Well we had the Event Friday!!! We have been dreading it... planning for it... Praying it away... but knowing that it had to come... Eventually. We avoided it for 17 years with luck and by paying careful attention to weather conditions....but Friday night our eventually got here... Boy did it ever!
We knew we had a miserable weekend ahead... Two shows in one day, a day forecasted to be 104 degrees! But Shawn and I are stubborn and we had payed for our spots and would not back away. So when Saude Creek Winery offered their vendors a chance to set up Friday night for their wine festival on Saturday we were all in! So Friday afternoon in 104 degree heat we set up our tent loaded in our tables and inventory and secured and tarped everything....well! We then went home to get ready for the farmers market that we would do Saturday morning before the afternoon Wine Festival. I reloaded the truck ... ribboned and tagged new ornaments... checked my list... then fell into bed for a 4 am wake up call!
At 11:30 pm I was awakened by the sounds of screaming wind! I got up to check it out only to hear something very large hit the house! Five minutes later we were without power wondering what had just hit us? Then I remembered the tent! The tent with at least 50% of our business' inventory.. The tent in the middle of a large unprotected field ... The tent that we knew would be caught by Mother Nature's fury one day! That day had come!
Shawn ventured out at 4 am (she lives across the street from the winery) to check on our poor tent. I got the text shortly thereafter... tent gone... all lost! I cannot really describe that feeling... It was definitely emotional...it hit me in the gut... but just for a moment... then slowly a new reality started to take root...after all it was only stuff. No one had been hurt..and we knew it was coming one day! Right?! Right! It had come and gone... taken our tent, tables, some Santas and ornaments, but amazingly as we sorted through the mess early that morning, we realized how much had been spared!
As we realized that it was not a 100% loss but maybe only a 25% loss we decided since everything needed to dry out we would carry on and set up for the show! Why not.. it was going to be a lovely 100 degrees...how better to dry out! So one spare tent and two spare tables later we were back in business!
When we finally looked up from our own personal experience we realized that everyone around us was doing the same. We had been one of about 25 vendors that had met the same fate that night and all were busy picking up cleaning up, buying new tents, assessing damage but not quitting! Everyone was rallying!
Saude Creek Winery set the example... They replaced all of their lost tents and equipment after a 4 am trip to Wal Mart... and were right there that morning to say how sorry they were for our loss... and how could they help? They hauled off all of our debris offered us helpers to clean up!! They set the example to pick up and carry on! We all took a terrible situation and turned it around!
As a God gift...the aftermath of the storm was a cool and beautiful morning to recover our goods and our spirits.... and at twelve noon the festival opened on time without anyone suspecting the chaos that had gone before!
I am choosing to remember this event that we had been waiting for for 17 years as a good one! The wind!.. the rain!... the heat! had all converged on that field and given us the perfect storm... and we all stood back up, set back up and said to ourselves "This is the day that the Lord has made! We will rejoice and be glad in it!
The festival went on and was a lovely event. It was hot but not unbearable...business was good and our spirits stayed high all day!
Now we can reset the clock for our next event! ........I am knocking on wood right now!
Thanks for reading
Chesapeake Bay Christmas Co
Bringing the Chesapeake into your Holidays and Home Decor!