Monday, October 6, 2008

~The Road Back~

I really didn’t have any great expectations for my first show (Ohio Mart at Stan Hywet) after being absent from the show circuit for 6 years. After all….that’s a long time. I really didn’t expect to see people I knew. But, the past four days were beyond my wildest dreams.

Thursday began with cold temperatures and lots of rain. But…people came. And they came to buy.

Friday’s crowds uplifted the spirits of the 120 artists, and ended up to be a record-breaking day. With Saturday and Sunday’s warm sunny weather, I couldn’t even get OUT of my booth!!

But beyond all that, were the stories, the hugs, and the tears. One by one, they would come up to me. One by one, they would relate their stories. “You’ve been gone a long time. I’m so glad you’re back”. My customers, who over 14 years bought Ragamuffins for their daughters, nieces, grand-daughters. For their mothers, grandmothers, aunts. For themselves.

More often than not, we cried.

“You’ve been gone 6 years. While you were gone, I battled cancer. And I won”

“While you were gone, I lost my mother”

“Four years ago, I lost my husband, Fred. Do you remember him? He was always with me at Yankee Peddler.”

“My daughter is battling cancer. She’s 36. Remember her? She was 12 the last time you saw her. She has four of your dolls. Today, I’m buying her the Star Angel. Please keep her in your prayers.”

“I buried my mother 3 years ago. She carried your doll til the day she died. We buried it with her”

And there were the happy stories:

“I’m so glad you’re back. All my daughters have your dolls. Now I have grandbabies, and they need Ragamuffins, too!"

“I bought these dolls for all the girls in my life. Now, I’m buying them for ME!”.

“Your blog touches my heart.”

“I couldn’t wait to meet you. I read every word of your blog. I love it.”

And then there were the babies….now all grown up. Young ladies. Who stopped to hug me and thank me for making their dolls. Now, in their teens, twenties, and even older, they still cherish them. What more could I ask from something that I started so long ago?

So, to all my dear customers…..the many old ones, and the many new ones, I thank you for sharing a piece of your life with me, and for leaving with a piece of mine. My heart is overflowing.

The top photo is a path of birch trees at Stan Hywet that ran parallel to our tent, and led to the mansion.

**This post was nominated as Post Of the Day over at David's authorblog. Take a peak at the other winners!** Thank you, David!

29 comments:

Mel said...

It's because you are a light in a very dark world my angel...people, including myself are drawn to that light.

Patti said...

I got chills reading your blog today! I am so glad the show was a success on so many levels and that you reconnected with so many people! Better load up on the coffee - you've got a lot of creating to do to keep up with the demand! Unless you find the elves...

Carol said...

Oh Mel...You've given me much light over the past 20+ years yourself! Your visit was the hilight of the day! xoxoxox

Patti...I'm so glad you'll be sharing that coffee with me each day! (I'm not giving up on the elves!)

Mel said...

Hey! That's Carrie The Tooth Fairy! She lives at our house now... ")

Carol said...

Yes she does!! And I KNOW she's going to be very happy!! When are you giving her to Hope??

Anonymous said...

I am so happy to hear that you had such a successful weekend. Wish I could have been there. Mel is right you are a light and everyone loves being around you. Love, Kay

Carol said...

Hi Kay!! Oh how I wish you could have been there with me. We would have had a ball. You would love that show!

Mel said...

We're going to wait until she loses her first tooth. But she's so darn excited about "Cawol" and the dolls she makes she didn't even notice we brought Carrie home! The girls were THRILLED because I took two of my smaller Ragamuffins and put one in each of their rooms. Hope was going from room to room informing Daddy, "Daddy? Do you know who made *that* doll? Mama's friend CAWOL!" She informed me that when SHE is a Kindergarten teacher her "students" (could you just die?) are going to make dolls every week...but they will be made out of paper. ; )

Carol said...

