The last ninety six hours hours have been such a jam packed whirlwind, I really hope I get it all covered. You are all in for a treat as I think it will take at least four posts to get it done.
When we first started All My Musings, it was a simple goal. I needed to be kept busy since my semi retirement and we found ourselves in need of another income because George had been laid off again. They had said he 'might' go back to work around 2015 and I said, (in a heartbeat) 'uh, NO!'.
My creativity was still firing all most all of it's cylinders on good days and I was having fun. That was all that matter in the beginning. Oh, and we were getting by.
As we grew and started expanding our exposure in various markets, our life started changing as well. If you read this blog at all, you have heard me say that we are constantly amazed by the folks we meet and show with along the way. We now have this extended road family that expands seven states and hundreds of friends and thousands of customers.
On Thursday of last week, we had been given the opportunity to visit a new venue to scope it out for am upcoming show. Even tho this was just hours before we were due to get on the road and drive a couple hundred miles to Michigan, we wanted to travel the extra time and head in the opposite direction, of all places downtown Chicago. Don't get me wrong, I love the city and wish we had more leisure time to visit and enjoy it. So we left really early Thursday to go visit the Ravenswood Event Center in the city. This is where the cool Indie Wed show will be held February 2, 2013.
On a normal weekday, this jaunt can take anywhere between an hour to an hour and forty five minutes depending on rush hour traffic.
Oops, apparently everyone is still on Holiday break and we buzz down in a brief 50 minutes. Just a tad early.
We located the venue and walked to the main office to see if we could possibly get in a bit early. The young lady in the property office was so sweet and said if we could hold on a couple of minutes, she would be glad to walk down with us.
As we walked along, she looks at us and said, "Don't I know you from the recent Lycee show in Chicago?"
I was horrified that she didn't look familiar and was trying desperately to recall what happened during the three days we were there. That show was only 2 weeks after George's heart attack and I was in full blown hyper mode trying to set up a show with strange help and keep an eye on George and do the show. I am applying for a juggling job with Ringling Barnum and Bailey next time they are in town.
Not easy or enjoyable. We were swamped and it was a tough show for me.
So she goes on to explain, that she was with her fiance, they talked to me about a shabby/vintage feel wedding and how she loved everything in our booth. Her friend walks up and she says, 'Remember that cool booth I told you about at the French Market, this is them'.
I am feeling pretty amazed by now and then a third woman walks up and starts the same type of conversation, 'Didn't I see you at NA DA farms this past October?" Yep, we were there too !
George and I started laughing after all this died down and agreed we had better start taking better notes on who we talk to at each venue, cuz' we aren't remembering as much as we would like too. It felt pretty doggone good that people knew who All My Musings was.
Now this reason I am relating this, is that it got sooo much better a couple of days later. Fast forward to a nice drive up north, a gorgeous venue, the DeVos Center in downtown Grand Rapids, MI, a wonderful setup, we got to park in an inside garage to unload and the actual venue was beautiful.
The first thing I noticed was all the handshakes, hugs and kisses that were happening around the trucks, trailers and vans being unloaded. So many of our vendor friends hadn't seen each other for some time, some as long as 4 or 5 months, so it was a huge family reunion of sorts. You could over hear statements like, 'the family is doing well and we had a great Holiday or It sure is good to be back at work". Tons of laughter but very caring, very sincere and warm, they are such a great bunch to work with.
On the first full day, we were busy from the get go and as the morning moved on, we sold out of the new runner collection, the new pins and several customers from Allegan stopped in and chatted, we stayed really busy.
Then it happened. I got my heart handed to me.
A bunch of people were in the booth and several conversations going on at once, (completely normal for our place!) when one of the ladies piped in and said, "That's why I am here, I read about it on your blog". I stopped cold in my tracks and focused on the voice that was speaking, not believing what I heard.
Let me digress for a minute here. I have always hoped someone was reading this other than family and friends, not that I don't absolute LOVE my family and friends that read this. I DO ! ! !
But when a non family member stands face to face to you and says out loud where others can hear, "I love reading where you go, the shows you do and the places you visit. I kinda' live vicariously thru your travels" and goes on to relate several details about past postings, ( remember the $2.88 gas price from November piece?) that was it. It hit like a ton of bricks. My eyes welled up, I stumbled and stammered for words trying to thank her for coming out to the show and for reading my blog. It was blubberly to say the least and probably a little sappy on my part but I didn't care.
Someone new then started the "you have a blog?" conversation and we were off onto another part of the topic.
But the first part didn't get lost on me. I thought about it the rest of the day, it was discussed at dinner and retold to as many of my fellow vendors that would listen.
It was a truly magical moment that I will talk about for years to come. Thank you again as I know you are reading this and that short term memory thing is acting up tonight and I can not remember your name. But you promised to comment, so please do so I can say thank you properly.
For the first time ever, the entire space got videoed as well this trip so if I can get the YouTube thing straightened out, there will be video tomorrow. That may or may not happen. We will just have to see.
In the meantime, I am beat, it is late and tomorrow is just a few minutes away.
Thank you to each and every one of you that stop here, I really, really appreciate you.