Last month, I flew to Austin, rented a 16 foot moving truck, and drove 75 miles southeast to Round Top, Texas.
Twice a year, Round Top, population of 90 people, hosts a large vintage and antique fair. I read about this fair years ago on a blog and then was reminded last year when my friend, Nancy, posted some pictures of her adventures on Facebook. Then the owner of my favorite local furniture store, Found, told me that he purchased many items in his store from Round Top, so I knew I had to go. I planted the seed in Jeff’s ear of our need to travel to Texas to purchase some treasures.
Jeff and I got rid of 80% of our belongings over the summer in anticipation of our move. We donated and sold our couch, table, excess clothing, and tons of kid’s toys and furniture. We really have adapted the motto of “If we don’t love it, we won’t live with it.” The purge was liberating.
Jeff and I love industrial type furniture. Perhaps, it is because we have four children that play hard and we figure it’s the one type of furniture that can’t be destroyed easily. We really love natural materials such as metal and wood mixed with comfortable linens and fabrics. We gravitate to black, red, and white but love pops of color throughout our home including yellow, orange, and kelly green. Jeff and I agree that we want items in our home to tell a story. We want our children to feel a connection to our home and with the love and items it contains.
Round Top lasts for 2 weeks but I had a limited amount of time to go, so I planned to specifically attend three events over three days, including the Ex-Cess show (free), Marburger Farm Antique Show ($20 admission), and The Big Red Barn event ($10 admission). There are scores of free shows set up in the middle of farm fields for a stretch of 22 miles. Yes, 22 miles and an estimated 2,500 dealers. My favorite unexpected stop was at Blueseeds. I will definitely be back to that show!
And I definitely got my arrow fix in Round Top.
Nancy was gracious in sending me maps of the event and I printed them out at my hotel and was ready the next morning as I headed to get Bessie, my 16 foot moving truck/friend, for the next five days.
From the moment I landed in the Austin airport I noticed a change in people. A sense of wanting to help others permeated the airport, hotel, and the local Mexican restaurant. When the cabbie took me to the wrong Home Depot and dropped me off with my luggage, a Home Depot employee drove me 25 minutes to the right location. I was reminded of the good in people and how no one seemed bothered or put out to help another human being. To say it was refreshing would be an understatement. When the employee found out that I was alone (I was hesitant to tell him), he gave me a business card with his cell phone on the back. He insisted I call him if I got lost or had any trouble with my truck.
As I embarked on my journey to Round Top in the moving truck, my excitement turned to a small bit of fear. The truck was massive, I couldn’t back up easily, and I had to learn to trust. Trust in my own abilities (not that of my husband or father) and that of my Father. Yes, prayers were said. It was no accident that I went on this trip. This trip was needed and Jeff sent me on this adventure as much for a journey of self discovery and believing in myself again, than seeking a kitchen and dining room table. Although sitting on a bare floor for meals probably helped Jeff’s decision in sending me to Texas.
Round Top was worth the hype. It was industrial heaven with the perfect touch of vintage and modern if that possibly makes sense.
I almost ran out of gas, but I made it. I got stuck in the mud, but I remembered Bo and Luke Duke’s sound advice on Dukes of Hazards and didn’t spin my wheels! As a result, I was able to be easily pulled out of the mud. Unlike the 4 other male drivers and their trucks who were still stuck the next day when I passed the tent. Should have been listening to Bo and Luke instead of looking at Daisy and her shorts!
The 1200 mile drive home allowed me the opportunity to feel again. Feel alive. Feel tired. Feel scared. Feel bored. I listened to a cheesy murder mystery book on CD, which I loved. No purpose to the book except pure unadulterated pleasure. I refused to listen or read any self help books. I also sang at the top of my lungs to 80s music including my song #867-5309. Yes, it is about me.
And when I got home, my kids were so excited to see me that they didn’t mind cleaning the furniture!
I got to check two items off my life list with this trip: take a solo adventure and visit the Round Top Antique Fair. I highly recommend both.
I came back with some great treasures (like the kitchen table and stools above), but most importantly I rediscovered my own person again. I faced my inner critic, Jane, head on and told her to leave. I also prayed to become bored with my problems. And it is working. I find myself sick and tired of thinking and talking about the injustices that have been dealt to me and my family. Everyone has problems dealt to them and I’m no different.
We all will face adversity-> so learn from it, become bored with it, and then be grateful to get on with life. At least that is my current mantra. Note: Repeat 1,000 times until you believe it. And then when you are done with that, head to Round Top. I’ve planted in Jeff’s ear that we need to make the trip together in April for the Spring Show. Hope to see you there!
Blessings sweet friends,