Thursday, July 15, 2010

Life Lessons From The Grateful Dumpling

If you can believe this, we had a great market day, and all in the face of adversity. One of the great lessons we've learned via the Grateful Dumpling is that whatever life throws at you, you just have to keep pushing on, because you just never know what is going to happen. If anything, the worst thing you can do is let fear and adversity prevent you from ever trying in the first place. Sometimes serendipity falls in your lap like a gift from above. Then again, it helps when you work toward a solution. Amazingly enough, hard work and determination seem to increase your odds of experiencing divine intervention.

As I mentioned, last week our stove took a dive right at the beginning of the market, and we pretty much sat around the entire time and watched people walk by. Looking at the bright side, it was a miserably hot day, so not too many people came out. Thus, we didn't lose that many customers, and our dumplings were on dry ice, so we could save them for another day.

We still had to address our stove problem. I called the company and was prepared to buy another regulator, but the guy was really cool, and they sent me a new one for free. The question was, would it get here on time (answer: of course NOT). We also wanted to upgrade our system and get something that runs off a 5 gallon tank. I had a credit with an online store that I've written for, and used it towards a new big gas camp stove, but again, would it arrive on time (answer: no way!).

With our best two options exhausted, we needed to come up with plan. We had to have a functioning stove for the market, but didn't want to buy a new one because we'd already done that. On the day before the market, we were in W. Leb buying assorted things, when on a whim, I thought of going to Wally World to see if they sold regulators. Stores sell replacement regulators for the big boys, but nobody, and I mean nobody sells them for small camp stoves. I get looks from salespeople that scream, "You loser, get a real stove."

And, of course, even Wally World did not carry them, though it's possible they do but I simply couldn't find them in that cave of a store. Plus, you can't find someone who can help you if your life depended on it.

However, I did come up with a last second plan. We were slated to receive a new regulator, so it was a question of time. We had one more day for it to arrive. Knowing this, I ended up buying a new camp stove right then and there in Wally World. The plan was as follows. If the new regulator arrived by Wed, I could use that on our old stove and then return the one I'd bought. No harm, no foul.

If it didn't, I could take the regulator off the new one I'd just bought at WW and when the new regulator arrived, replace it in the new camp stove, and then return it as if nothing had happened.

Better yet, if our new super stove arrived, the one that runs off a 5 gallon tank, we could simply use that and dispense with the small camping stove.

How's that for planning?

As it turns out, the regulator arrived on time (thanks to Blue Rhino). I can simply returned the stove I bought at WW untouched, we went to market and had a great time, setting a new sales record, making new customers and seeing old and loyal ones, seeing good friends and trying great new foods. We are now big fans of the crepe stand. It was, to say the least, a nice day overall, but I never would have guessed that in the beginning.

Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Dora Pete for the pic.

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