Our first trip to Brimfield can be summed up in just that one word.
Fortunately the rain stopped just before we got there. But for the Brimfield dealers, having had five straight days of beautiful, sunny weather and great crowds, when thunderstorms rolled in a lot of havoc came along, too, with occasional collapsing tents and breakage of fragile or unsecured items. Some dealers just packed up and left. Most of the rest, even though the rain and wind ceased and sun came out again, seemed ready to go home.
"Great!" was the universal response. Well, except for the blast of wind and rain that morning.
One dealer pointed to a huge blue ceramic elephant in her shop and told me that several similar ones had crashed to the ground and smashed when a sudden wind whipped through her tent. In other areas, mud stained items were being trashed as the still good stuff was being packed up.
But most dealers seemed to be in it for the rest of the day, which would be about 5 p.m.
We were basically lookers, too. Unless we found a few bargains we couldn't live without, or that I could put into my shop. But I really did want to find something to bring home. My husband and I stayed together, walking down aisles of tents--first in Quaker Acres, where we had happily snagged free parking, having passed by other offers of $5 or $6 to park--and then trekking along the main drag to get a feel for what was going on.
Brimfield website and downloading the free app someone had made called Flea Finder.
Which was okay, because by now everything was starting to look like everything else--rows and rows and rows of tents filled with tables and tables and jam packed with STUFF of all kinds. And prices on items that I liked were pretty much the prices you would expect to see in a nice antique shop. Bargains weren't exactly jumping out at us.
Finally I could see that my husband's energy and enthusiasm were waning. We needed to sit down and get something to eat and drink, quick. So we headed for the main concession area, where everything from burgers and fries to vegetarian paninis were being offered up. (Side note: the vegetarian tacos with beans, red onions, cukes, and yogurt sauce were really good!)
But I wanted to find something, and so far that hadn't happened. What we were looking at just seemed like things we saw everywhere, or else they were totally crazy, bizarre stuff that you just laughed at.
Finally, however, I spotted it: a red enamelware teapot with white polka dots!
"Thirteen," she said. Wow. The other woman had been quibbling about three dollars?
"Sold!" I said, handing her the cash and happily stowing this terrific find in my cloth bag.
"What do you say--have you had enough?" asked my husband hopefully. Counting myself lucky with my teapot find, I nodded and we headed back toward Quaker Acres.
Then, just before reaching the car I spotted something I had remembered liking on the way over: a wonderfully rusty, green industrial tin drawer that would make a great planter. I hurried over and picked it up--and then saw another smaller one, and two more of the smaller sizes. All with that great shade of green and perfect for my shop.
Endless possibilities. And soon, fresh from the Brimfield Flea Market in Brimfield, Massachusetts, at Either/Or Finds!