I love to trade things — services, items of clothing, food, etc. I think this dates back to my grade school days of marble trading. What better way to get a coveted cat’s eye or crystal without any monetary output?
Last Christmas, my friend, Norm, made a pizza peel for his wife and posted a photo on Facebook. I told him I’d trade him a Nelson Steiner cane for a pizza peel. A few months later, Norm let me know that my peel was on its way to Bluffton via a mutual friend who was coming to visit his mother. Though Norm insisted I owed him nothing, I was determined to give him a cane, but the trade was not completed until a few weeks ago when Norm was visiting Bluffton. We met up at Common Grounds and the cane passed hands. So…I’ve got a peel with which to remove my hot pizza stone from the oven and Norm has a cane for….someday…when he needs it.
Before we went on vacation in June, I hired some friends’ kids to mow our yard and weed our garden. A few days later, sitting on the beach, my phone bleeped at me, signaling a text. It was my friend, JP, mom to our mowers/weeders. Would I consider a trade rather than pay? One of her sons needed two shirts to wear at the Indian Village during the recent sesquicentennial, and she wondered if I’d make the shirts in exchange. Of course!
We came home to no weeds and a mowed yard; in exchange, there were two shirts — already cut out — ready to be sewn. Here’s how that trade turned out…at least from JP’s end. I’ll admit that was not one of the easier trading projects…there was some gnashing of teeth and hair pulling before the shirts were done. But hey, it was probably no more challenging than those kids dealing with the burdock that grows wild in my garden.
Usually, I feel like I get the best end of the deal, but I’m pretty sure the other person is just as satisfied. Yesterday I posted a photo of my “field of dreams” from my garden — a particularly pretty plot of daisies that are threatening to consume our garden. Daisies are my favorite flower, so it’s not a problem for me, but my husband keeps mumbling something about splitting them up and “Wouldn’t one of your friends like some of these?”
Turns out another friend, Joanna, a local baker, was planning a party for her daughter and needed some daisies. She wondered if I would trade some daisies for some cupcakes. What a silly question…who would turn down cupcakes? When she and Katherine stopped by for the daisies and my husband spied the cupcakes, his eyes lit up. I’m pretty sure I’ve heard the end of his grumbling about the daisies.
Truthfully, I still think I got the best end of the deal. I even got an extra trade out of the deal — a fuzzy stem from a purple grass and a hot pink coneflower for a beautiful smile from Katherine, a delightful three-year-old.