A friend mentioned recently to check out Rowley’s Weekend Flea Market this summer and advised to “get there as early as you can make it to check it out.” Nostalgic for the flea market ganders I took with my mom, I could not put the idea out of my head. Would I find gently used china to entertain friends with al fresco? Interesting nick nacks for the boys’ bedrooms rooms? A croquet set that is not plastic (fingers crossed?)
I left at dawn with an apple, a camera, a wallet and excitement. I hadn’t expected the morning drive to be memorable but the landscape soaked with the sun’s rays stole my breath away. A drive through Hamilton/Wenham is always a delight but at that hour filled with low-lying shadows and heavy orange light? Yes, you would gasp too.
There it was, Rowley’s Flea Market at Todd Farm. The hustle and bustle was picking up to full tilt as coffees were sipped and displays were arranged. It was a sea of antique vendors horizon wide. I was off to find a treasure and haggle a good price.
First up – a set of blue hued glasses at $1 piece. They caught the light, were sturdy for my heavy-handed dish washing and would look like jewels on the dinner table. I still can’t believe the price.
A framed document titled A Tribute to Massachusetts applauding our Puritan Founders for $3. Oh all right, because you asked, here is a snippet – “Across the stormy Atlantic came adventurers seeking power and gold and the preferment of kings. Across that same wild ocean, in a tiny cockle-shell of a boat, came men and women and children of a different sort, bound by a wholly different mission. What sought they thus? Bright jewels of the mine? The wealth of seas, spoils of war? – They sought a faith’s pure shrine.”
It was their Tiffany blue hue that caught my eye. The shades were not quite right but an update of linen drums would fix that. Their gold painted trim would add the needed formality for my relaxed yet refined living room. I bartered a price of $15 a piece and left the original shades with the vendor. I still have yet to locate the right shades but I am happy with my new pair of lamps. (one pictured below)
After a day spent in Narragansett last summer with my sister, niece and sons, I have been inspired to throw a croquet party. A drive past the area’s rock wall lined estates drummed up the image of formal ware and croquet playing in my mind. I am sure I was also influenced by the summer’s box hit Great Gatsby. The only problem was in looking to purchase today’s version of a new croquet set only introduced plastic and crass to the mix. I was excited to find this little ditty – authentic, time-worn and wooden. A croquet set for five, for fun for $15. Yes!
If able, rise with the sun, take a gander, haggle a price and enjoy a Sunday at Rowley’s Flea market. Bring the kids, they will love the memory and learn a bit about bartering.