Does anyone else find these days to be surreal with a sense of impending doom? I find myself flitting back and forth between positivity and a dooms day mind set. This weekend for example, from a small business perspective the Fourth of July weekend has always been a busy and profitable weekend at market. We look forward to the holiday and pack extra inventory to meet everyone’s needs. However, this year was different. This weekend, the crowd was small, the sales were steady but not anywhere near what we did last year. The entire vibe at market felt different and off.
The Bibbed Wonder and I have discussed and analyzed the weekend and we have come up with several ideas. The first being the weather adversely affected the market. It was indeed oppressively hot, even as the day broke before 4 a.m., it was hot and close. We have not had dry, hot weather like this for a number of years in Western Pennsylvania. Usually, we are complaining about rain, flooding, and high humidity. This weather has us sweating and melting like new bars of uncured soap.
Secondly, there is an uptick in Covid-19 cases in the area. People are moving about, relaxing their protocol, and trying despite warnings, to return to life pre-pandemic. We knew this would happen; it only makes sense that it would. We have gone from isolation to socialization and testing is now readily available. We return to close proximity and normalcy and we see a spike…it is merely common sense. I seem to be one of the few people who is middle of the road in regards to my beliefs about the pandemic. I don’t believe the entire world is conspiring to influence the U.S. election in November. I also believe the press and media sensationalize everything…snowmegedden in the winter, the worst hurricane season of the century, etc., etc., After visiting two doctors last week and both reiterating the same idea; that we need to be cautious, we need to practice social distancing, we need to wash our hands, the fact is, this is dangerous because they just don’t know what it is capable of, makes me believe that we must just exercise common sense.
Lastly, we think the fact that masks are now mandatory in all public places had an adverse effect on the market as well. Masks are indeed uncomfortable, stifling, and irritating at best…this is true. It is even more so on a 90-degree day with high humidity. It almost seems as if when left to exercise their own common sense, people are more inclined to do the sensible thing. However, when mandated to do anything, we…myself included…become obstinate and rebellious to whatever rule is being imposed. Most people just don’t like being told what they can and cannot do…that is common sense as well. However, with the spike in numbers, counties closing restaurants and bars, masks being somewhat unbearable, it effects our morale.
Sharon, from Mrs. Nut Roll, is our neighbor at market. Not only is she a lovely neighbor who makes a seriously delicious nut roll, she is a lovely person as well. Sharon said that she remembers the first market after 9/11. She stated that is was so empty and quiet one could hear a pin drop. This past weekend, she was reminded of that day. I believe she is correct in assessing that people are fearful, they are afraid to move around too much, they are staying in, and morale is indeed low.
The Bibbed Wonder and I sit on our front porch, relaxing, enjoying our treasures from market, and discussing the events of the day. We are usually very positive. We are firm believers in positivity and good energy, and what you put out to the universe is what you get in return. However, this weekend was a bit unsettling for us. We tended to delve into the fear and “what if” mentality we try to avoid. The holiday didn’t really feel like a holiday for us. We were tired and down trodden from our day at market. The Bean was a little grumpier and moodier than normal and vocalized her discontent with our choice to stay home and away from picnics where everyone touched everything, didn’t wear a mask, and didn’t practice social distancing. Instead, we drank wine and spirits on the porch and watched her set off sparklers because we were afraid that really entertaining fireworks would result in a visit from the local fire department. We never want to be the people who lack common sense and set the fields or God forbid, barn on fire.
I feel myself returning to my positive mindset but there is also a nagging, foreboding feeling that is hanging out in my psyche. Today, I will go into my soap studio and play…yes, play. I am making a surprise unicorn soap for a very dear little girl, I am going to practice piping soap tops…there may be many curse words involved, and I am going to make a special, new addition inspired by a dear soap friend. These are all positive things, all things that will make others happy and in return make me happy. Tomorrow, will be a new, positive day filled with possibility. Today, I will spend trying to shake that foreboding feeling and reset my dial. Until then dear reader, stay safe, stay smart, know that it is okay to feel a wide range of emotions…you are not alone, and of course wash your hands.