Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A Day In The Life...

Four-thirty on a February Sunday morning can come awfully early, even when you have been preparing yourself for days in advance. I'd been giving myself a pep talk about rising at such an awful hour and actually looking forward to Peter and I spending the day at an auction and then on to a folk art show.

To top it all off, it was Peter's birthday so it was going to be a great day, even weather wise. Sunny and in the forties, wonderful given the gloomy days we've had around here lately. Sounds like I'm still talking myself into getting up in the middle of the night for a whirlwind day trip through two different states, but it was a lot of fun. We planned on getting to the auction first and launch right into to digging through the rows of chairs, cabinets, knick-knacks and what-nots.  Anyway, we were hoping to find a few great looking painted cupboards for the soon-to be studio/showroom.You'd think that after thirty years of marriage, we would have enough furniture to furnish a couple of houses not to mention a very small showroom, but, no. At least not what my dear husband was thinking that we needed, desperately, of course.  I was also hoping to snag a few really cool vintage "gardeny-type" things since the auction web site often shows pictures of stuff like that, although rarely does it seem to come out when we attend auctions.  I always hear about urns and statuary from others who attend on the days I don't.  Anyway, I digress...After the auction, we would  then scoot over the Jersey state line and slide into what I discovered last year to be a really cool folk art show.

A car ride on the interstate early on a Sunday morning can actually be quite pleasant--virtually no cars and the scenery of rivers and bridges is quite picturesque and  peaceful when not cluttered with traffic. Something about traveling on a Sunday morning, indeed.  Even the sun seemed to take its time in rising but, when it did, the sky was clear and blue. Just as we crossed the Delaware River, the sun finally made its presence known.

Finally, we reached our first stop--the auction in Southern New Jersey.  Even though it was still early morning, I felt ready for lunch. After all. I had been up for over four hours, but no time for that-- the first lots were set to be auctioned off promptly at 8:30 am so Peter and I started alking through the long aisles piled with vintage pieces as well as "gently-used" furniture--their term, not mine. Sometimes, you just need the vision in your own mind to appreciate the beauty of a stained arm chair or chipped china. And, then there are times when you can stare at a piece forever and never figure out what even the original owner saw in it. However, there is always someone ready to snag a  scratched dresser or broken lamp home and coax it back to life. Like I said, you just need a little vision. A little imagination is never lost on things found at an auction, too.  Then again, you can also find wonderful old treasures and antiques in pristine condition.  You just have to be a savvy shopper.  When I was a little girl, my mother would spend hours at auctions and bring home some of the most curious of finds.  Most things i wouldn't look twice at but still, some things were full of potential and still sit in my house today and I'm grateful for her love of all things in need of as she would say, " A little paint, a few nails and it will be just as good as new!"

Well, we spent about an hour picking our way through dressers, tables and couches and decided that the items we were most interested in were probably going to be featured toward the end of the day.  So, since we had also planned on attending a folk art show in Philadelphia as well, by 9:30am, we climbed back into  the truck and turned out of the parking lot.  Peter turned the GPS on, and we headed for Philly with still no "fabulous finds" but with every intention to return by early afternoon in time to bid on a light blue painted cupboard as well as an interesting desk.

An hour and a few nail biting episodes later, since it seemed that we drove about 45 minutes of that hour on an empty gas tank until we found one of the few gas stations in Pennsylvania, we pulled into the the parking lot of the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center. The parking lot, there, was a good indication of how the rest of the morning would turn out to be--crowded, fun and never a dull moment. Peter and I attended this same show last year but it was not nearly as crowded nor as big so, what we thought would originally be an hour to an hour and a half tops, turned into four and a half hours. Everything from antiques to faux flowers and candles were here for the willing shopper. My shopaholic husband was only too eager to visit every booth and quite a few of them more than once and even a few of them more than twice. Persistence paid off and we picked up a lovely painted old wooden counter and an even older cabinet, with lots of character, along with some nifty garden items soon to be available at our Blooming Hill fair booths and showroom.

By 3:00pm, which felt like about 10:00pm to me, the truck was filled to the brim...literally!  Stopping at the auction on our way back home was no longer an option. Not to worry, though. We'll make it there again on another weekend in the near future...perhaps my birthday, although that is on a Thursday this year so, not likely.

However, leaving Philadelphia, proved to be another scavenger hunt in just trying to find a convenient fast food place to eat since we were both delirious from lack of sustenance. Keep in mind that breakfast was way back at five in the morning and that was a pop tart and yogurt. Needless to say, we were hungry, tired and, well, hungry!  Thank goodness for a Wendy's Restaurant we drove way out of our way for somewhere around Villanova, the University.  Again, like gas stations, it seemed like fast food chains are few and far between in the state of Pennsylvania.

We finally made it back home by 7:30 Sunday night, in time for most of the Super Bowl game, its always popular commercials and, most imporatantly,  Peter's birthday cake...Sorry, I didn't have time to make one this year but it came with a lots of love in any case.  It was a great day in the life of us...a long day, but a great day, non-the-less! 


  1. What a busy day! Glad you found some wonderful and useful things -- and I love the sign you are holding in that picture above.

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