That’s what my Aunt Laura calls it. Messing. It’s when you get in the car and just go. You may have a general idea where you’re going or a store or two you want to hit, but you’re not “going to the store.” You’re going Messing. It has more of an adventurous tone to it when it’s said like that. Casual. Carefree. Who knows where you’ll wind up or what you’ll find. There’s no goal or true destination. You’re just out and about. Messing. An adventure.
When the 8-year old asked us where we were going as our car hit the interstate that’s exactly what we told her. “We’re going on an adventure.” And for us it was, because really we weren’t sure what to expect. We did have a destination in mind, which was the true reason we hopped into the vehicle to begin with. I had discovered that a writer friend of mine that I had met on Twitter, Margie Miklas (aka @MargieMiklas) was signing her book with some other authors down in Vero Beach. Being only an hour away from us, the girls and I decided to go and meet her. It’s always nice when you can put a real person to a computer name.
We made it down in the allotted hour without incident or a gazillion questions from the 8-year old asking the same thing. Along the beach at Sexton Plaza in front of Mulligan’s, several crafts people had set up tents and were selling their creative wares. The girls and I decided to start at one end and work our way down to the stalls by the beach. We weren’t in any hurry and, after all, we were out Messing.
The first tent was home to a lady selling jams and marmalades she had jarred herself. Her mother was along for assistance and her two little ones were behind her probably wishing they were back at the house. The lady had several jars opened so people could sample before buying along with some crackers and cream cheese. Char would have been happy with just the cream cheese, but sadly the lady wasn’t selling that.
We arrived in front of this lady’s booth about the same time we are normally sitting down to dinner and a couple of us had already made the comment that we were hungry. The unsuspecting lady needed more jam. We sampled this and that and then sampled it all again. Well, the girls and I did. The 8-year old wanted nothing to do with anything that didn’t come out of a grocery store she knew and trusted.
The jams were actually quite delicious and the ladies very charming. We laughed and joked as we tasted the different flavors and in the end I would up purchasing an orange marmalade and something called a candied jalapeno spread. I felt we at least owed it to the lady for the “sampling” we did.
With our bellies full, we moved to the next stall, which held brightly colored planters and signs handcrafted by a nice gentleman. After that were several booths with handcrafted jewelry. The girls spent quite a bit of time here and now the 8-year old wanted to try everything, especially the elaborate headbands with flowers and other gaudy delights attached to them.
While the girls were examining the bracelets and necklaces at one booth, the creator of the jewelry start to share his craft process with me.
“First, I start with palm tree nuts,” he said.
I just stared. “Palm trees have nuts? And you play with them?”
“Yes, but they have to be fresh. Too old and they become too hard to the touch. I don’t want those.”
“You want young nuts, not old nuts. What about middle-aged nuts?” The girls elbowed me in the side.
“Young nuts are best because they’re soft and I can use them. I soak them in colored water for a few days and when they dry out, I polish them until they shine.”
“So, you soak your nuts and then rub them?”
“Yes. It really brings them out. See?”
“And how long do you rub your nuts before…” And the girls said goodbye and dragged me to the next booth.
“He sure was proud of his nuts.”
And he should have been. He was quite talented at his craft and the girls are already planning a trip to Celebration to purchase his nuts, um, jewelry.
To be honest, I’m quite impressed with the creativity of people. The fact that this man looked at what most of us just rake up while we’re complaining about yard work and thought to make some very beautiful jewelry out of it amazes me. Then to take his creation and put it out there for smart asses like me to buy requires a large amount of courage. I have no doubt we will be making that trip to Celebration and bringing home some of his creations.
We finally made it to the tent of Treasure Coast Writers Guild to visit Margie and her friends and the girls and I spent more time there than we did the other booths combined. Margie was joined by writers Peter Haase and Edward Bruce Bew, two of the nicest gentlemen you could meet. Introductions were made and the conversation flowed as we browsed through her collection of photographs she had taken on her trips to Italy. I also picked up a copy of Margie’s book, Memoirs of a Solo Traveler: My Love Affair with Italy and I highly recommend it to you. I was hooked from the dedication page. “For my late husband Steve, who loved traveling as much as I do, and encouraged me to go to Italy without him.” It reminded me of the movie P. S. I Love You and so I kept turning the pages.
Margie was a very sweet lady and we could have talked for quite awhile. I look forward to the time our conversation can continue and wish her great success in her writing as well as her travels. Perhaps on our next Messing trip we will meet up again. The treasures one finds on these little adventures are always priceless.
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