It’s funny how a little taste of something can conjure up a memory. I just opened a canister of delicious kettle corn that I bought nine days ago, and the rich caramel smell of the sweet and salty mix forced me to grab a handful. While not as crunchy or hot as it was last Saturday, the corn was still mighty tasty. I scooped up another handful and remembered the day one of my daughters, my sister and her daughter, and I headed for the mountains of North Carolina to check out the Vintage Market Days in Fletcher, a town outside of Asheville.
At the show, we oohed and aahed at the variety of merchandise available. From jewelry and clothing to furniture and repurposed barn doors, creativity abounded. The two large tents and the building were all crowded, yes. And we got jostled about in the crowd and separated from one another, yes. Several times. Still, the evidence of so many different interests and talents was mind boggling and well worth waiting in line to see.
I’ve heard that there are no uninteresting people, just disinterested ones. Fascinating people surrounded us. Some were artists, entrepreneurs, and vendors; others were shoppers like us, agog at the sights and sounds. One shopper was wearing a “Raised by Wolves” t-shirt that Elizabeth and I found unique, and we asked where she found it. “Look online,” she said, laughing while her mother rolled her eyes.
Intrigued by some of the displays, I asked questions of a few vendors. I chatted with two artsy gals to find out the what, why, and when of their jewelry making business. Turns out they had worked together at a dental office, and although they liked the work well enough, they longed for more. Life was ticking by and they yearned for adventure and freedom from the structure of a 9 to 5 workday.
The more the two talked, the more eager they were to leave the world of bridges and braces. At some point, they got exercise fever and thought maybe they’d run a marathon or two. Why not? One day, the friends followed Nike’s advice to “Just Do It.” The marathons didn’t work out so well, but the jewelry design and creation did.
After a couple of hours of browsing, the four of us decided to recharge our batteries with lunch and were soon enveloped in a carnival type atmosphere. Kiosks and food vendors lined one side of the exit, each stand with a long line in front. In order to have some variety, we each went to different vendors and bought kettle corn, chicken salad on a croissant, fried pies (peach and chocolate), chips, and lemonade.
Missions accomplished, we sat around a table in the hot sun, dazed by the crazy chaos of the noise and movement around us. We sipped lemonade, divvied up our food portions, and shared secrets. My sister, a math teacher, was in charge of equally dividing the food into quarters. She liked the fried chocolate pie so much that she kept a half for herself. Hmmm. She gave me her fourth of the peach pie to compensate, but….
Fortified by food, we made our final forays through the three structures and made our purchases, including bracelets from the former dental hygienists. Nine days later, I’m remembering the salty sweetness of kettle corn and the people who sold it. When I asked for a twist tie for my opened bag, they offered to “top it off with more hot corn.” That gesture, genuine and upbeat, was typical of the entire event.
I’m looking forward to the next Vintage Market Days event. Next time, I’m cutting the pies. 🙂