Twice a year, I attend the Springfield, Ohio, Antique and Flea Market Extravaganza. The show has been my go-to for over 20 years. I count the days through the long, sometimes harsh, Ohio winters until the first day of the show. Over the years, I have scored amazing finds that add character and interest to our rescued barn home. Today was no exception as my Jeep was filled with pieces I couldn’t live without. The thrill of the hunt for the items on my thoughtful list keeps me coming back year after year.
Today’s adventure scored two vintage gasoline price signs, a sweet add to my milk stool collection, a white metal bench and a long awaited potting bench.
Halfway home, I call my husband to make sure he is available to help me unload my new treasures. I smile during the few seconds of silence then the deep sigh. Yes, he is home to help me with my precious cargo. “See you shortly,” I say as he mumbles goodbye. During the last few miles home, I laugh out loud as I reflect on his unique responses to my priceless purchases throughout the years:
“What is it?”
“Is that a piece of a building?”
“Does that thing work?”
“Where is that rusty thing going?”
“Where is the house that goes with that BIG old window?
“Don’t make our house look like a junk yard.”
As I pull in the driveway, my husband meets me at garage door. He hesitates for a moment as he contemplates the rusty loot that needs to be unloaded. I tell him, “Look at the cool stuff I found,” as he rolls his eyes. My husband unloads the white metal bench first, following me to the side yard where I motion to its new home. I am thrilled with the find and the bargain. This will be my new morning coffee destination.
Next, I place the milk stool in the guest bathroom. I had my mind set on this little sweetie to hold the extra hand towels for our overnight guests. I am drawn to the simple, utilitarian purpose of these dairy farm essentials from years ago. The old metal barn roof panels on the bathroom walls were quite the project for my patient husband from a previous junking trip. Though he was hesitant to agree with me on the unique use of the panels, he finally acknowledged the result was spectacular when we finished.
The gasoline price posters are next. “Can you help me hang these?” I ask. I rarely stray from my soothing palette of whites, grays and blacks, but this time I couldn’t resist. My husband spends the next 20 minutes holding the posters, moving them up and down, until I settle on just the right spot. He reflects on the gas prices suggesting they’re from the 1930s. He then hangs them perfectly, as usual, and the result is adorable!
I excitedly explain to my husband I hit the lottery when I found the white potting bench at the flea market. I have patiently waited a very long time for this perfect piece. I quickly add how “crazy” heavy it is. Startled, he heads back into the garage to find his furniture dolly. We finish unloading and I exclaim, “This was worth the wait!” I open every drawer of the charming potting bench and was pleasantly surprised when I saw they were made of old cheese boxes. Some still had their unique lettering intact. The vintage garden signs were a happy find at a pop up barn sale. I am obsessed with the black and white color scheme.
My husband heads back inside to wash his now filthy hands. As he returns to his favorite chair to watch a football game on TV, he smiles and reminds me, “I like new stuff.” I can’t help but chuckle as a hog feeder turned chandelier hangs over his head.
So, let’s give a big thank you to all the husbands, fathers and friends who help support a junker’s habit. You help load and unload, clean, install, refinish and everything else under the sun. We couldn’t do it without you!
After experiencing this “day in the life”, there are so many opportunities to find your own amazing antiques. Learn more about flea markets and how you can participate, here!