Thursday, March 2, 2017

Looking forward to this weekend ....

... and really missing Kevin. I am doing a three-day craft show. That's fun. It is Swamp Fest at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park and it starts tomorrow. Kevin's been my right hand when it comes to craft shows. Three days of nonstop hawking your wares in the sun, wind, sometimes rain can get the best of us down. But, we looked at differently. In the first place it seldom rains three days straight this time of the year. The sun is pretty nice in March and we tried to ignore the wind. The best part, about three-day shows, Kevin always said, was we get a days' break between set up and tear down. Even though, we went through a nightly procedure of closing our booth , setting up tearing down were the most exhausting parts of the weekend.

We did this show a few years ago when it was held in a county park and it was a two-day show. The first day we did pretty well and I was looking forward to Sunday. However, a bad storm swept through the area on Saturday night and the park was badly hit. Because of Kevin's diligence and regard for the overnight care of our belongings, he had secured the tent, tables and  goods. Our things were spared. Nothing was broken lost or otherwise damaged.

When we showed up on Sunday morning we were horrified to see the mayhem. I had a sick feeling that faded as we approached our spot. Many of the tents around us were overturned and stuff was scattered everywhere on the ground. A stained glass vendor had just arrived to a tent full of smashed artwork. They closed down the show.

Turned out the park was jinxed. Every storm whipped up turbulent wind in the park. We quit doing shows held there. The shows and concerts that were held there have been moved.

So, this year, I decided to give it another try. It is less than five miles from home, so why not?  All this week, I've been so excited. I love doing craft shows and meeting people. It is fun to explain how I do what I do. I spent many hours selecting which items to take. I made sure everything listed on Etsy was coded so I can use my Etsy card reader for both charges and cash sales. I was careful to pack things in some logical  order. Although, I decided to take a lot more stock than usual, I tried to follow how Kevin would pack the car and I actually got everything to fit.

But by this morning, worry started creeping into my head. Luckily Anna offered to help on  mornings through out the weekend. She's also adding a few of her items with mine. And neighbor Phyllis plans to come by on afternoons to  give me a break.

After setting up the tent and carefully anchoring the tables and bins this afternoon I worried all the way home that I had forgotten to do something or hadn't anchored everything properly.

Its just not the same. Kevin did so much. He had a big part in doing shows. There were all of these things I didn't have to think about, because those were his tasks. And everything ran pretty smoothly.

Most of all I miss the joy. He would talk to customers, tell them what processes I undertook for each piece. He'd take many pictures through out the weekend and put them on our website. I closed it a while ago. He'd wander talking to vendors we knew and make new friends with others. He would buy small treasures and bring me treats.

I loved looking back in the tent behind the tables, where he'd be reading a book, listening to a baseball game or just sitting there, taking it all in. I hardly ever worried back then. We both enjoyed doing this together.

When Kevin started feeling sick, we stopped doing shows.

I know he will be with me in my heart. I just hope I don't screw up. So please send me any good luck and best wishes you can spare. This weekend I need them.

Swamp Fest




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