Guest Post: Linda Morrison


Linda Morrison

 

I am a finder, and maker.

I am a 67-year-old woman, 

I am lucky 

I am happy

And I found my tribe.

 

linda Morrison Ruffles and Rust

 

I hate to travel, but the opportunity to spend a week roaming around Provence 

with Corey as a guide seemed like a worthwhile endeavor.  

Corey took us to a small market in her village,  

while the others in the group shopped and wandered,  

I watched as the vendors did a dance that was familiar to me.  

I loved being a street vendor, 

 

 

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For many years I sold at a weekly flea market in Seattle,  

I loved the pace of my Sunday mornings.

Unloading the van, putting my tent up, going for coffee with my Fremont friends,

Pursuing the wares, hunting for a hidden treasure before returning to set up my own wares,

Then petting the dogs, chatting with customers, and selling my offerings.  

With the pace and swirl of it all, I recognized that same swirl in vendors in France.  

In fact, I have never been to any Flea market that I did not. 

That is my tribe, I know the dance. The language barrier was frustrating.

I wanted to tell them I know you.  I understand your day.  

But instead, I watched and wished that I could join them.

 

Linda morrison's shop 8

 


Linda morrison's shop 8

 


Linda morrison's shop 8

 

I started my street selling at a young age,

I grew up on an idyllic bit of a farm. 

It was my job to work the farm stand in the summer,

my uncle Joe sold Dungeness crab that he had pulled from traps

hours before and I sold whatever was ripe, laying, or blooming on the farm.  

My future husband remembers when he was around 8 years old

driving by our farm stand one day,

I was yelling at cars to stop and buy these damn flowers.  

That was the beginning of my retail training

 

 
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I honed my trade by doing Markets and small boutique shows.  

I was talking to my husband's oncologist.

She asked about a show that we were hoping he would feel well enough to do.  

She asked what it was like,

I told her it was like a very prestigious oncologist convention,

except we are all a bit shabby and not as educated,  

That is a show I do in Spokane Washington, it is what is considered

by most to be the creme de la creme of shows here on the west coast.  

I have been included in this show for 10+ years.

And every year I have the same emotion about it.  

I feel a bit shy like I am worried that my booth,

my stuff won’t be up to the standard that is expected.  

These are my peers, my tribe elders. I want them to know that I belong with them.  

I wait, and a few come by. They nod or buy.

That's the thumbs up I need to go on.  

It is a heady weekend.

A gathering.  

And even though I don’t really have the energy to do it as much anymore.  

I still want to be a part of that.

 Feel the comradely.

The laughs, the customers screaming as they run inside.  

Hard to let go.

 

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Linda morrison's shop 7


Linda morrison's shop 7

 

I spend my days now as  a shopkeeper, my store is a 5000 sq ft space,

that I split with a real “antique dealer” filled to the brim.  

Luluz & co,

it’s in Tacoma Washington on a street called, Antique Row.  

On a good day, I would say it has a European-influenced vintage vibe.

On other days I think I could do better,

My instinct tells me 14 ft ladders are not a good idea at this age

Nor is pushing and shoving stuff around is not so much of an option as it used to be.

If I could I would travel from show to show setting up and selling.  

But my body isn’t cooperating, it's hard work.

If  I were a millionaire, I would be doing exactly that,

Only hire a team to set up and takedown.  

But for now, I have a quirky store filled with odd bits and pieces along with the items I create.

My dogs are happy here,

 

IMG_9569 (1)

 

as is my 20-year-old cat

Lily

she has people come by just to pet her.

 



Linda morrison's shop 88

 

My beautiful amazing husband died 4 years ago, my life has changed.  

I am getting older, my knees and shoulders hurt,  

my enthusiasm for creating a booth worthy of an opera isn’t there anymore.

 

I still create.

 

Now, the tribe comes to me.  

 

 

Linda morrison's shop 7

 

 

I sit under a ridiculously over festooned pink tent and make stuff.  

My French mother had the remarkable ability to make everyday things beautiful.  

All that I treasure most about myself I got from her.  

She wasn’t particularly warm or caring as a mother to a scrawny only child.  

But she did show me what living a beautiful life was like.  

We were not extravagantly wealthy.  

But it looked like we were.  

A basket of fresh eggs on the counter was a bit of art,

the summer brass and iron beds placed around the farm

with duvets and pillows on them.  

Waiting for a hot summer night or an afternoon nap

after a long bit of reading are etched into me like a religion.  

In fact, that was my mother's, Frona's, religion.  

Creating beauty.

 

 

Linda morrison's shop 5
Linda morrison's shop 5

 

In turn, I love beautiful things,  

not a traditional beauty,

but imperfect beauty.  

Beauty to me is a white ironstone bowl with crazing, a piece of architecture with peeling paint,

a Santos hand without a body.

Every day I get to look at items like this,

treasure them and then send them off to the next owner.

And while it isn’t exactly like selling on the street,

I do have my store on a street that is filled with personalities:

The nudist, the ex-rock star that dresses in tight jeans,

a lovely ex-diplomat, and a retired judge that is a dandy.  

It’s still my tribe.

This is a business filled with folks just outside the box.  

Gypsies, artists, risk-takers, the disenfranchised more than the stuff

I love the people.

 

"I am going to make everything

around me beautiful

That will be my life."

Elsie de Wolfe

 

Linda morrison's shop 2


Linda morrison's shop 2
Linda morrison's shop 2

 

In a year like this last one has been,

I have found myself many a time thinking about all the joy

I have gotten from being a part of this business.

I think back on the beautiful market I helped create in an old navy air hanger in Seattle,

the night setting up while snow drifted in some of the broken  2 story windows,

I remember early morning at willow nest in the fog with deer dancing through the booths.  

I remember Fremont in mid-summer and

the hippy woman selling pot brownies before they were legal.  

I remember how much I have loved every part of being a junker,  

as this odd year comes to an end

 

I am grateful. 

 



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Follow Linda on Facebook

Linda's shop

Luluz et Co.

755 Broadway, Tacoma, WA 98402, United States

 

                 

[Author: French la Vie]


Tags: Travel, France, United States, Seattle, Provence, Joe, Corey, Linda, Spokane Washington, Tacoma Washington, Elsie de Wolfe, French la Vie, Linda Morrison, Luluz, Frona, Facebook Linda, Luluz et Co, Broadway Tacoma WA

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