September 10, 2003
First, there is doing the crafts. Hours and days and weeks of creating works of art that will be sold for a couple bucks. Maybe. If Iím lucky.
Then there is loading the car. Five tables, one pegboard, one bookcase, two chairs, six flats and ten small plastic crates of books, one large bin, one small bin, two boxes of Christmas cactus and rosebud geranium plants, assorted boxes and bags of crafts and craft sale paraphernalia. Yes, they all fit in a Chevy Lumina. Barely. Drag myself out to the farm late in the evening and stay up late finishing last-minute projects.
Up early in the morning, pack a cooler full of water (lots of water!) and munchies, then hit the road, me with my Lumina, Mom with her Explorer, packed not quite as tightly so she has room for the luxuries like fans. We arrive at the venue, in this case, a steel Quonset with a dirt floor that has thankfully been watered down, so we donít stir up a cloud of dust with every movement. For the next two hours we set up tables and arrange displays. Yes, I did say two full hours.
For the next seven hours we sit by the fans and swat flies, millions of flies. People stop and chat, but nobody is buying. We commiserate with the other vendors. Finally the day ends and we go home, hoping tomorrow will be a better day.
Up bright and early again the next day, back to the Quonset and the dirt and the flies. And the people. Hundreds of people. Person after person stops by our tables. They ooh and ah over my afghans and crafts, Momís rag rugs and baby quilts. Most donít buy, but still they stop to admire and compliment and share their own crafting stories with us. An old lady fingers my afghans and tells me a story about how when she was learning to crochet as a child, she rammed the hook straight through a too-tight loop and into her finger, and how her mother was knitting her a scarf, and when she wasnít around, she took the needles and did a few rows herself, just to see if her mother would notice. A teenage girl admires Momís rugs and says her grandma has a loom and she wants to learn to weave. She tells her about a scratch art picture she did that won her Grand Champion in 4-H one year. A lady asks me if I will drop the price if she buys two of my little wooden boxes, and, when I agree, she tells me about her two granddaughters and how she always has to buy them the same things. She thanks me enthusiastically, and goes on her way with a big smile. I donít know if itís because she really appreciated the discount or because she got the better of me in a bargain, but it really doesnít matter, because my craftwork made her happy.
And then, all too soon, itís time to pack it all up. Five tables, one pegboard, one bookcase, two chairs, five flats and eight small plastic crates of books, one large bin, one small bin, assorted boxes and bags of crafts and craft sale paraphernalia are packed back into my Lumina. No Christmas cactus or geraniumóthey have all been sold, mostly to children who were enchanted by the small plants. Why, I donít know, but they made them happy.
And we drive home, tired but happy, and crash in the kitchen. And we make plans for the next sale.