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A Short Road Trip

I don't know what it was that I was expecting from the DeLand Farmer's Market/Flea Market, but obviously it has been a long time since I've been to a flea market, because, frankly, I was surprised at how much junk people attempt to sell.

There was so much of it, and it was so HOT! Clearly these vendors are made of stronger stuff than I, because, not only do they not have fans, most of them have no shade either.

A little explanation is in order as to the how, and why, I found myself driving to the Volusia County Fairgrounds early Wednesday morning. Rachel, a young friend, and one of the four delightful Whited girls, posted three photographs of a super cool small vintage refrigerator on facebook. After questioning her about where she went about finding something so cool, (no pun intended--it works btw), she told me about the flea market. Because there was no good reason not to go, I went.

However, one glance at the interstate told me it was to be a crawl through downtown, so I took Westmoreland instead. Naturally, this caught my eye along the way.
I am a believer in Jesus myself, but I've yet to think of announcing so all over my car. And I mean all over! Both sides were the same.
I only wish I'd noticed the roof while shooting it from my car window. At least they did it in a somewhat classy way, unlike those cars you see plastered from boot to bonnet with stickers.

Getting on the interstate just past downtown, the going was easy, with the fairgrounds just off the exit about 35 miles from home. Luckily, I found a parking spot up close because some folks parked way the heck out in a big field which you'll understand more why later. I made my way through a gate and here's what I saw...
Don't be fooled by the number of tents in this photo because more often than not, people just laid stuff on a table, or the ground, for that matter, waiting for buyers. I saw VHS tapes, concealed weapon handbags, tools of every sort, Elvis pictures, and if you are in the market to complete your Beanie Babies collection, well, here you go.
Occasionally people will confuse our market with a flea market, but after going here, I have strong evidence that we don't share much in common. Dana would kick you out faster than you can say boo! if you tried to sell your stuff in this fashion. Continuing the Jesus theme, perhaps you want a metal sign to remind you of HIS name?
The collection above is a perfect example of people selling stuff with absolutely NO rhyme or reason. It looks like there are some Madam Alexander dolls on the back table that I neglected to examine.

One thing they do have in abundance is produce, as in maybe fifty different vendors, some with tents and tables,
Some merely selling out of the back of their truck like this watermelon guy with an ample supply of samples.
I tried one of the offered samples, and it was to my liking. The vendor pulled one of those babies from the big pile in the truck, handing it to me and I nearly dropped it. That sucker is heavy! As in maybe 10 pounds?  If it were up to me it would be all cut up by now, however, the man of the house prefers it in slices so it's taking up considerable refrigerator space at the moment.

My haul from the visit. Grand total? $8.00.
Alphabet blocks, Beefsteak tomatoes, orange dish made in America (!), seedless mega watermelon, and the thermos, fresh from the scrubbing I gave it with both Comet, and bleach. I'm thinking it might be fun to fill it with sangria for Hill's Happy Hour? For sharing purposes, of course.

I'd packed a lunch because I thought the market would take me longer. It did not. Before too long, walking the dusty aisles under the blazing sun, I decided I'd had enough. Well, then, why not look around the area? I took the road to Lake Helen, a nearby, very small, town. According to this link, there are 2,700 residents. Interestingly enough, Henry DeLand founded Lake Helen as well. According to their water tower, it is the "Gem of Florida."
I'll tell you this much, there are some very lovely old homes there.
Here's something I never thought about doing with a dead tree..
But they did. It covers both sides in case you are wondering.

While driving, I was listening to the Diane Rehm show on the radio. The topic was the declining importance of religious affiliation in America.  I wonder if the same holds true in a small town like Lake Helen, where there are at least three very old churches, including the Baptist,
and the Methodist?
There was a Congregationalist one as well, equally as old, that I, for some reason, did not photograph.

Then there is a lot of green space. Here is what Florida looks like when no one builds on the land.
Pretty isn't it? A quick Google search tells me you can purchase 10 acres of land for $69,000. That said, what I did not see is any place to buy groceries...suppose you have to go to DeLand for that.

You certainly can't go to Casadaga to buy groceries, however, you can get your handwriting analysis done here:
Presumably outdoors, under the umbrella, on another day, or stay at the Hotel named after the town.
Conveniently, directly across the street from the hotel, you can have your psychic reading done here, although it is one of several that I saw, so I cannot vouch for the either the accuracy, or popularity of the place.
Driving home from DeLand, on multiple occasions, I've seen the sign to Cassadaga, known as the "Psychic Capital of the World," but I'd never taken the road until yesterday. Now I've seen it for myself, and you have too, albeit second hand; presumably in the cool comfort of your own home. The provided link is short, and is actually very interesting. If you don't have time to read it I'll tell you this much--it all started in 1895.

Leaving there I was a wee bit disoriented direction wise, but I kept going on the road I was on. Now, if you aren't from Florida, this photo will mean nothing to you. BUT, if you are, you might be surprised to see a very little hill action going on.
That was kind of fun.

On my way home I stopped to pick up my very last jug, for the season, of fresh squeezed, straight from the grove, orange juice. Boo hoo! As well, I scooted over to Wal Mart to pick up some new bedding flowers to replace those dying in this infernal heat. And it's only the middle of May! Anyway, as I was heading to the car with my basket of pretties, I noticed a woman unloading a huge haul of sodas into the back of her vehicle. That caught my eye originally, but the sign on the side of the truck convinced me I had to have a chat with her. Nice of her to pose for a photo wasn't it?
Except you can hardly read it, so I'll tell you what it says: The Gator Whisperers. I've heard of horse whisperers, and dog whisperers, but, by golly, this was my first encounter with a gator whisperer. Who is making a movie about that occupation? Someone should. As friendly as can be, she told me the drinks were to take on the boat during their missions capturing "nuisance" gators such as the 13 foot, 500 pound, gator they got out of a retention pond situated behind an apartment complex!!! And to make it even more dramatic, they were in a 10 foot boat! She provided photographic evidence too. Actually a sub-contractor for the State of Florida, they make very little money doing so. Apparently, her husband is retired and he mostly does it for "fun."

You just never know what you'll find on this blog now, do you?

Out and about, just not often enough,

Gail
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