This past week was our long-time vendor buddy Stephanie’s last week at The Market. You probably saw her booth at the very end of the South side of the Market, in front of Crisper’s — Taffy Knits and Ridge Plants. She made lots of very cool felted wool things, including dolls — one of the first gifts I ever gave my niece. She made very cool and very tiny little native Florida birds, and swans of course (one of which I have on my keepsake shelf of special things). She had a lovely selection of native Florida plants, too, and was so knowledgeable on all of them. Stephanie and her family will be moving to Texas this coming week. Since last Saturday, I’ve been reflecting on how much we’ll all miss her. Stephanie always had a kind word and welcoming smile. It was a joy to share weekly laughs with her. Her daughter Genevieve had begun joining her at The Market over the past couple of months, and she had become one of my Market Kiddo buddies. This Saturday seemed odd without them there…
And then, today I woke up with The Byrds in my head. I really couldn’t tell you why; I haven’t listened to their famous song “Turn! Turn! Turn!” in a very long time. But as the lyrics ran through my head, my brain really stuck on the parts about a time for love, a time you may embrace, a time to mourn…and how most of all, there are times when all of those times exist simultaneously. Stephanie’s last day at The Market was one of those times. And though this week was odd without here, I reminded myself that there is a time for every purpose under heaven. I found myself realizing that Stephanie really isn’t leaving our Market. Though we won’t see her on Saturdays again, she will always be a part of our Market because of the special ways she touched each of us as vendor friends and the relationships she had with our customers. She may be physically gone, but her spirit will remain on Kentucky Ave. each Saturday. Bigger than that, though, are the special bits of The Market, of Lakeland, of her life here that she will take to Texas. The spirit of The Market will go with her, and so will be bits of joy we all exchanged with her. They say everything is bigger in Texas, so hopefully that means all the love we send with Stephanie and her family with grow in her time there, and maybe she’ll find a great big Farmer’s Market she can join! 🙂
Along similar lines, I found myself reflecting on special news I received this week. I may be a match for someone in need of a bone marrow transplant. I have been on the National Marrow Registry for about 5 years, and I got a call Friday that I could be a match for someone! I go this week for confirmatory testing, and then anytime within the 2 weeks to 60 days after, I’ll hear whether I am a match and can donate. So hopefully this will be a time to heal, a time to dance, a time for peace, a time to gather stones together. I marvel at the idea that a small little piece of who I am could be going out to someone to completely transform their life. I’m meditating on the hope that even if I am not the match for this person in need, someone is. It is incredible how connected we all are in this life. Just as all of the vendors who knew and loved Stephanie will always connect with the parts of her she shared with us, it is possible that my DNA, my leukocyte antigens may be so closely connected with a total stranger that I can give them my bone marrow. Our connectedness is just mind boggling…
Well, if I got a little deep there for you, no worries! I have some lighter news…This week, I will get back to posting Vendor Features, so look for a feature on Weefcraft Tiedye later this week!
I also thought that since today is the official first day of Fall, and since we are all looking forward to that gorgeous Florida autumn that is [hopefully] just around the corner, you might be interested in some goings-on that will be happening downtown in October…Good stuff to check out while you’re also downtown for The Market:
10/12 — The Lakeland Fire Department will host their annual Open House. Take a tour of the historic Downtown Station, check out educational demonstrations and cool firefighter equipment.
10/12 — ALSO Downtown Zombiefest will take over Lakeland after The Market closes down! Check out LFD, enjoy The Market, and stay for Zombiefest that starts at 2pm! Make it a day downtown!
10/19 — Lake Mirror Classic Auto Show: I am NOT a motorhead, or anything close to it, but I absolutely love this event! So many neat and beautiful cars!
10/26 — Munn Park Extravaganza: Plants, flowers, trees, Master Gardeners to answer your questions, soil testing.
10/26 — ALSO on this date, check out The Market’s Dr. Scissorhand’s Annual Pumpkin Carving contest and vote for your favorite vendor costume!
Hope to connect with you all as we move forward in the Market Season.
I swear it’s not too late,