First Monday Trade Days

As my week in Texas is drawing to a close, my friend Kim and I are heading just up the road to First Monday Trade Days in Canton. I realize it's not Monday and it's not the first of anything, but the Trade Days are held the weekend before the first Monday of every month and next Monday is February 1st, thus today begins First Monday. Actually tomorrow is the official beginning of First Monday, but locals know you can go on Thursday too.

Enough jibber jabber!

What in the world is First Monday Trade Days? It's a smorgasborg of useful stuff such as antique milk bottles, sequined headbands, bejeweled planters, weight loss formulas, miniature fountains suitable for your living room, dolcimer recordings, handpainted wooden doll furniture, stained glass windows, frou frou hair bows, bulletin boards for your college sorority girl, bird feeders, and tutus. Everyone needs a tutu, after all.

While at First Monday (as we frequent shoppers call it) you can meander through hundreds of vendors' make-shift shops, covering over 100 acres. While you carefully examine each antique plate and vintage tablecloth you'll want to sip on some steaming gourmet coffee or guzzle down a bottle of Dublin Dr. Pepper made with pure cane sugar. Then for lunch you can have just about anything you want on a stick or stuffed with bacon.

People pull or push little carts made just for this sort of rough terrain shopping as they travel from one vendor awning to another, sticking to the pavillions in inclement weather (as we're supposed to have today) or venturing into the wooded areas when you just need a break from the crowded buildings. Women talk to their shopping buds on walkie talkies, spying out great deals for each other and keeping an eye out for that perfect centerpiece for their pal's dining room table. Husbands either defect to the antique tool vendors, the collection of Buddy Holly memorabilia, or the turkey leg stand. Then, after they've met up with their wives again, they tag along looking at all the things the wife now needs to make up her mind about and wants her husband's "opinion" on.

And so, Kim and I will join the masses of mostly women, dressed in their cute denim jackets, their most stylish but still practical walking shoes, and their fanny packs, to look for more stuff that we just gotta have. Actually Kim and I will spend very little as we have a very little budget, but still we'll oogle and oggle over the latest creations made with buttons, sequins, vintage green paint, feathers, and broken glass.

Are you waiting for the spiritual content of this post? Sorry, nothing here. Except to say you might want to pray for me to stay within my ridiculously small budget. Hard thing to do with all those blue medicine bottles, fancy oil and vinegar sets, and patchworked t-shirts around!