The Unused Portion has been neglected, lately, and for that I apologize. work for money generally takes precedent these days, so in order to get my hustle on the past few weeks, one activity (or two) had to take the fall for me to get back on track a bit with some pressing issues. I've gotta start these posts earlier in the week so I'm not banging the whole thing out of a Monday, trying to get it all in, failing with the rushed effort. give myself time to look at it, reflect, let it breathe - it's supposed to be my day-off Monday Meditation! which is even harder when heading into the season of the year where time seems to roll so swiftly towards some bitter end, bringing melancholy and "that old familiar feeling of impending doom", as a friend lost to time and circumstance once said. while I tend not to feel the doom and gloom, I do feel an incredible need to rush and get things done "before the snow flies". 15 years living in Vermont taught me to Be Ready For The Winter, which was more important there, than here in NY, where I live now - where the plow truck drivers are out salting the roads as soon as the first flake hits the ground.
it's time to trade salad greens and fruits for root veggies and squash. I already made soup, a pot of chili, and lit the woodstove. I brought all my house-plants back in from the porch over a week ago, because I could Smell the snow coming, and even though we still had a few warm days after that, I'm glad I did. over the course of the summer, I may well have propagated almost double the amount of plants I had before the weather warmed up, so now I have to find room for them all in my small, poorly-lit cottage! they're currently being 'staged' in the kitchen, and my Teen Wolf has had about enough of the jungle on the table and counters. they'll find their places for the winter soon enough...I think I may have solved that dilemma in thinking about how the market season is almost over for the year.
I finally made it back to the Market this year! I haven't had a booth at a flea market in...23 years or so! (wait - I'm lying. the kid and I had a booth at a homeschool market or two within the past 5 years). it took me a lot to get there, but I made it, and it was a lot of fun. Teen Wolf came with me and we made a day of it. he even went and got us lunch at the deli across the street - not the sort of thing he tends to take on individually, but I sent him, so he went, and didn't even say anything about how nervous it probably made him. but we chatted a bit about how I was scared to walk up to the flea market guy and ask him where I should set up, but I did it anyway, because I'm the kind of person who can talk to anyone, and...I needed to know where to set up, or I wasn't going to get very far with my plans. the teen said he would have stood in that field all day because he wouldn't have had the courage to approach the guy. interesting, right? well, he'd been to the deli across the street before, and I wasn't about to leave our booth when we got hungry, so...he had to screw up enough courage to go get us some lunch, and he did. I mean, he's 14...he's perfectly capable off crossing the street in the town he grew up in and around to get a couple of sandwiches at the deli, all teenage awkwardness aside, and I like for him to go walk around town, and feel comfortable in the local shops because it's a big world out there, beyond the bounds of our small town, and he's gonna have to navigate it!
we talked about confidence, sales and marketing, money management, customer service, fashion and style, aesthetics, profit and overhead; we got to be outside all day in glorious weather; we got to chat with some nice people, and make some sales that not only put money in our pockets, they felt good. there was that guy who bought 15 vinyl albums of Israeli folk music and army songs for a birthday present for his dad, who is a retired Israeli soldier. the couple who bought the glass music note for their musician daughter; the butterfly lady who adored the butterfly paperweight, and the lady who loved the Murano one. there were some beautiful scarves that went to new homes, and stylish purses; a pair of shoes, some earrings, and a couple of pots and pans. Teen Wolf sold some 'older' toys...only from the past decade, though some of them are apparently rather collectable. we didn't even bring everything we had to sell - there wasn't enough room in the car!
more than anything, being at the market reminded me of my traveling days, when I lived on the road, in my car, with my cat. I made jewelry, and other various forms of art which I sold at flea markets, enabling me to move from town to town, pitching my tent in campsites and national parks, visiting with other traveling friends who were taking a minute off the road in one town or another (as well as those who preferred more permanent dwellings), crashing in dorm rooms and motels, sleeping in the car. god, I was so free... just a few short years before the teen is legally allowed to step away from government-sanctioned education, and then who knows where I'll be? will he need me to stay here? will he be going somewhere else? somewhere he'll need to come 'home' from? can he stay here on his own if he wants? can I leave? there are a lot of questions about to come up in my life, and given the way I've been feeling since we got back from Israel, I'm sensing some major changes in the wind, and on the horizon.
first I've gotta sell off the rest of the flea market stuff I already have - which will probably have to happen next season, at this point - and whatever else I manage to whip up between now and spring. maybe by then I will have figured out how to get my computer fixed so I can add photos and other cool things again. it's such a pain in the ass to not be able to access technology, it's like the cornerstone of the online cottage industry, and I'm just starting to figure out how to use it! do you know The Unused Portion is going to be 10 years old this spring? that's crazy! and I just 'built' a new page - a business page. there's a page on this blog called 'Mysteriam Ink', and you should go check it out, if you haven't all ready, but a friend recently advised me that my business page shouldn't be an after-thought on my blog, so I felt inspired to create one that stands alone. you can find it (still under construction) here: