Saturday, April 27, 2013


I admit it: I’m a flea market/antique store hound.

There’s something about prowling through a shop or wandering the aisles of a flea market that intrigues me. It’s the element of sweet surprise, I think; about the finding of something unexpected, something that absolutely speaks to me on a level I’m not quite willing to analyze – what is it, after all, that compels me to sort through the leftover objects of other lives, other times?

I have a self-imposed limit on those days: I buy things that cost no more than $5.00. – if it’s tagged at $6-10, I might try to haggle it down to $5, but that $5.00 is a firm limit!

Here are three of my favorite $5.00 items!

I found the baby head in a shop in Brunswick, Maine. She was looking straight at me from the end of a tall bookshelf; her eyes were open, penetrating, and I was so startled I jumped a foot off the floor, then burst out laughing.
I bought her on the spot.
$5.00 on the nose.
And what a nose! She’s just lovely when you look closely, even through all the cracks and imperfections. She now lives on a bookshelf in my living room (once a bibliophile, always a bibliophile!).
Some people are totally freaked out by her, others grin in delight...

The little camera came from the Rockland area. I picked it up to look at the detail work on the lens – it was heavier than I anticipated; turned out to be solid metal. The bellows don’t move, of course, but it’s intriguing. Imagine my surprise when I turned it around and found that it’s really a pencil sharpener – you insert the pencil through the bottom, and the sharpening blades are inside the box.

And then there’s this metal cage. I spied it about four years ago at a huge flea market in southern Maine – one of those places that has at least one hundred tables arranged in rows; it’s so enormous you can spend an entire afternoon walking the aisles!
I saw the cage near the front, but didn’t want to carry it around with me, so I took a chance – I left it there and went on.
It was still there when I finished, which I took as a positive sign from the Flea Goddess, so I handed over $4.50 and headed home with it.
Sometimes I wonder what I’ve done – whatever would I do with this thing? It sat outside on my back porch for a few weeks, and then I stuck the pot of ivy inside...
...the rest is history.


  1. I too find it difficult to resist antique shops and centres. Often I will enter the doors with the idea of a price limit in my mind, but rarely have I the strength of character to stick to it.

  2. I'm pretty good at holding that financial line, otherwise, Alan, I'd go broke! Thanks for commenting.