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Monday, March 11, 2013

A Day at the Fair! (Book Fair, that is...)

Gateway to the "Tickerin" Book Fair!
Every year, there is an Antiquarian Book Fair in our city. And every year, pre-stroke, Bob and I went to it. And I, especially, always looked forward to it, as I love 19th century poetry books and have a small collection of them at home in a bookcase.

We missed the last two years...

Two years ago, my mother offered to hire a caregiver to watch Bob so that I could go on my own.

But it didn't feel right. Going alone.

And it seemed too difficult to take Bob...

And then there is the money. I mean hard to spend money on frivolous things when Bob needs so much for his medical care. And we are living social security check to social security check....

Then this year, I saw the advertisements and thought.... what the heck.

Let's give it a go. I deserve a little break, right? And a bit of fun. And maybe a new/old book to add to my little collection.

 Though this decision was not without a lot of trepidation. I mean, what could go wrong with an incontinent guy in a wheelchair that I have to push through a crowded auditorium filled with expensive merchandise? ha!

This book was priced at $35.00.
I managed to get it for $20.
It's from 1882.
As this is not an ordinary book fair. This is an "Antiquarian Book Fair" filled with antique, rare, collectible books and it's the kind of place you go if you want to, say, drop $200,000 on a first edition, signed copy of The Great Gatsby.... or $950.00 for a "nice" early Yeats with fraying edges... I kid you not.

Yes, a bit out of our league.  Though, in the past, I usually managed to find something in the $20 range. And it's great fun, I think, looking at books which are worth more than our house!

A collection of love poems.
From 1881.
It was marked at $30, I got it for $24.
So yesterday, we went. You should have heard Bob trying to say the word "antiquarian"-- it kept coming out like "tickerin".  Ha! Heck, "antiquarian" is a hard word for even me to say right. And I sort of like that: The Tickerin Book Fair. Has a nice ring to it.

The place was packed. There were over 100 dealers from all over the country. And many of the booths were difficult to get the wheelchair into--some I could not get him in at all, and I had to leave Bob sitting in the aisle. And people were continually backing into us. Or blocking our path.

And the auditorium is old and the floors uneven and a few times the wheelchair started rolling away from me---once headed straight into a glass bookcase filled with "fore edge" books priced around $3000 each!

I tell you, I did some fancy foot-work with that wheelchair. It took a long time to get through the place, in fact, we missed the last entire aisle because our transport was due to arrive...

But by the end of the afternoon, I had spent $44.00 and procured two very nice 19th century poetry volumes...

It was the first time since 2010 that I have spent that much money so frivolously! And it sure felt good.

When we got home, we were both utterly and completely exhausted. Bob immediately fell asleep. My legs were killing me.

But we were both happy, very happy, to have gone out and done something "normal".


cheri said...

i'm glad you could have a sort of normal day of fun!

- Cheri

J.L. Murphey said...

Diane, WTG! It's the little things that you can do as "normal" people that make you appreciate it more. I remember just before my stroke I was planning a get away. The first in over ten years. My husband floored me withe the question, with him or without him. Although it would have been easier to do without him, I would spend all of my down time worrying about him so there was no question in my mind.

You know what they say about best laid plans right? I had my stroke two weeks before my vacation getaway. I ended up taking a month away but not the way I wanted or needed.

I'm glad you and Bob had a good day of it. For me, I wouldn't have left my hubby in the aisle. I'd be using the wheelchair as a battering ram and yelling, "Excuse me!" as I ran over other people's toes. I use my cane the same way.

Sandra said...

I am so happy for you both! And don't feel guilty for spending s little bit of money. I think it was well earned. And a good husband always loves to make his wife happy. Bob must be twice as happy - once for himself and once for you. Bravo! Well done!

Anonymous said...

Such a fantastic trip. I think it was exactly what both you and Bob needed. It's great you got to purchase a couple of books and be a bit frivolous. Wonderful buys. You deserved it. Looks like Bob had a great time too, even with the crowd.
I hope you can do something similar soon. Hugs, Dan

GirlWithTheCane said...

I'm glad that you were both able to get out and do something together...and that you treated yourself! Sometimes you need to do that.