The rain got us again. Our booking at our new spot last night was cancelled at the last minute. But, you know I’m a determined and optimistic person! We have our usual Saturday spot later today….if the rain doesn’t get us again. The rainy season is almost over, and in the meantime, Phillip and I are gonna start pulling up to businesses in the early part of the day and just ask if we can park. And of course, we’re still selling through our shop. I’ve been doing more crochet lately. I like doing different things. And I especially love doing smaller things, like baby dresses and doilies. And of course, I do love the ironic vision of this scrawny red neck sitting on the back of a pick up crocheting these delicate lovelies. 🙂
But, I have another reason to be so ambitious today. I was outside taking pictures of Phillip’s newest Strange Friends and my neighbor upstairs was sitting on her stoop crying. I’ve always felt really bad for her. She’s had it rough. So, I often visit her down for a pot of coffee (she’s fallen in love with my French press). She moved in a while back, very friendly, very kind. She up and left her abusive husband one day, a man who kept her locked at home, wouldn’t let her leave, and forced her to stay out of his sight in their bedroom….for 18 years. She up and left one day, no longer able to cope. She wanted something better for her daughter. So, she found an apartment in a nice part of town, with a great school and friendly neighbors. She found that she could actually walk her little dog at night in this area with being afraid. We do live in a really nice neighborhood. It’s not the expensive side, by all means. Just friendly people. She was having a hard time making it happen, though. She doesn’t have very many teeth left, no education, no money. So, she got a job delivering pizzas. It doesn’t pay much, but its a start towards a better life for her and her daughter. She has no bed, but sleeps on the floor. When she first moved in, she didn’t even have electricity for the first week. Phillip and I were at the ready, letting her and her daughter use whatever they needed until the lights came on. (we ran an extension cord from our apartment to hers so she could have at least SOME electricity). In return? She made us a delightful lasagna. She’s a good person. A kind person . As we say in the south, “she’s good people.”
So, when I saw her crying I asked what was wrong. She wasn’t able to make rent. She had some, but not all. “Well, hell, honey. Let me make us some coffee and figure something out.”
It all ended up very simple. I told her, “You know, I’ve got a shop online full of product. BUSTING with product for people to buy. Phillip and I are still getting our rent together, but once we’re done with that and paying the truck insurance, everything else we sell, we’ll give to you.”
“But, I can’t pay you back.”
“You’re not going to. Its not a loan, its a gift.” Then I explained to her that people have been so gracious and so kind to us when we were in need. So, we always do what we can to give back. I don’t have the money to give her at the moment, but I told her I would spend all weekend pushing what I have to sell in my shop so that she could have the proceeds. She was mystified. She started to cry and I said, “I’ll only ask one thing in return….promise me you’ll be more optimistic. You’ve already made steps to make life better for you and your daughter, now BELIEVE it. See all those names on that truck? Those are that believed in us….because we believed in ourselves. Now, let’s not cry anymore. Let’s get to work!”
“Thank you for helping me.”
“That’s what friends do!”
We had coffee. She felt better. And I felt inspired. I’m going to help that woman. She deserves it. And once I hand her the cash she needs to pay her rent, I’ll make sure she does a video to thank all of you. And she’ll know that there is a community of crafters out there who have her back.
So, let’s sell out the shop!