I’ve been enchanted by seeing my name “in the paper” since I was 13 years old. (That’s when my first letter to the editor was published in the Birmingham News.) I never dreamed I’d spend more than a decade living in the Midwest, or that I could become a freelance restaurant columnist for a Central Illinois newspaper, despite my shellfish allergy.
Another local publication, The Hub, needed a freelancer to write about things to do in Bloomington-Normal, and one of my favorite 2004 articles featured Third Sunday Market. As a regular visitor to the large, seasonal antique show, I even knew how to buy an “early bird pass” for special access. Here’s an excerpt:
Flea markets scare me. Just saying this makes me think of rickety tables filled with merchandise that wouldn’t make it to your local garage sale… I am a champion among skeptics. When someone told me about Third Sunday Market several years ago, I wondered if it would be worth the $5 admission. But this market is far from the typical flea…
One of the things that fascinates me is the sparkling condition of many of the items. Some have never been used, and it’s not unusual to find something in its original packaging. As a consumer, I think this is fantastic. But I overheard a conversation last month that gave me something else to consider.
“Look at this. Still in the box.”
“I know. It makes me want to go home and use every single thing I have.”
It’s surprisingly easy to save something special for an occasion or event that never comes. I’ve learned to use my rose-colored glasses from Third Sunday Market at dinner time, to risk a chip or a crack…
I carried those goblets to Georgia, where they sometimes hold a lovely pink lemonade or a bit of iced tea.
If I wrote this article today, I’d invite my readers to exercise their voices and liberate their talents. I’d tell a broader story, because I’ve learned to check my soul, not just my cabinet, for gifts that need to be brought into the light.