Our Last Thursday of the Year
Trade Day finished the 2022 season with a Thursday market on Sept. 22 and a collaboration with Bluegrass Jamboree the following Saturday, Sept. 24. These photos and memories are from the last Thursday, plus one favorite photo from Saturday. For more, see the gallery September’s Bluegrass Jamboree.
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Charlsie and daughter Leigh selected Sand Mountain tomatoes during a special Trade Day at
Bluegrass Jamboree. The tomatoes were offered by Jessica and her mother and stepfather (pictured below), with proceeds benefiting events and education on Pine Mountain. I was delighted to recognize Charlsie after meeting her earlier this month at the newly formed Friendship Club. On that day, when she smiled for a photo, I knew the moment I pressed the shutter button that it would be the perfect image with which to invite neighbors. You can see the image at Friendship Club.
Tomato contributors James & Bobbie sat at
Sandra’s table. Bobbie enjoyed the aroma of the essential oils that Jessica offered to scent the natural wool dryer balls that she offered. James, ever the jokester, held a straight face as Bobbie laughed. Bobbie & James have been a delightful and frequent presence at Trade Day, and Bobbie lent her sunny presence and encouragement at the Calendar Planning meeting and other events this summer.
Sandra was often the first to setup her offerings at Trade Day on Thursdays. Through the summer, her repertoire of baked goods grew in variety — peanut butter balls, pumpkin cream cheese bread, fudge, sausage balls, orange dreamsickle cookies, and other treats — and in raving customers. A lifelong resident of Pine Mountain who, just months ago, spoke of no longer knowing many in the community, Sandra was among the first to get involved in this summer’s new events, among the first to stretch her comfort zone and find her footing as a beautiful community ambassador and planner. She came to the first classes, on canning and breadmaking, helped out at many Trade Days and other events, became a star Trade Day vendor herself, and now shares her joy on Tuesday Craft Nights, where she learned to knit in Jessica’s class. She has been a constant friend and supporter, even happily inviting me to test new camera settings and lenses in portraits like this one.
Christy (in pink) is the chef behind The Dogwood Catering and, in pre-Covid times, ran the restaurant at the Ridge Resort here on Pine Mountain. At Trade Days this summer, she has shared her beloved pimento cheese, sausage balls, fudge, mini cakes and pies, and even delicious homemade ice cream — in addition to her love for stunning flowers. Christy’s aunt Lunette (in lavender) and daughters Emily and Lulu have also blessed us with their presence and their wonderful peanut butter cookies and other treats. We hope you had a very happy birthday, Lunette!
Monica (left) joined us with her goat milk soaps, which she and her husband Kevin craft from the milk of their five Nubian goats and scent with essential oils. Of the many enticing aromas, including lemon and grapefruit, Monica said that lavender has been a best-seller. She and Kevin have begun more batches of the lavender soaps and also of an unscented soap, by request. The soaps require three months of curing. In the meantime, come see Monica & Kevin, Dave & Becca, and Irene at Pine Bluff Church’s Fall Festival, where revelers will have the opportunity to soak Kevin, a state trooper, in the dunk tank! Here, Monica smiles with friend Robin Quinn.
With her creative jams, jellies, sauces, pickled treats, and free samples,
Nicole delighted Trade Day shoppers and upgraded the classic PB&J on Pine Mountain all summer long. To keep up with the demand, Nicole became a prolific and accomplished canner, even preparing double batches for the Trade Day Thursday–Saturday double headers. She has also been so cool to share her methods with others, allowing Trade Day shoppers to enjoy cowboy candy even when she cannot attend. Additionally, Nicole serves as secretary of the Southeastern Rec Association board.
Local honey was a beloved Trade Day offering from our community
’s long line of beekeepers, and had been available every Thursday — until our final 2022 Thursday, which Gwen & Mike and Patty all had to miss due to illness. Would the streak be broken? Just a moment after a shopper asked me about honey, in swept Crystal & Kevin with bottles from the first harvest from their Italian honeybee hives. Crystal said they’ve easily been able to sell simply from the signs at their driveway, but still they came up to the Community Center for to offer for the first time. And they proceeded to sell most of the honey they brought. It was a wonderful surprise that they joined us, and a beautiful synchronicity that they chose exactly this week to offer honey.
Amanda became a dear friend the moment I met her at our very first Trade Day. She is hilarious and exceptionally quick witted, keeping me on my toes to follow her mile-a-minute creative train of thought. Her creativity and artist's eye infuse her wonderful décor, like gingham pumpkins with cinnamon stick stems and charming DIY craft kits that make joyous, very affordable gifts. When I knew almost no one at a volunteer event leading up to June's BBQ fundraiser, sharing a table with Amanda, Chad, Turner, and Amanda's parents was like being welcomed into the perfect sitcom family: warm, rambunctious, clever, funny, smart; each person unique and beautifully comfortable in their own shoes. Then, Amanda and family lived a summer of adventure around the country. All came full circle when they joined us once again at our last Thursday Trade Day. Here, Amanda visits with another dear friend and neighbor, Becky.
Precocious Turner loved the camera as much as the camera loved him!