Yesterday I headed out early to Dog Days Flea Market in Ardmore, Tenn., which occupies many acres of land in an open field, around 35 miles from where I live.
I read on the market’s web page that it started during the 1940's as a place where hunters would meet on Mondays to let their hunting dogs run in the woods and trade dogs; hence, the name.
Over the years, the market has expanded to include other things besides dogs for sale. Now you can find miniature horses, cattle, exotic birds, rabbits, chickens, antiques, collectibles and just plain "junk."
On this particular day, I saw no dogs or other animals for sale; just an assortment of one person's junk or another person's treasure.
The present owners purchased Dog Days Flea Market in 2000 and added electricity, showers and other accommodations for vendors. It is open year round plus two special 4-day weekends (Friday through Monday) on Memorial Day and Labor Day. These two weekends are the busiest for Dog Days Flea Market with well over a thousand vendors plus many thousands of visitors.
OK, so maybe I had no idea what to expect, but decided to go anyway. What I found was a sparse number of vendors (20, perhaps) and absolutely no “customers.” I spoke with a few of the vendors and found out that Monday is always very slow.
There was no one there to look at or buy the contents of the 16 boxes of boxes and bags in the back of my SUV. Oh, I take that back; I asked three different vendors if they had any interest in purchasing and they prowled through my stuff in a disinterested manner. One lady bought an old Tupperware bread box for $2; a man offered me $1 for a miniature shuttle mission flag and a model airplane. Three dollars. Just the wrong time to go, I told myself.
Trouble was, I did not want to bring these boxes home again; I did not want to unload them; I knew nowhere else to go to sell it, except to find a place to donate it, which is what my husband wanted me to do in the first place and is exactly what I did.
I drove to Goodwill Industries in Athens and one of the employees brought a cart to my vehicle and took it all. I went inside to ask for a receipt and my husband is happy we can claim a donation on our federal income tax form.
Actually, I feel very good that I gave it away, hoping it will help someone in need.
I still have at least another 16 boxes sitting in the garage and I need to move it soon before it begins collecting dust. So in a few days, I’ll be packing up and heading off again to another charity.