November 7th, 2004

abstract butterfly

whisper pumps

Today I drove 45 minutes through gorgeous cedar and woodland and farm field to Bonham. Bonham's "Second Mondays Kiwanis Trade Days" was on. In Texas, many small towns have a designated weekend in which massive flea markets are held. The most prominent first Monday, in the small town of Canton, brings in thousands upon thousands of people each month--largest in the world. But the Bonham is smaller, more rurual, more in the spirit of Monday trades days than the larger markets.

When I first got to Canton, I stopped off at an estate sale at an old wood frame two story house. The man who died had obviously been a schoolteacher who loved tennis, photography, and long-playing records issued in the 1960s. The man running the sale said to someone as I passed by "No, he lived in Bonham all his life". He had a lot of novels I might have enjoyed, but I settled on merely a fifty cent painting in a cheap frame, a red barn simply painted in a field. I am still not quite sure why I bought it, but I thought I could sell it on eBay, and it was like the Christmas tree in the Charlie Brown cartoon, in need of love.

The market featured a few hundred sellers, and the emphasis was on genuine, all American flea market stuff, rather than the "cutesy" Texana that can drive prices up and interest down. I came upon the seven aquarium air pumps I had noticed during a prior month there. They were priced at a series of various prices amounting to nineteen dollars. I asked the fellow if he could "work with me" if I took the whole lot. He worked with me, and lowered the price to ten dollars. I gave him a crisp ten, and felt seven pumps richer.

I drove in the countryside down highway 78, nearly running out of gas before pulling into Farmersville. I stopped at the Princeton Flea Market, where the woman wanted twenty dollars for the used 10 gallon aquarium and hood, more than I wanted to pay. Then I drove to a very late lunch at Sonny Bryan's barbecue, followed by a walk at McKinney Town Lake Park. I saw my first cormorant of the season in a tree
above the lake.

Then I headed home, where I helped my wife plant violas for the autumn. Here they will last nearly all winter, and sometimes the entire winter. They looked great, mixed in with tons of pansies and with the mint marigold that is in full bloom now.

I went to the grocery store to pick up stroganoff seasoning, and then came home.