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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Well, as John Lennon said, "Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans", and this past weekend certainly holds true to that quote !

The forces were aligned, karma was good, plants were ready, staff was rearing to go, coolers were packed and then...

As our blog followers know, we were set this past weekend for a great opening weekend down at Saturday Morning Market in St. Pete, plus doing a set up at Tropiflora Nursery in Sarasota. As many of you know, since you have called and emailed with concern, we didn't make the Market (BIG sigh).

It all started quietly with short blip on Thursday when the truck's fan belt decided to GO..thank goodness, it did not "go" on the trip over the Skyway bridge. We had been hearing a bit of a squeak and wondering what it was. Mitch, being the optimist, plus knowing our truck is old and just has all sorts of interesting noises, didn't think much of it, but minutes before hitting the highway to head to Sarasota to set up Tropiflora, my female instincts decided NOT to stay inside and I insisted that we pull off and check out the noise. Looking under the hood confirmed that "Houston, we have a problem". "A quick call to brother in law resulted in him immediately dropping everything and heading to our aid. While I luxuriated under the shady pines with a nice breeze, the boys got the new belt on, and we were on our way...hooray!

We thought, well, we have had our one blip for the weekend and it's all good. Friday morning, Mitch dropped me off at the Tropiflora show to sell while he headed back to the nursery to finish packing for the St. Pete Market. About noon, Mitch calls me and says, "we have another problem". Now, let me preface this by saying that we also had been noticing that the engine started was making an interesting noise the last few days, a noise that said "either your battery is going , or the starter is going". Mitch was all set to drive out and hopped into the truck and didn't did not GO, it did not pass Park Place, it just sat there, sitting unfortunately in a bit of a gully on the property. Hmmmm.......well, Mitch huffed and puffed to pull himself under the truck and get the old starter out. The Starter did not want to come out, as one of the bolts was stripped. Hours later, no movement still and I had one frustrated nurseryman on the end of my phone.

Now, there are some good parts....luckily, we have family in the area and luckily, they were available to help us. Grandson Kevin was able to go pick up a new Starter, daughter Jennifer came down and picked me up in Sarasota to get me back to the nursery. Granddaughter Kortney was around for general all-around good will and support. It was now about 6pm and we were in a pickle. Can't get the starter out, can't get the new one in, have an nonworking truck that can't haul plants up for market and we are losing daylight quickly. Also, we still have to be able to continue with working the Tropiflora show the next day. What to do? At first, we could not even imagine NOT doing market..we haven't missed an opening day in 9 years ! But, it came down to the decision that we just couldn't pull off a miracle of getting home, much less to market the next morning.

This is one more of those "other good parts"...we have a very good friend who is also a small nurseryman near our property and he volunteered to lend us one of his trucks to get us to Sarasota the next day but we couldn't work it out logistically to market too. One problem solved. Daughter Jennifer offered up dinner and a place to sleep for the night and granddaughter Kortney cheerfully did a load of laundry, literally the only clothes on our back.

I had to make a very hard phone call to the market manager to explain the situation, and really hated having to not be there to do market and support opening day. Luckily, we have a very supportive market manager who always is pulling for us and is very understanding.

So, folks, that's it in a nutshell, wow, I sure went long on the story, huh? Good thing I didn't write about the other 100 little things that happened but I think you get the gist. We heard they had a packed crowd at market the opening day and we hope all the vendors did good. We are looking forward to seeing everyone this Saturday and we WILL be there, come Heck or High Water !!

Lastly, wanted to mention that with all the negative things that happened, being at the Tropiflora show made up for it threefold...good sales, kind customers, supportive fellow vendors and the of course, the great support of Linda and Dennis Cathcart, the owners. We can't wait to head back there for the Spring 2012 show.

So, hope to see everyone this Saturday...we have some fabulous plants to bring and can't wait to say "It's Market Day" !

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