This morning my Facebook memories reminded me this was the day, seven years ago, I began building my first trade show booth at Texas Antiques Week which kicked off a year of work “on the road”. The year which I now call my adult gap year, a year in between my second corporate layoff and beginning a career in public education, a year in which life was at times really hard, a year that I made some very dear friends and a year that I would never go back and change.
We checked into town the night before, a tiny hotel room that would be home for about 16 or so days and drove up the next morning to our “booth”…
Though I had been to Antiques Week several times and shopped in plenty of booths, I’d never been there from the start, and had no idea how they came to look like some resemblance of a store. Here’s how it happens…
Insert a lot of sweaty clothes, grid, zip ties, clips, tubs, carts, dollies, ladders, arranging, re-arranging, rain accommodations and somewhere along the way a store is built…
….and we were open for business.
In the midst of Texas Antiques Week, after several days of PB&J and eating out at night, I was longing for some home cooked food. I checked the Show Daily and found that there was a spaghetti supper happening on a weeknight, I think a Tuesday, at Zapp Hall. SIGN. ME UP. I don’t know about your house, but spaghetti was a staple in my house growing up, so this felt like it could be home for me.
Zapp Hall was a familiar place because my college besties and I had spent a few years attending the Junk Gypsy Prom at Zapp Hall and eating lunch at the Cafe the following day when we were out to shop.
Because of the next Show on our calendar, I was working the booth at Antiques Week much of the show by myself. I didn’t really have any friends there to eat with, but my plan was made. Spaghetti supper for one. I was all in.
Here’s why I love looking back at memories….
On this day in 2012, I really wan’t sure what was ahead for me…I had a semi-plan to begin teaching at some point, I was single and my life was pretty much stored in a 10×10 storage unit, and I had no idea what the future held. But, God.
After a year on the road, settling back into Houston, starting teaching and regularly attending Bayou City Fellowship again, I went to a women’s event on a Saturday morning. I sat at a breakout table for prayer at the end of the event, with a lady named Karen (same name as my mom), and pretty much cried through sharing what I needed prayer for. My tears included a boy who pursued me consistently for few months turned around and ghosted me without explanation and left a lot of questions. She graciously prayed over me, gave me her phone number, checked in on me and a deep friendship was born across generations.
I had also made friends with a bestie at my school, and she knew a couple of families from my church pretty well, which I in turn met. One of them? The daughter-in-law of Karen. And, a sweet friendship was born, including the rest of their family. A family I sometimes spent the night with when I was commuting from the suburbs to my job at Houston ISD. A family that has become an extended family with whom I’ve sat at countless tables through the years and a family who I consider framily.
How does this all come together? Zapp Hall. They are the family who runs the cafe that served the spaghetti dinner. And, now I get to go back to Antiques Week and work in the cafe side by side with them.
Only God could have orchestrated such a place for me in a season that I was missing home, to giving me a place that feels like home when I am there.
Its Antiques Week time again in Texas, the fields are calling and I must go….
[bold text in this post are links to previous posts & Texas Antiques Week info, not affiliate links]