This past weekend
I was in Taos, my other favorite town. Part of the reason was
that I was doing some work on a little condo my wife and I own,
not far from the Ski Valley. The real reason was because Linda
was having a garage sale. Having gone through this sort of thing
before, I did not want to be around for it.
Some years ago Linda
decided to sell a bunch of unwanted stuff, which had accumulated
over the years, at the Santa Fe Flea Market. For me, there is
little difference between selling things at a flea market or
a garage sale. In either case I end up doing the dirty work,
and if there is money to be made, I don't get any of it.
In the old days,
the flea market, near the Santa Fe Opera on the highway north
of town, was a place where people sold their unwanted stuff
right out of their vehicles. Today the flea market is a big
commercial operation where individuals and dealers from allover
the country come to buy unusual things. When you visit Santa
Fe, this is a good place to spend a pleasant afternoon or morning.
Back when Linda and
I went there as sellers, I ended up having to load an old trailer
with stuff I gladly would have given away to anyone who would
take it. Come to think of it, I would have paid someone to haul
it away. But Linda got excited, and her exuberance got my mother
caught up in the act, too. So off we went, me pulling the trailer
with my SUV, and my wife and mother following in our other car,
eager to sell some junk.
The flea market operator
charged us a $10 "merchant fee" and assigned us a
parking spot. Linda had not wanted to pull the trailer, but
once we got there she agreed to let me leave in the car and
then come back at a certain time to haul the trailer back.
When I returned at
the appointed hour, I was delighted to find the trailer empty.
"It seems you did real well," I said to my wife and
mother. "How much money did you make?" After a certain
silence, Linda said they had made more than 200 dollars. "Great!"
I said. "Well, let's go home. I'll pull the trailer, and
you can follow me back. Sheepishly they said, "OK."
A glance in the SUV's
rearview mirror showed several pots in the back. I got out and
opened the side door for a closer look. Then I walked to the
car and asked Linda where they had come from. "Well,"
she answered, "we bought them with the money we made from
selling our stuff!" The end result was that the pots cost
all the proceeds from the sale, plus the $10 gate fee.
The night before
I left for Taos last weekend, I overheard my wife asking a neighbor
to join her in the garage sale. Leaving our driveway the next
morning, I'm sure I spotted one of the pots from the flea-market
episode in Linda's pile of things to sell. Looking across to
our neighbor's yard, I saw a gallon of white paint in his collection.
"Well, if they don't get any customers," I thought
with a smile as I drove up the road, "maybe we can trade
that pot for that gallon of paint. One can always use white
Have a great day.