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Paddle Your Own Canoe
Chapter 17


“Chelsea is here already.  She called earlier.  We are off to the flea market.”  Dee called over her shoulder as she slipped out the front door.

Sam looked up from his newspaper. “Have fun!  Don't spend any money.”

“I won't.”  Dee answered him and she was gone.

“He told me not to spend any money.”  Dee laughed to her friend, Chelsea.

“Did you tell him you wouldn't?”  Chelsea had a half smile and a questioning expression.

“Oh yes, oh yes.”   Both women giggled like girls.

“It's toys. You know.  I cannot afford those expensive things.  Anyway just for a little while they use them and then they're outgrown like old shoes or pants that are too soon too short.”

The “fleas” spread out over a number of parking lots. Every booth had their own speciality and it was hard for Dee to remember she had come for toys.  “Oh look!  Look at these gorgeous cobalt blue dishes. Wouldn't they be absolutely right on the shelves with my other blue dishes?”

“Hmm.”  Chelsea made no comment.

As they strolled along Dee had to glance around repeatedly in order to keep up with her friend. She was quick and alert while Dee preferred to gaze at this and that or whatever caught her eye.  Of course, she felt she needed a soil fork, the blue dishes, an amber glass dish, but did have to remember Sam's parting words.  “Don't spend any money.”

Again she had to search around to find Chelsea who had temporarily disappeared. When she located her friend, she was standing in front of the nicest chalkboard easel.  It  was the perfect height for her Ada.

“Look Dee.  She only wants ten dollars for it.  Isn't it just perfect. If Ada had this, she could mark with her chalk on a chalk board instead of the doors.”

“It is really perfect, isn't it?  I don't mind her marking on the doors, large muscle control, you know.  And, it isn't hard to wipe off. This on the other hand would be so special. No more wiping off doors.”

“You know Chelsea.  I should have stopped for change.  All I have is a check.”

The girl standing in front of her told her.  “Oh he will take a check from you, even though he doesn't usually.”

Dee felt so totally dumbfounded. This woman standing in front of her knew who she was.  But, for her life she couldn't recognize her.  “You obviously know me, and I did know someone who looks like you?  Rena?”

“I am Rena.”  The woman looked directly in her face.

“Oh no.  I can't believe it.  Am I losing my mind? I did not know you.”

While Dee was feeling so foolish, another woman walked by.  She said, “Well Rena, I wouldn't have known you. He has you all dressed up flea market style.”

It was true.  The usually sharp dressing, beautiful, petite  woman was all “uglied up ” for the flea   market.  She was wearing a ball cap over her twisted up  beautiful blond hair which otherwise would have been  styled and softly flowing about her face.  She had on a pair of dark glasses and one could in no way see her lovely blue eyes. The clothes she wore were almost old in appearance, certainly softly worn.

After the two women had purchased the chalkboard, they were on their way.  “I thought I was certainly going senile. Do you know I did not even recognize Rena?  Don't you just love it? Everyone had a culture, even the flea market people.  I  remember when I brought some stuff down here once and was almost nailed to the spot because I didn't dress down.  I was totally unaware that they had a code of conduct.”

“Oh sure.  It's fun.  Can't you see we are just poor folks trying to make a buck?”   Chelsea kidded.

“Sure, sure.  I happen to know some of those “poor” folks and with ease they could buy and sell some of the rich folks.”

Dee carried her find home and put it in place. The next day when the kids showed up they even played with good manners taking turns while one after another had fun with the chalk.

“Did your kiddo's have fun with the chalkboard?”  Chelsea called later in the evening and wanted to know if the toy had gone over.

“You should have seen them. They were all over that thing like flies on sugar.  Couldn't have been any better if I'd have paid the whole price for it.”


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