three times the charm

As cliche as it sounds, it’s hard to believe that another season of farmers markets has gone by. It’s tough- the heat, the missed naps, God help us if it rains…

But the farmers market people at the three weekly markets we sell soap at have become like family to us! They have watched our kids grow. They have worried about me through a difficult pregnancy. They have seen us at our sweatiest and stinkiest. Evie has essentially spent every summer of her life at the markets, for some perspective.

Our first summer we worked our behinds off to get out of debt. The second year it was all about the beach vacation. This year, we went because we love those farmers market people.

We missed a lot of markets this year. The Tuesday market concluded a couple weeks ago. Attending that market involves yanking kids out of beds from naps and surviving for an hour or so by myself while helping customers until Brent gets off work. We were so blessed to have sweet friends, the Vines, in the booth next door this year. Between the two of us, we had 9 kids roaming around!

Then we have a day off to prepare for the next market of the week.

Our Thursday market is on the Alabama campus in Tuscaloosa.

::::::::::ROOOOOOLLLLL TIDE!!!::::::::::::

Anyway, yeah we go because we are big fans. And they are big fans of our soap. And I kid you not, big burly football dudes totally love the Happy Thoughts soap. 

This market is a family field trip day. Brent takes the day off, we skip naps altogether, and roll with the punches in the name of adventure. You might recall this was the epic scene where AAA totally let me down.

Even though the market is still swinging, we had designated last Thursday to be our last. We have a big markdown sale on the last market and folks stock up like its Y2K. A really dirty Y2K. Of course our last Thursday had to be just one.more.adventure. Because our lives have been totally boring lately.

We had just finished setting out ridiculously large piles of soap on our table when lightening struck and a squall broke out overhead. Tents flew everywhere. Tree branches sailed by. After we ran circles around the table screaming “What do we do?!” and wringing our hands, we settled on throwing the edges of the burlap table cloth over the soap and lowering the tent like a big giant umbrella. It took both of us hanging on to keep it from blowing away. And when you’ve got several hundred dollars worth of soap on a table in a monsoon, you will do whatever it takes to keep it relatively dry.

And would you believe our loyal customers ducked right in and bought soap anyway?

It’s good people in Alabama.

The kids were still in the truck when the storm hit, thankfully. Except Titus, he was in his exersaucer and I threw him in the way-back and shut him in. Evie stayed in her seat and peed gallons all over herself.

Once the storm blew over we raised the tent, let the kids out, and cleaned Evie up.

Now, I’m not the mom who ever has diapers, wipes, or spare clothes on hand. But Ezra is a unique little boy who always packs three changes of clothes for any day trip.

So Evie was dressed like a boy the rest of the day.

We concluded the trip with our favorite dinner destination: Five Guys. I broke my diet and ate there too, out of sentimentality.

Today was the last Saturday market for us. The market director nearly cried when I told him we were possibly moving. I enjoy this market a lot. Even though it involves leaving the house early, and sometimes 100+ degree weather.

I’m normally giddy at the thought of putting away all the market signs and boxes at the end of the season. It’s exhausting, restocking three times a week, loading up three times a week, unloading three times a week, etc.

But it’s also familiar. Farmers markets are good for the soul. You can be having the crappiest day, but by the end of the market, life is just peachy.

I hate not knowing if we’ll be back next year. I hate not knowing what two months from now looks like. I get queasy at the idea of not having my home school support group. I get nervous at the idea of relocating our business. Atlanta is really honking big.

But there is also a tiny thrill at the unknown. Elation about living near family and old friends again.

Three days until the interview! We are sitting tight.