It was always so quiet in our 40 acre woods and I’d wander off to the cliffs where the wind would blow and I could gaze at all of the succulents growing on the rocks. I’d look down onto the forest below and wonder what was there under that canopy of trees. Then I’d make my way down the narrow path to the old fallen tree that was hollowed out and try to fit inside. It seemed so cozy. So perfect. But I couldn’t ever squeeze my way in. So I’d gather the bark that lay in piles all around and I’d make a village of tiny houses, all the while dreaming of what I’d become. Who would I be? I’d eventually make my way to the snag that stood big and proud on the outskirts of our family’s national park, an enormous area my mom had declared would be just that someday – and an area we’d intermittently rake, move rocks, and clear paths, only to stand back and realize the work we’d just done amounted to roughly the size of a postage stamp. And it was on one of those days, when standing back looking at the postage stamp progress and feeling defeated, I noticed my snag. She was perfect. And I could fit inside, with room to spare. And inside my snag, It became my little home away from home, a place that I could make my own and play house. My brother carved me a sign that read “Reenie Beans” (my nickname) and colored the letters red with crayon. And we nailed it right over the door, which was a little hole I’d crawl through to get inside. And there I’d sit in the silence, dreaming once again. I wanted to be a baker, have my own little bakery someday and a secretary because I’d get to type on a fancy typewriter. Or an archeologist so I could discover wonderful things. But mostly, I wanted to be a mom and wife and have a happy life. And eventually my dreams came true and I’d get the happiest life. Better than my best dreams. But I never realized how hard it can sometimes be. To be a mom and a wife, trying to get everything just right. Because I want to raise wonderful children who do wonderful things. I want them to have the world and to love it too. And some days, I wonder, are we getting it right? Are we doing everything we can do? And I worry, like lots of moms do. Then one day, a few weeks ago, I received a letter in the mail, addressed to me at The Farm Chicks. From another mom to me, a letter that made me think that we CAN get some things right. One postage stamp at a time. Lisa, although we’ve never met, I want you to know that your letter was like a note from a friend and that it meant the world to me. It made me teary and it made Bongo smile, actually, beam. And for that little while, it was like a big gulp of the most refreshing water. You filled up my mom glass. Thank you.

MEET SERENA!

Stay-at-home mom, Serena Thompson, dreamed of creating a fun and happy little event to sell her vintage and handmade goods. In 2002, she and some friends held the first event in her neighbor’s barn. The sale became wildly popular and began attracting visitors from across the country and recognition in national magazines. Today the event fills the Spokane County Fairgrounds and features hundreds of creatively and carefully curated spaces filled with vintage and handmade goods. Many describe it as a bucket list event, magical, inspirational, and the best vintage & handmade fair in the country. Serena describes it as the happiest on earth.

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