Sunday, June 22, 2008

Who would have thought?

Before the bear.
After the bear.
Before the bear.
After the bear.

Who would have thought that a bear, a REAL bear, would have been part of Flourishes flea market? The connection between my bear business, The Silly Bear, and a bear wreaking havoc on my flea market the morning of our show was.....too weird. I don't know how else to describe it other than....weird.

We had been told the day we were setting things up that a bear had been seen in the area feeding out of birdfeeders and chicken coops and walking around in the cemetary next to the house. Okay, thank you for letting us know. I hardly gave it a second thought after we told the vendors. We went about setting up.....had pizza in the field for dinner.....put on the finishing touches....and left everything in perfect order, ready for Saturday morning.

At 6:30am Saturday morning my world started to spin. Six of twelve booths set up and ready for marketers were now in shambles. Heavy cabinets were tipped over, contents broken on the ground. And then it started to sprinkle rain. I stood in the middle of the field and shook my hand at the sky and said, "Stop it! Stop it right now! Don't do this to me." I thought I might have a melt down right there.

All month things had gone haywire. I had vendors and artists bail on me one by one. How was I going to fill up the field and make a show worthy of those who'd stuck by me? What else......I had to fill the spaces myself. Eight booths. My husband, children, son-in-law and sister in law are rock stars for helping me move everything out of the gymnasium, set everything up, work the show AND take everything back down and move it all back into the gym. I am forever in their debt. I love you guys. (As tears run down my face.)

Not only had I been dealing with the disappointment with what was going on with Flourishes business, I was also worrying about my mom's health issues. The doctors are still trying to sort that out. And lastly, I have been nursing a rotator cuff injury in my left shoulder. Advil. Lots and lots of Advil. Smile girlie....just keep smiling.

The bear was nearly my undoing. However, I couldn't let everyone down by having a nuclear meltdown in the middle of the field. So, I shook my fist at the sky and then proceeded to pick up the mess so we'd be ready to welcome the first marketers at 8am. Afterall, the show must go on!! Smile girlie....just keep smiling. :o)

Warmest hugs, Aleta
A special note: Thank you to Joe & Jermonne, Barn House; Debbie Taylor and Lori; Corrine and Karen, Second Childhood Girlfriends; and Tammy Gilley, Tammy Gilley Studios for their support and presence at our flea market.
I'd also like to thank my teddy bear collector friends Debbie, Joye and Lee for driving all the way from Seattle to make my day extra special. A big thank you too, to Bonnie Foster(a fellow teddy bear artist and 2008 Industry Choice winner!) and her husband for traveling all the way from Idaho to say hello.


Shantell said...

Oh my goodness...I can't even begin to think of what to I'll just give you a big hug instead. If I were closer you know I would have been there helping too!!!


Brittany said...

Reliving the disaster that morning through your blog makes me start crying all over again. We would do anything to help you out. I don't know of anyone else that could've pulled it off like you did. You are the true rock star!

Love, B

laurie said...

Wow! You worry about so many factors with a show like yours, BUT A BEAR? Sending happy thoughts, support and true admiration for you...the show must go on!

Kimberly said...

I am back in Boston - beyond tired - but wouldn't have missed it for the world! I may joke with you that this was NO kind of vacation, but any time spent with you and Bill and the kids is worth it. Even though we kept telling you to "put it down" when you were trying to lift something - knowing if I lifted on more thing I was going to be hurting the next morning the kids and I smiled and continued to lift, and move, and sort, and SMILE! You and Bill and your family values are what my David and I strive for. You may not always have good days - but you know your family is standing right there beside you. Now rest your arm and body - I know I am taking 2 days to recoup!! I love you guys - and honestly wouldn't have missed it for the world!

Nancy said...

Oh Aleta...I am so sorry. I am at a loss for words, although I do know from my own fun experiences with bears, that they can be a nuisance at times...I'm sure "nuisance" isn't quite a strong enough word right now though!

