It felt like a true miracle that we made it to market yesterday. Why? I’ll tell you.
Last week we set up our market booth in the middle of the living room. All of our market stuff had been packed away since Holiday Market in December. (We get 3 months off of market every year, which is a great opportunity to focus on our online Etsy Shop and have a much-needed retreat. We always love those 3 months. And then when market starts again in April, we are renewed, missing market and so ready to go back!) We pulled it it all out and set it up. We rearranged, worked on our display, and got more art made to fill it up. There was so much to do and at times it was a little overwhelming. I wondered how are we going to get everything done in time for Saturday? But I felt it would all be ready in time somehow.
I organized all of our wood buttons on these cards to display and was so excited about it. Don’t they look nice on there?
I tied the buttons to the cards with hemp twine.We put the cards in a wood box to make it really easy to flip through them.
On Friday morning, we were making progress a lot faster than we expected. Every surface in the house was covered in market stuff and our living room was feeling very cramped and chaotic. So I was pretty darn excited to finally be at the point where we could tear it all down, load up the truck, and get our living room and house back. Jeff loaded a few things on the roof rack of the truck. As we were getting ready to load more into the truck, we realized that we needed hay for the goats and better get it before we fill the truck up. Jeff thought, while we were at it, we might as well wash the outside of our truck too. So we headed to town to run a few errands. I had a mental check list– okay, we’ll go to town, come back and load up the truck, clean the house, put the laundry away, do the dishes, pack food for market, sweep the floors and vacuum the rugs, take baths, get Bracken’s clothes laid out for the next morning because we’ll probably be in a rush.. the list went on. But it was feeling do-able.
When we got to the post office (a little over 3 miles from our home) Jeff had a frozen look of shock on his face as a realization hit him. In our rush, we had forgotten that we had two booth pieces on our roof that we had not strapped down! We starred at each other with our eyes wide and jaws dropped. He got out and checked the roof. They weren’t there.
So we turned back around to retrace our steps. Our eyes scanned the side of the road for our sign and side board. All the while, we were kicking ourselves that we had been in such a hurry that we didn’t notice them on the roof when we got in the truck. I prayed for a miracle. We made it all the way home and still no sign of them. We wondered where they were?
Well, we still needed to go to town so, with heavy hearts, we turned back around, keeping our eyes peeled. I hoped we would come across someone who had picked them up and that we would be in the right place at the right time to get them back. But as we were running errands and they hadn’t magically appeared, my heart started to sink even more. Jeff and I felt devastated. We had been working so very very hard and when we finally saw a light at the end of the tunnel, we had overlooked something in our rush and felt like we had just taken five steps backward. Ugh! How very frustrating. At one point, I was exhausted and really just felt like throwing a tantrum or curling up in a ball and crying. Suddenly my to-do list didn’t feel do-able at all. It all felt too much for me. Too big and mountainous to face.
It may seem like- what’s the big deal? It’s just two booth parts. But the sign was hand-carved by Jeff with inlay and hours upon hours of love and work put into it. And the side board was our main display piece. It was a rare treasure- a large piece of cedar that Jeff had been saving over the years for something special. I really couldn’t imagine our booth without it.
Our fast pace was stressful for us both and I knew we needed to not be hard on ourselves about a simple mistake.
So what did Jeff do in the midst of disappointment? Well, he may have secretly wished for a miracle also, but he wasn’t going to sit around waiting for it to happen. He went to the hardware store. He bought a new piece of wood (that was over-priced and in no way compared to the cedar) and had a good attitude about it. We finished our errands in town. We headed back home. Jeff set the booth up again, this time outside. He measured, marked, sawed, drilled and spent the remaining hours of daylight building a new display piece. The truck never did get washed, but- by golly we would have a side board after all!
