Friday, June 4, 2010

Learning, Trusting, Living Well: Gloria

Summer antiquing is in progress, and last weekend I dragged my hubbie over to a little flea market that has sprouted up next to the train tracks on Love Lane, a little street in Mattituck, Long Island, whose name fits its quaint little shops perfectly.

Poking around through various odds and ends, jewelry and side tables, civil war memorabilia and old magazines, the dribs and drabs left over at day's end, I happened upon a pretty turquoise glass vase for $10. The price was right and it would fit in my already-stuffed-with-stuff apartment.

The gentle-looking older lady sitting nearby began to offer up some details about it. She didn't know much, she said, it wasn't that old but...I waved her off. I'm not one of those people who cares about an item's pedigree, I just have to like the way it looks.

She shook her head. "There's a lot to know, though," she said. "I learn a lot just from listening to other people..."

I smiled and looked at her with new eyes, realized how intelligent she must be to know all that she doesn't know, to be listening to other people, to still be looking at everything for what she can learn about it even after living a good long time.

"That's awesome," I said. "I love that. And it's so true. It's amazing all there is to know..."

I loved her spirit, loved her even more when she told me about her store and then told me if I wanted to go there, I could call her when I got there and she would tell me where the key was hidden, that I could let myself in and leave the money for whatever I might want.

It is amazing on the North Fork, the trust, like with the veggie stand down the street from my in-laws that goes unmanned much of the time, with only a tin can where you can place the money for whatever you pick up. Many antique stores leave their wares outside all the time, trusting that no one would take them, not without leaving cash.

I paid for my vase and got her card, purpley-blue with a big yellow sunflower. Gloria Suttmeier, Sam's Gram, it said, and also The Flower Lady - Antiques-Collectibles-Garden Delights.

Gloria herself is the delight and she clearly takes delight in others. And that's why I gave her a gold star.

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