clothing, artwork, pottery, and even toys are some of the many items I have found at flea markets, antique stores, yard sales and even along the roadside on trash pick up days. This is the perfect time of year to get out there and find your special recycled objects with the warm weather. Please feel free to contact me if you find that wonderful piece that you have been looking for, but it needs some refreshing. I have valuable resources for upholstering, restoration/repair and creating painted furnishings. www.lmkinteriorsltd.com