My business hasn't missed a day at the Ballard Farmers' Market since 2004, unless you count the one day in 2008 when my employee took the company van home without asking and then couldn't get it off his street because of the ice and snow.
This past Sunday I woke up with the rain pounding on my roof and seriously considered calling in and saying I just couldn't. The weather report said to stay home if you possibly could. (What kind of weather report tells shoppers to stay home on a Sunday two weeks before Christmas? Positively unAmerican.) I decided to head to the kitchen and take it from there. I'd bought a pair of serious, warm boots when I was in Vermont last month for precisely this type of occasion.
A very soggy and cranky cat ran up to me as soon as I got the key in the kitchen door. I guess he'd been caught out in the elements all night. I didn't let him in, but I didn't latch the door either so if he'd been persistent enough he could have taken shelter.
I spoke to my employee who was doing the Broadway Farmers' Market that day and we decided to proceed, if only for the market managers who work so hard to make it all happen. The last thing they need is to come down in torrential rain and not have any vendors.
I put on the raincoat that I keep at the kitchen and began hauling things outside. Before I knew it the van was fully loaded. I headed over to Ballard. The rain seemed to be letting up on the way, but it started dumping again as soon as I pulled up next to my booth space. I took my time trying to get the tarp on the top of the booth as taut as possible so the water wouldn't collect, but it was a lost cause. I was knocking off buckets of water with the broom even before I'd finished unloading.
In the end, it wasn't such a bad day. The rain mostly let up by early afternoon, although few customers turned out. But I felt full of love for the customers who did show. At the risk of sounding creepy, I expressed that to one couple. They responded that if we vendors could turn out, they figured they could too.
That's my favorite thing about doing markets in horrible weather. The experience brings folks closer together as we each do our part to create something larger than ourselves.