At 12 I would have been mortified to be seen at Trade Day. In a couple of weeks I’ll be 38. Somehow, I’ve grown to love Trade Day in my hometown. Thankfully, my children are nothing like I was. They eat it up too. What is Trade Day you ask?

Remember when bartering was in it’s hey day? Area farmers met and traded and bartered goods and supplies every Monday. Legend Grandma tells that on the third Monday of every month, the farmers made sure their best of everything was brought out, especially mules that they wanted to trade. That’s why if someone tells  you that you look as good as a Third Monday Mule, you shouldn’t be offended. I feel like a mule most days so if I hit that Third Monday mark, it’s all good.

Anyway, Trade Day has everything you could possibly imagine. We bought VHS tapes! Grandma has a VHS upstairs. It’s awesome for introducing the kids to classic Disney. Anyway, you’ll find plants, shrubs and trees and antiques. This time there were boxes and boxes of dollar store items, old records and every sort of animal you could possibly want to buy. Wait, I did not see and alpaca. I’m sure they have been at a trade day, but not the Monday we went.

There were huge turkeys contained in dog pens.

 Now, the girls want a rabbit. Maybe I’m changing my mind about Trade Day. I don’t think there is an animal in the world that produces more poop.

 Yes, there was even a peacock for your farm. I seriously love the idea of sitting by a pond on my forty acre property under a weeping willow, there is a gentle breeze and my pet peacock struts by ruffling it’s plume. In reality, I don’t think there is a bird that says, “Please eat me Mr. Bobcat,” quite like a peacock. I think that must be why there is always one at Trade Day and the only other place I’ve seen them is walking around zoos where the lions are left to lick their lips behind a cage.

There were also these other blue faced animals that I found it hard to identify. They were walking around with another animal often known as a city slicker with a camera lens attached to her face. 

 This is the one shot I braved of Trade Day while we were waiting for Italian Ice. I was shocked that there was Italian Ice at Trade Day. Back in the day, it was homemade ice cream or maybe a snowcone. Come to think of it, I think there was a cooler in the car. I don’t think Grandma, AKA Mom would shell out for a canned drink when I was their age. (I love you Mom! And this Mom doesn’t shell out much either…)

 I love this. Nothing says Western KY like a hand painted Sponge Bob and a Sun Drop. I love that there is a can of Sun Drop sitting on the cooler. Have I mentioned my Diet Sun Drop addiction?

I have a friend who owns chickens. She needs a new one. I was telling her that I saw every variety of chicken at Trade Day. I was pontificating that I think the prettier varieties also seem to be the meanest. The dowdy looking chickens seemed to be the sweetest. Of course that led to a discussion about hens being like the Pretties. Now, I think I’m ready for school to start. I miss my pretties.

My chicken friend friend with chickens asked why I love Trade Day so much since the only animal in my house is a big old sweet yellow lab with a penchant for naps. I love Trade Day because there is no better way to see a slice of our country. There are wealthy people out looking for an antique bargain. You’ll see the antique pickers and red necks looking for a deal on a gun and Mennonites selling tomato relish. Horse drawn buggies slide up next to 4×4 trucks. There is the odd person visiting with the camera strapped to their chest taking pictures of their kids with animals that they might have only seen at the zoo. I have to stop and talk to 53 people I haven’t seen in the last 20 years. There are migrant workers and elderly farmers selling beloved farming equipment as antiques. There are old Barbies and cookbooks, records and quilts to look at. There are crafters and people selling every form of knife you would possibly want to buy. I love Trade Day because at my heart, I am a busy body people watcher. There is no place in the world better watch people than Trade Day.

If you ever find you way to Mayfield, KY on a Monday, I highly suggest that you make your way over to the fairgrounds. You have to go early, before it gets so hot you melt. Take cash… and your camera… and make sure it’s a third Monday kind of Monday.