Be still my heart: a kindergarten teacher???? She's taking after the dreams of your friend, "Cawol", who started off making paper dolls and dreamed of the day she'd teach kindergarten!! Give them both hugs from "Cawol"!

Suldog said...

That's a lovely post. Isn't it nice to know how many lives you've touched and made better? God bless you and all of the nice folks you mentioned here.

Carol said...

suldog: Thank you! You are right, it is so nice. All the years I did shows, my husband would wake me up on Christmas mornings and say, "How many people do you think are opening your dolls this morning?" It still tickles me to my core!

Lanyardlady said...

what a sweet story...so glad your show was a success and that you were able to hear from so many people how important you are to them!

Ronalyn said...

What a wonderful article. Thank you for sharing it.

Carolyn said...

I am happy the show went well and you had such a good time catching up with old friends. Carolyn

Cherry's Creations said...

What a lovely and heart warming tale. I am still just getting started with art and craft shows, have done maybe a dozen over the last 2 years. I hope that I will get to experience what you describe. I am a stay at home mom and am hoping my business will help supplement my hubby's income in the years to come so we will have money for the kiddos college ( there are 4 of them) and weddings and such without having to be employed by someone else and neglecting the current needs of our family. Your post is encouraging and inspiring. Thanks so much for the great review of my etsy shop too!

Maggie May said...

Thanks for following me!
So pleased things are working out well for you now. Life has a habit of coming round full circle.

womaninawindow said...

What a wonderful time. These special times when art pays off with more than money. Cherish it. I know you do.

Joyfulsister said...

Aloha Carol,

I was blessed by your presence when you came to visit today. To know what you read ministered to your spirit, touched my heart as well. The Lord knows and he woke me up to write that post, and I'm so glad I was obedient to the leading of his spirit.
My sister what a gift you have to make these beautiful dolls that bring inspiration and joy to others. What a wonderful testimony of how they have touched the lives of those who are blessed to own one of them. What a cute name they have as well,I collect raggedy annies, I would love to get one of your dolls one day. Now I'm off to look around and delight in the work of your hands, that truly comes from a heart that inspires.

HUgz Lorie

Jenny said...

It sounds like you had a great time and got to re-connect with so many people!

Have a great day!
Jen

david mcmahon said...

There are many ``roads back'' with so many stories. Thank you, Carol.

Marci said...

Thank you for sharing - I can only imagine how you and your dolls have touched so many lives! I know my life is better for having you in it!

Ballerina Girl said...

Congratulations Carol!
I still would like to know how I can order one of these dolls for my daughter for Christmas! Please let me know, ok?!

Also, I have an award for you on my site...come visit and pick it up!
BG

Merisi said...

Congratulations on your great comeback! :-)

I came over from David's Authorblog,
congratulations on the "Post of the Day" award!

Moannie said...

Lovely post..thank you David.

How good it must feel to know how many lives you have touched.

Lemon Shortbread said...

this is a very inspiring post! your dolls are lovely, no wonder that people cherish them so much! thanks for visiting my blog too =), mind if we exchange links?

Lemon Shortbread said...

this is a very inspiring post! your dolls are lovely, no wonder that people cherish them so much! thanks for visiting my blog too =), mind if we exchange links?

delectablespoonart said...

Congratulations on your show! That's awesome. I'm hoping for as much success in Aurora. How wonderful to have touched so many people with your creations. I can only hope that my necklaces serve up the same response down the road. See you next week!

Lyndyn said...

Hiya! It was so nice meeting you at Ohio Mart! Your dolls are just wonderful. I am going to try my hand at Etsy with my little dolls and handpainted cards. I've been buying things from etsy for years and after talking to you the other day I thought...heck...why not give it a try!

Hope that all is well with you and that the pup is feeling better!

Take care,
Lynn (from Akron)

Carolina said...

Came here through Mel, read your post. How lovely that so many people really cherish the dolls you make. From the few examples I've seen now, I can understand why. They are lovely and have really soft and expressive faces.