Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Weathering Storms

I started this blog to share my journey in creating jewelry.  I have been creating some new fun pieces and I will share that with you sometime soon.  Right now I want to share an experience that is related to my jewelry business and can pertain to anyone who does craft shows, flea markets or festivals.

Last Friday afternoon I began setting up for our local 4th of July Festival.  The weather has been extremely hot and dry here in Indiana.  Our local weather was calling for 100+ temperatures with only 30% chance of rain.  My 9x9 canopy was up and I had my tables where I wanted them.  One of my tables is a solid 6 foot table that does not fold in half for easy transport.  It is plastic but it is made of sturdy stuff.

I placed two of my display boards up on the solid table.  One board is about two feet tall.  It is a peg board that I use to display earrings and there were over 70 pairs of earrings on that board.  The other board was only about a foot tall but contained over 50 pairs of earrings.  I turned to my other table and started to pull more things out for my display but I glanced at the sky.  There were some storm clouds moving in so I decided not to place anything else out and see if the clouds would just blow over.  Suddenly a wind knocked the tallest board to the ground scattering earrings.  Many wonderful people came to my aid and helped to pick up the scattered earrings.  I was standing there trying to decide a better way to display my items when a member of the fire department came by yelling "Take cover!" (or something like that.  I honestly do not remember his exact words).

He no more than got the words out when a gust of wind took my table and flipped it into my arm.  The table then whipped around me and flew several feet back behind me into a cannon that is cemented into the court house lawn.  My other table also took off flying.  At the time this is happening I reached up and grabbed onto my canopy.  There were others that came to my aid but we ended up letting the canopy go and it also blew off behind me.  At this point we all headed for the safety of the court house.

This is a picture of part of the table.  It hit the canon so hard it warped the frame causing the screws to pop out.

When I came out of the court house my jewelry was scattered all over the ground.  My totes that I carried things in were gone as was my cart, tables and fishing tackle boxes that I use to carry my jewelry in when I travel.  Basically my spot was bare except the things that were scattered on the ground.  I began to walk around looking to see what I could salvage.  God was good and the first thing I found was my belt pack that contained all of my change for the weekend and my identification.  It was partly opened and I lost a little change but I was so happy to find it.  At this point it began to rain very hard.  I grabbed what I could and threw it into the court house.  I called my husband.  He had planned to come help me with my set up after he got off work but I began to cry as I explained we would be looking for what ever we could find because it all blew away.  He did not really understand until he made it to where my booth would have been.

As I waited for my husband I made short trips in and out finding what I could and bringing the jewelry it into the court house.  I found my tackle boxes.  They held up well.  If you are looking for a great fishing tackle box I vouch for Plano!  I had only removed one section to start my set up so everything else that was still inside the boxes were unharmed.  My night ended with me soaking wet and throwing what I could find and salvage in my car.

My husband continued to look for things as I headed home to get dry.  He said he found business cards of mine over a block away.  When I got home I began to realize how lucky I was.  I was bruised and my business would take a big loss for the weekend but no one who was there was seriously injured.  Had this storm moved in only a short time later the streets would have been filled with people for a water ball fight between the local fire departments.  The flying canopies and debris would have injured many more people if it would have happened during that event.

The next day my wonderful daughter spent hours untangling the mess.  I am counting my blessing that I was not seriously injured but in equipment and inventory I lost over $300.  Not to mention the loss sales.  I was too sore and my items in too much chaos to try and tend a booth but I forced  myself to go up the the festival the next day to deal with my grief and fear.  I spoke to many who had been there when the storm hit.  A nice elderly couple told me how the man in the booth next to them had a weather app for his phone and he had told them a storm was coming.  They barely got their canopy dropped down on top of their tables when it hit.   "We are 80 years old but we hung on!  That canopy was a flopping but we hung on!" He said with a smile.  I said a prayer thanking God that these sweet people were not injured and for the the two wonderful ladies who had a booth behind where mine would have been.  They had found some of my items and returned them to me when they saw me.

This experience showed me the kindness of people in an extremely bad situation.  I had strangers who helped me and a wonderful young man who offered me his jacket when I was soaking wet and cold.  I am grateful to everyone of them.

What I want to share with you is if you show at craft shows, flea markets or festivals you should have a weather ban radio as part of your emergency kit.  It doesn't matter if your show is indoors or out.  This storm hit so fast that it probably would not have helped in this case but you better believe I will have one next time.  It is a small price to pay for something that may save your life.

A quick after thought.  I can now say my creations can survive storms! ha ha Here is a picture of one of my necklaces.  Notice the earrings that were stuck in it but yet the stone I wrapped stayed in place.

Always try to find the good in every situation.  Makes weathering storms so much easier!

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