I have to tell you though...I am inspired by your sheer determination!
It is a lot of hard work putting a show together and one does not need a bear's help...crazy guy!

I am glad that your spirit is not broken...hang in there girl!

Hugs, Nancy

Chrissi said...

Oh Aleta I'm so upset for you reading what that stupid bear did. I can't even imagine walking into that after working so hard. You're a serioulsy tough lady!! With a wonderful supportive family (that speaks volumes about you...the family you've built!!)
Thinking positive thoughts for you and personally asking St Francis to keep the little animals close by, only the little ones.

Brenda said...

OMGosh! I am so sorry one misplaced bear could do soooo much damage, but after all our years up north, I do understand how destructive they can be.
A family unit like yours is one to be so proud of and I'm glad the show was able to go forward. Please, take it easy for a bit and get so me rest - you certainly deserve it!



Theresa said...

Dear Aleta,

I'm soooo sorry to hear about your neighborhood bear coming to visit on the wrong day. At least the show went on and I'm sure it was lovely. Hang in there it will all work it's self out... as they say... and I'm so glad your family was there to help you. If anything this was a test of true unity and your family has passed with flying colors. :)



Christine LeFever said...

You think bears, tiny, faux ones that is, and what do you get but a real bear...who enjoys doing displays.

What an amazing story, dear Aleta. You are a trooper and indeed so is each member of your family.


Christine (Zwee!!!!!!!)

Karen said...

Ah Aleta, forgive my attempt at humor on the other blog. It didn't look so bad without the before pictures.

I was shaking my hands at the sky on Sunday too (it did work). We were building a walk-way and needed drying time. If I lived closer I surely would have had a booth or two!

Bears have an amazing ability to smell. Several kilometres (miles) I have been told. We have bears in our neighbourhood. They love birdseed, garbage and outdoor BBQs. We can't have outdoor pet bowls either.

I think it just takes a while to build a local business and so many of us gals are far away. Chin~up!

Karen at Ciderantiques

Adrienne said...

Oh, Aleta - I just couldn't believe what I was reading! A bear? A real bear? I can't begin to imagine how devastated you felt but it sounds like you pulled it off with the help of some very special people. I was out of town and unable to attend. If I'd been in town and close enough I would have come running to help! Please take care of yourself. Whatever you do, don't get discouraged because one 'silly bear' decided to visit Flourishes. Keep your chin up and take care of yourself. I will be praying for you - and your mom. I know how much we worry about our moms when they aren't in the best of situations. ~Adrienne~

Folksie Linda said...

Oh sorry that happened to you! I am glad everything worked out in the end.. sorry to hear you are having pain..hope you have that looked at.. my DH just had his MRI this morning..same thing.. sending you lots of hugs and sweet blessings.....

Folksie Linda said...

and those are for your Mom as well!

Toni said...

First time to read your blog and was instantly fascinated by the photographs and had my eye on that Merlot sign, then read on about the bear! My word! Wanting that sign seemed 'silly' compared to what you've gone through! Hugs!

Bumpkin Bears said...

oh my gosh Aleta, NAUGHTY bear, good for you for keeping your sanity at least on the outside :) I take my hat off to you for keeping go. sending lots of calming hugs, Catherine x

Auntie Joy said...

Hi Aleta,
Wow that was not fun at all!! This is one Bayer that would have loved to have been there, but we were on out way to TX! I guess we should have brought your bear with us.. Sounds like that was a crazy, no good terrible morning, hang in there!! Thank goodness for family and special friends.

Jill Bruce said...

I cannot imagine your despair and frustration upon seeing the wreckage. But you being you and the support and love of family and terrific friends, obviously made lemonade from those lemons. It will make a terric story to tell over and over.


Maison Douce said...

Oh my goodnes!! Unbelievable!! But you did find the strenghth (with you family's support) to go on, and that's amazing!! Take care!