I entered the house. I looked at the chaos around me. I put Bracken in the pack and nursed him while I did the dishes (was feeling very proud of being such a multi-tasking mama.) I watched Jeff work outside the kitchen window while I washed them. I admired him so much. Watching his response to disappointment- taking action towards finding a solution- inspired me. It made me think about myself. How do I respond to disappointment in life? I wanted to respond to disappointment gracefully and see it as a lesson.
So I washed those dishes. I cleaned that house. I put that laundry away. I swept. I vacuumed. I tidied up. I made soup. I decided that, even if I felt overwhelmed, I could take one step at a time. Focusing, piece by piece, got the job done. The mountain in front of me shrank and eventually disappeared. Jeff loaded up the truck, along with the new sideboard he had just finished. The living room felt huge without the booth in it. It was so nice to have our house back again. I remember sitting on the couch, breathing a sigh of relief and realizing that yes, in spite of it all, we really were going to make it to market. We took our baths, we ate some nourishing soup for dinner, and we went to bed early.
Then we were up early Saturday morning. Bracken was a sleepy head and I actually had to wake him up, so we could be ready in time. Throughout my life, my mom woke me up by gently singing ‘Good Morning Merry Sunshine’. So I followed in her footsteps, carrying on the tradition, and sang it to Bracken to wake him up and was greeted with a smile, so he must have liked it as much as I did. (Really, being woken up is never that fun, but having your mama gently singing to you seems like the best way to me.)
At market, the weather was great. There were even moments of warm sunshine throughout the day. We were so happy to be back at market.
We had great customers throughout the day. The buttons on the new card displays were a big hit. And so were Jeff’s new spoons and stirring paddles. We had no sign and our side board wasn’t the same as the old one, but we were at market and that’s what mattered. We had overcome obstacles to get there and we were so darn happy. We got to see so many friends we had missed. We had trade leftover from last year with our friends at farmer’s market, so I loaded up a bag of fresh spring greens- collards, kale, chard, spinach, and salad. That made me super happy. I was craving fruit and there wasn’t any fresh fruit at farmer’s market, but there was dried fruit. So we treated ourselves to some dried figs and prunes. Yum! In the summer we eat out of our garden and and from the farmer’s market so much that we hardly need to go to the grocery store. In the winter, we buy a lot of food from the grocery store. I am so grateful to have those fresh vegetables and fruit throughout the winter, but I am so glad to have farmer’s market again so we can be eating local produce. I don’t like how far the food has to travel to make it to us at the grocery store. And the farmer’s market produce is so colorful, loaded with nutrients and so fresh!
We did a fun trade with our friend Christelle, of Moon Root Soaps, for some of her new laundry detergent! We got lavender scented and patchouli lemongrass. I am so excited to try it out.
I took this picture this morning. Ready to use on a pile of laundry! You only need to use a tablespoon per load and there is enough for 56 loads! It’s only $7 and scented with natural essential oils in awesome combinations. So cool. Can’t wait to smell our clothes after a wash. I love the idea of not needing to go to the store, but getting everything we need locally, made by hand by locals rather than by big corporations. Now I know where we can get our laundry detergent, so that’s a good step towards that goal!
We also did another fun trade, but it’s a surprise for my mom for Mother’s Day and my mom reads my blog… so I won’t write about that one.
Doing trades is something we are incredibly grateful for! We love the community of market.
Bracken had been to Holiday Market, but this was his first time at Saturday Market. He seemed to really enjoy himself, especially the rocking music. And he got to see other little market babies, future playmates.
Then we headed home, with happy hearts and a truck full of abundance. We took baths, ate leftover soup, and then got all snuggly in our pajamas. We picked out seeds for the garden in a catalog while Bracken fell asleep between us. Then I wrote down my gratitude list in my journal while Jeff read a book from the library. I was so exhausted and our bed felt so comfortable.
Before I fell asleep, I thought- flow with life’s disappointments as gracefully as you can. Be easy on yourself when you feel like you’ve made a mistake. It’s all just lessons. And always celebrate your victories enthusiastically!
Then I was out like a log.