Flea Market, Mother's Day, SOT17

DAY 1 -- Working in public education, I reach a point every year where I am just mentally checked out. Not to the point where I no longer meet the daily expectations of my job as we finish out the school year, but just over that threshold into what I've always referred to as "summer mode." The point where the sun shines a little brighter, the days are a little longer, and my mindset is a little more carefree.

Earlier this year than most, I've most definitely entered summer mode territory.

With that in mind, why not get this show on the road? Even though I technically have two more weeks before I'm officially on break, I declare The Summer of Tim underway!

Counting today, that gives me 80 days to share with you the careless joys of summer vacation. Eighty days of flip-flops, sunscreen, and a list of projects that will not be completed by August but sure look good on paper. My hope is that you'll enjoy reading about my arbitrary thoughts and experiences as much as I enjoy sharing them and that they, in some way, might help bring some perspective to your own life.

I'll forever remember the comments of my pal Brian (who hosts a great site called Cool & Collected, by the way) when he once offered the Summer of Tim a perfect compliment:
"Over the past couple of years...you have inspired me to slow down, drink more, and even take in a ballgame or two -- and I don't even like baseball."
Considering I haven't had a drop to drink in over three months, I doubt I'll be doing much to encourage your alcohol consumption this summer. Still, I hope you'll find some time to relax with me over the next eighty days.

Slow down. Have fun. Enjoy yourself.

. . .

Last week when Charlotte's class hosted breakfast for their parents, she gave me (and Amy) a book she had made called "Why I Love My Parents." Among many other wonderful details in the book, Charlotte mentioned that one of her favorite things to do with me is to go to the flea market.

Considering this past weekend was flea market weekend, we had no choice. We went to the flea market.


Charlotte grabbed her purse and a wad of birthday money. I armed myself with a fresh cup of coffee and some music for the sunny half-hour drive ahead. After thirty minutes and a failed attempt to to introduce my daughter to Sir Mix-a-Lot's Swass album, we arrived at the flea market.

Or, as my kids call it, the treasure place.

. . .

I'll save you the who-bought-what-from-who (or is it whom?), but here's a quick rundown of the treasures we brought home.

Charlotte scored some Beanie Babies -- three for two bucks -- one for her and one for each of her siblings. We laughed for quite a while about the bare-butt baboon named Cheeks. We assumed he must go by his middle name in which case his first name must be Butt.


Having always had a love for rocks, and fresh off her recent Rock Hound competition at the Science Olympiad, Charlotte was thrilled to dig through a few containers full of polished stones, minerals, and other rocks. She walked away with several arrow heads and some very cool stones -- ten for a dollar.

My daughter choosing rocks over toys was super cool to see, but I was proudest when she decided against buying a fidget spinner -- despite the fact that every other kid her age in the world seems to have one.

. . .

As for me, I finally got around to finishing up a set of Garfield mugs. One I've had since I was a kid and two others I've picked up randomly over the years. Even though I see these things everywhere, I've never bothered taking home the fourth one until this weekend.

A bag of Little People accessories for three bucks? Yes, please. Especially considering the bag included two chairs I was missing from the castle set. Remember that castle set I drove to Peoria for?

Random CDs -- many immediately taking me on a trip back to my college days. Three for a buck. Yep.

Then there's Little People airplane and snowmobile I've passed by several time over the past year of multiple visits to the flea market. I mentioned this in conversation with the seller who immediately cut me a huge discount so he didn't have to pack them up again. Sold.

Reggie Miller figure? Back in the day, Reggie killed the Knicks on more than one occasion but I thought it'd be fun to have him join John Starks and Patrick Ewing on the shelf.

Speaking of sports figures, I noticed one seller had a Jim Abbott Starting Line-Up figure. You may recall, Jim Abbott was a pitcher with only one hand. He'd hold his glove on his arm, pitch the ball, and then slide his pitching hand into the glove. He even pitched a no-hitter for the Yankees back in 1993.

Pretty amazing, but I was sure there was no way that they'd go as far as to make this figure anatomically correct.

I was wrong. And in that moment I knew Jim Abbott would be coming home with me.

A few other random items along the way included more for the Little People collection and an illustrated Return of the Jedi book for a quarter.

Rounding out this junk shopping experience was a stop at my favorite book store -- the non-profit where they sell anything of value online but everything in their outlet store is a quarter. New to the shelves were a dozen or so games for the original Sony PlayStation and at 25 cents each, I figured it was worth a shot at making a few bucks.

Once I got them home, I quickly found that I was able to trade them in for credit on Amazon for almost the exact amount I had spent over the course of the entire morning. Charlotte and I had essentially executed a free trip to the flea market.


. . .

It was nearing lunch time as we headed home so we stopped off at our favorite local restaurant -- The Hen House -- for lunch. Knowing full well that the rest of our family would be insanely jealous of our greasy-spoon meal, Charlotte and I decided that we needed to prepare a story for when we were asked if we had eaten lunch. Here's what we came up with:
We'd met a scientist who was selling time machines at the flea market. He asked us to try one of his machines and we traveled back to 1999 where we ate at Dunkin' Donuts. Charlotte had three chocolate donut holes and apple juice. I had a glazed donut with rainbow sprinkles and a large coffee. The weather was sunny.
When we got home, Amy asked if we had eaten and we offered her this amazing experience.

She didn't believe us.

. . .

We celebrated Mother's Day yesterday hanging out in the back yard and with a dip in Grandma and Grandpa's not-quite-warm-enough-for-swimming 78-degree pool.

I regret not taking a picture of the girls by themselves in their matching dresses. I imagine it would have looked a lot like this...

. . .

The third graders visited the high school where I work today for their annual relay day -- races and competitions on the track. Of course, I had to take advantage and catch one of Charlotte's races. Here she is as part of the shuttle relay...

. . .

Lots about Charlotte here, I suppose. I swear we have two other kids.

The Summer of Tim is here, gang. Enjoy...


the sandwich life said...

I love you all so much.

Rob O'Hara said...

I can't believe it's already been a year (well, nine months) since the last Summer of Tim. I've had people tell me that my blog posts occasionally inspire them to get out and do things, and your summer posts do that for me. Looking forward to your adventures, and my adventures. Happy summer!

Unknown said...

So glad that the Summer of Tim has returned! Since I left that comment you mentioned, all I have managed from the list is to slow down, but that may just be age-related. ;) I hope you and the family have some epic adventures this summer, and if you ever find yourself heading east, look me up!

doesntmattr said...

I like to wait until there are a bunch of SoT posts loaded up so I can read them in big chunks.

You getting the fourth Garfield cup made me so happy.

TL said...

I knew there was only one other person who would appreciate that...