Sentinel-Echo.com

Opinion

July 15, 2013

A Canuck in Kantuck: Life inside the peddler’s mall

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — Last March, when things were still very grim with my husband’s health, my sis-in-law Teresa called me up and asked me if I wanted to go the peddler’s mall with her. Up until that point, I hadn’t felt comfortable leaving William for a whole afternoon at a time, but things were progressing slowly and I realized it was time to let go a little. So I left him and, with no expectations, drove with Teresa to this place I had passed thousands of times before but never thought to go into.

When we walked inside, I instantly felt like I was back in my Ukrainian grandmother’s apartment. The huge warehouse-like space was divided into booths that were filled with used, whimsical treasure.

The booths showcasing antique dishes appealed to me right away, and I started examining crystal relish dishes, platters designed to hold deviled eggs when deviled eggs were all the rage, lamps that dripped with glass teardrops, juice glasses stamped with cheery orange flowers.

The best part was, though the booths were run by different individuals, those people weren’t actually there, so you could walk inside the booths and take all the time in the world without feeling the pressure to buy. For me, this was a huge plus as I’ve been known to avoid small boutiques simply because I feel too guilty if I leave without making a purchase.

Also, the prices were wonderfully, wonderfully low. It’s not often that you consider the merits of buying something for $5 anymore, but, again and again, that’s what I found myself doing and, as a result, becoming increasingly miserly. After seeing a blue Ball jar selling for $3, I scoffed at the one in another booth on sale for $5 and felt extremely satisfied that I would not get taken for $2. Meanwhile, back in real life outside the peddler’s mall, getting something for $9.95 almost always feels like a bit of a steal.

As I walked through booth after booth, I mentally started making a list of the things I needed to come back and get. There was a spoon rest ($2.50) with a picture of a radish that absolutely needed to be in my kitchen, a pie plate ($3) that featured some waving wheat, and those cheap Ball jars (total: $6) that I would use for flowers. As my list increased, I realized my biggest worry wasn’t how William was feeling back at home, but how I was going to relocate all of the stuff I wanted to buy.

Meanwhile, Teresa was on the hunt for books and I joined her briefly as she explained what she’d found. Then I veered away again, happy to be shopping with someone who also likes to examine things alone.

Then, I saw it: a wavy, purple punch bowl shot through with milky white glass so that it looked like a sea anemone. The sixth season of “Mad Men” had just started and I was in love with Don Draper and the 1960s all over again. This bowl belonged in that show. I bent over and saw that the glasses had extended handles so they could hang onto the side of the bowl with ease. I imagined having all of my friends over at Christmas, William wonderfully healthy, and serving a killer punch. Maybe I’d make it a 1960s theme and everyone could stand in the kitchen holding these little glasses, the women’s eyeliner extending catlike over their lids, the men in plaid pants.

But then I saw the price: a whopping $75.

“No,” I told myself. “Not a chance.”

So I left with my spoon rest and pie plate, returned home to my recuperating husband, and vowed to go to more antique stores with Teresa, which is exactly what we’ve done. The thrill of the finds, along with the thrill of a deal, is what keeps us going back. At one place, she found glasses in her Star of David glassware pattern for a shocking 25 cents each. At an antique store in Berea, I got eight, etched champagne saucers for $12. All the while, I continued thinking of that punch bowl, which I had described to just about everyone in detail but was sure had probably sold by now.

Then one day, as spring turned into summer, William turned into the parking lot of the peddler’s mall.

“Let’s find it,” he said.

We searched and searched, my memory hazy of its whereabouts, until finally we found it sitting on a bottom shelf. It was just as exotic as I remembered and he picked it up.

“It’s yours,” he announced happily.

He doled out the $75 and now the punch bowl is symbolically sitting in the pantry, ready to party.

Yesterday, as Teresa and I shared stories of our latest finds and planned a trip to the peddler’s mall in Lexington, I realized that that punch bowl and these shopping excursions have defined my year in a way that little else has. Though things have been and continue to be hard, these hours exploring have at once been a lesson in letting go and finding beauty in places where you least expect to. And, when all is said and done, that’s worth a lot.

tkaprowy@gmail.com

 

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • mitch.jpg On The Rebound: An almost completely true fish tale

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • denis.jpg Direct Kick: Did Lana cross the line with her remark?

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • mitch.jpg On The Rebound: All Star Game less important than Wiffle Ball

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • denis.jpg Direct Kick: A very eventful week in sports

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • The shining kingdom

    The drop in gas prices locally is a welcome sight for most residents in the area with gas falling under $3.60 per gallon.

    July 16, 2014

  • Letter to the editor: Thanks, Sentinel-Echo

    In the July 4 edition of the Sentinel-Echo, (last page, section 1), the entire page was given to quotes of references to God, the Declaration of Independence, and our constitution by our founding fathers, former presidents, Supreme Court judges, etc. 

    July 14, 2014

  • Zamperini's story was inspiring

    I had never heard the names of Louis Zamperini and Russel Allen Phillips until my pastor gave me a book, “Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption,” by author Laura Hillenbrand, who wrote, “Seabiscuit: An American Legend” a few years ago.

    July 11, 2014

  • The tales of Dr. Robert E. Pennington

    When Dr. H. V. Pennington began to practice medicine in Laurel County times were hard and medical methods were primitive, compared to today. 

    July 11, 2014

  • Where did that red truck go?

     We were sitting out on the front porch last Saturday afternoon when a  big, red, late- model pick up whizzed by on Charlie Brown.  It looked like there was a man driving and a woman riding shotgun  

    July 7, 2014

  • A change for Pace

    Let me tell you a little about my friend Candice Pace. We were sitting in the fountain square the other day and she was telling me about how she had driven to Pikeville, where she’s from, to visit with her mom. Along the way, deep in McCreary County, she passed three turtles that were crossing the road.Let me tell you a little about my friend Candice Pace. We were sitting in the fountain square the other day and she was telling me about how she had driven to Pikeville, where she’s from, to visit with her mom. Along the way, deep in McCreary County, she passed three turtles that were crossing the road.

    July 7, 2014

Facebook
AP Video
Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Now that school is out, what are your family’s summer vacation plans?

A. No major plans. We will probably hang out around Laurel County.
B. Going to the beach!
C. Kentucky has a lot of wonderful state parks, and we plan to visit a few and enjoy quality family time.
     View Results