For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1
In 2012 when Rustapalooza began I could have never imagined what it would look like 7 years later in 2019. 120 vendors, the most beautiful booths, and vintage goodness I could have ever imagined on that field in little St. Marys, Georgia. My tribe of people, that became my family, after losing my mom & dad, Friends that were made that I never would have met without this adventure.
There had always been a running joke between Deb and I, because at some point in every show, (and sometimes several times) I would say “What was I thinking? I’m never doing this again!” and yet 6 months later there we were, back on that field at the crack of dawn until the dark of night. In November of 2019, at the last holiday show ( the pre-covid days), Deb said “Do you realize you haven’t said once this time that you’re never doing this again?” I just smiled. In my mind I though, it was truly perfection, it ran flawlessly, and I thought, hmmm, I could be complete if I never was able to to this again.
Literally the moment the show ended people always asked, so when’s the next one? But, I had this gut feeling to NOT do a spring event. No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t push past that feeling. Then, March 2020, the same week the entire world shut down, that would have been our spring show. God is faithful to protect us.
But, anxiously ready to get back to my people, I hoped for November, then hoped for March, and hoped again, and even announced for November. I anguished emotionally to make the decision to go forward or to call it off. With Covid numbers spiking, so many friends that were ill, and friends I have lost. It was truly agonizing to weigh the safety, and the love for the show. If you’ve never put on any event, I’m not sure you can’t even begin to imagine the weight of love for your people you take into consideration. To protect them, not just from a pandemic, but, to also consider all they have to do to get to that field, the financial commitment for inventory, travel, lodging, not to mention the months of preparation, planning, promoting, with no guarantee of the success in this climate.
To everything there is a season. I think somehow I’ve always known deep down that November 2019 was the last Rustapalooza, at least for this season of my life. And I don’t think until today I realized the true purpose of Rustapalooza was to create a family of all those vendors, shoppers and volunteers. We laughed together, cried together, sweated together, shared a table together. It’s humbling. And fills my heart.
If you haven’t figured out by now, this isn’t a good bye, but it is a see you later. The next season is starting and I’m excited for new adventures to come. I’m not saying there may be a Rustapalooza in the future, I don’t know yet.
I wholeheartedly thank each and every one of you for being a part of rustaplaooza over all the years, I am a better person because of it, and because of you all. My life is truly blessed and enriched to have met each and every one of you, and I will always cherish the moments and the memories the rest of my life.
With all my love, Maria