A day for the books

Written by Ellie Steltz on 07/31/17

Saturday, July 29 I laid in bed at the end of the day, thinking how I would remember this day for years to come. It began at 5 am because I couldn’t sleep out of excitement and nervousness for my first time setting up a booth at the Lowville Farmer’s Market (or any market). I could barely sleep that night as I went over my to-do list over and over to make sure I didn't forget anything. David woke up at 6 am, in a good mood because he was so excited for me. He helped me load up the car, and we headed to the Lowville Fair Grounds at 6:30. It’s summer up here in the North Country, but it was very chilly that morning.

We got there and found out there was an opening along the outer walls, which are the prime spots at this market. So we got a better spot than we expected for our first market experience. We met other market vendors and got to work setting up our tables. I couldn’t imagine what we were going to do with all the time we had since the market wouldn’t open until 8 am. However, of course, I was still finishing up the last touches of the table as the clock struck eight.

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Moments later, there it was, a table full of cards and paper made by me! A setup that I had doubted many times in the week leading up to this moment, and it looked better than I could have imagined. Fresh eucalyptus cut from my garden, grain gathered from the field behind the greenery where I worked the day before, a typewriter that I inherited from my Grandma Daneke when she passed, and of course, strawflowers still left over from our wedding—so many things dear to my heart. I guess you could say I put my heart into everything I do. That can be pretty nerve-racking, to be honest, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Then, we waited for people to visit and talk with us!

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I am going to stop here to brag on my husband a bit. He is by far the biggest supporter of my little business. From the beginning, he encouraged me to start it and helped me get it set up. When I woke him up one morning a few weeks ago, with big smiles and too much energy, to tell him that I would be able to sell at the market, he received the news with grace and excitement. Ever since then, he helped me come up with ideas and shared in my excitement as the day drew near. Then he woke up without complaint at 6 am on a Saturday to help me set up and sat with me for hours as I laid my work out for all to see. All I can say is that I am beyond grateful for this man and feel that God has blessed me immensely to have such a husband. Now back to the market.

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Throughout the day, I loved getting to interact with people from this community that I now call home. Vendors and shoppers alike. People loved the typewriter and eucalyptus especially. I was very proud of my little setup. We went into the day not knowing if I would make a single sale, but knowing it would be worth it just to get to interact with people and make connections. As it turned out, people liked my cards! It was so encouraging to see people’s interest in my work. I met a lady who used to teach art in the local elementary school and used to make paper! She was so happy to see that I made paper and that people still took the time to invest in art and card making. Overall, the day at the market was such a blast and so rewarding.

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As you may have seen on Facebook that day, David and I decided to go out to a nice place to eat to celebrate this new step for my business. Steak N' Brew, a cozy and atmospheric local steakhouse, is our go-to place for extra special occasions. We have only been there two other times together. We went and enjoyed a delicious meal, followed by specialty coffee (with amaretto and whipped cream) that brought tears to my eyes. No joke. Then, as if the dinner could get any better, the check was returned to us with a note that it was covered and to “Pay it forward.” Our jaws dropped, and tears filled our eyes (for the second time that evening). People can be so amazing.

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My takeaway from the day was that God delights in our [miscellaneous] delights. It was a big step for me to sell my cards at a market where I could see people’s reactions to them, rather than just online. It made my heart happy, and I believe God delighted in that. He blessed us with a productive day of meeting new people, making connections, and even making some profits. I am a firm believer in celebrating monumental moments in our lives, and this was something monumental to me. We decided, after much deliberation, that it was worth going out to celebrate, only to have our meal covered. I believe that was affirmation that celebrating is a good thing. God delights in our delights.

Thank you for taking the time to read my rather long recounting of Saturday July 29th, a day that I won’t soon forget.

Much love,

Ellie

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