Small Stuff

Vermont’s unpredictable weather followed me to Montauk for the two-day craft fair out there last weekend. Gone are the days where you wake up and check or an app for an accurate reading. I now understand why Vermonters just get up and go and embrace whatever the sky decides to bestow upon them. It’s a mix of sheer optimism and an acceptance that you know you could have sunshine, rain, hail, wind, or snow…in any season.

So when the doppler said no rain on Long Island, even with Hurricane Jose lingering offshore, I believed it. The weather people had to be right. Because I still faithfully wake up and check like it were a morning devotional. You can’t make an apple an orange.

Friday night was horrible.

First, there were the squalls. Sheets of rain driving down. Then add 40 mph winds. The rain no longer came down. It came horizontally.

Yet I still tried to set up my booth that night. I knew it was a lost cause, but first looked at it as a fun challenge. Optimism reigned. But after a solid half-hour fighting my EZ-Up tent and yelling at it that it needed a new name, the wind then played tug of war, trying to rip said EZ-Up tent out of my white-knuckled grip and into the main drag of Montauk.  I soon found myself in tears under a canopy of soggy white fabric and torn side flaps that longed to be a parachute instead of a vendor tent. The tears soon morphed into a full sob at the realization that I was only getting a small sample of Jose and Maria’s destructive power over that weekend. The four islands I loved the most and found rest and renewal on over the years had experienced apocalyptic devastation. I cried for what was. And I cried for the unimaginable situation that people I had met and hadn’t crossed paths with were facing at that moment. The suffering of others was overwhelming.

Later that night, as a few vendors and I took refuge in a glorious U-Haul trailer, the conversation took a somber turn as we sat near the opening, listening to the angry surf and occasionally checking on our booths to see what inventory was destroyed by the most recent gust, all asking each other, “How did life turn out to look like this?” The excitement of traveling for shows and the “carnie” lifestyle was long gone. I was tired of the weather impacting sales, and disappointed that I was letting it get to my attitude as well. I missed home. A warm bed. A routine that involved more than just working my butt off.

As I emerged from my tent the next day, an old man with a shocking white beard was walking through the grass near my temporary abode. He looked my way and at my truck, then back at me and gave me a thumbs up with a small smile. “Home is where your heart is.” Then he disappeared by the reeds at the edge of the bay.

Indeed, sir. And for now, that means two more weeks of shows and travel and building like mad, and then…

Sometimes life needs a …

Followed by open space. Nothing.


(In the meantime, life needs more small inventory that can withstand one more outdoor show in the Adirondacks that’s known for high winds and one huge indoor show by Manhattan where people can easily bring home purchased items via train.)



Barn wood tissue boxes:


Tool caddies with beer openers (that also function as beer caddies):


Note or photo holders/wall decor:


Tin roof sign bird houses:



If you are looking for something to do these next two weekends, come to Gore Mountain in upstate NY October 7-8 or Oyster Fest in Oyster Bay, NY October 14-15! Thank you friends, family, and repeat customers who have come out to the shows this season. It’s so uplifting to see familiar faces! I truly appreciate the love and support. I hug you all fiercely at these things because you are a reminder of home. (Ye be warned.)



About Mel

My name is Mel, and I spend my time living, working and playing on the east coast. I'm a reclaimed wood artist who loves to continually find ways to repurpose wood and give it new life. "Nature Calls: Reclaimed Wood Designs" is my business dedicated to doing that! Thanks for stopping by!
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