| May 2003

My mother grew up on a farm and spent many hours in her garden and flowers. Before she passed away at age 76, she and I enjoyed attending flea markets and tractor shops together.

During our trips to the Lexington Flea Market, we caught up on what was going on in our lives, often discussing church events, family, etc. - mostly relaxed, congenial conversation - something we had not done enough of. We also discussed prices and what the best deals were. Physically, she seemed to make the tours better than me (with my worn-out knees) and never mentioned feeling tired or bad.

Two occasions turned out to be particularly special. I needed to go by the Harley shop and John Deere dealership. So, on the way we went to the flea market, and while I took care of business, Mother checked out the numerous items at each place. She discussed mower prices at the John Deere dealership and considered a watch at Tilley's Harley Davidson shop.

On our final trip to the flea market, I got some furniture, and she got some pansies, and a rod and reel.

These excursions were some of the best times we ever had together. We shared time as friends and companions, as well as parent and child. My memories of these simple events are most cherished. I only wish that I had found more time to spend with her.

- Fred Lowrey Jr., 422 Gus Hill Road, Clemmons, NC 27012