We get the opportunity to visit some wonderful cities and the people who make them such when we travel with the Self Reliance Expo. We’ve been to Denver, Salt Lake City, Dallas (Mesquite, more accurately), and it was Colorado Springs this time around.
It is a lot of work to pull off the show as Pantry Paratus. We began by traveling for days (plural) with three young children side-by-side in the back seat of a truck (reminiscent of my own “she’s touching me” childhood with siblings).
Then we must set up the equivalent of a brick-and-mortar store within hours, spend two long days standing and talking (yes, I usually lose my voice after an expo—my kids think it’s great), and then there is the reflective tear-down at the end. It’s bittersweet to pack the store away, our mind swimming with the memories of the customer’s we’ve met, the questions we’ve answered, and the classes we’ve taught. And yet, we’re exhausted. We inevitably decide we wore the wrong pair of shoes and that we didn’t remember to drink enough water. We replay conversations to each other, of the great cooking, canning, and dehydrating tips passed along to us by our newfound friends—our customers.
During this last show, Wilson taught a class on dehydration. A number of people came up to me afterwards and said that it was helpful and that he was funny. There you have it folks, Wilson has a stand-up dehydration routine.
My class, alternatively, is about bread baking—although I find I spend a lot of time in the beginning discussing the health benefits of milling flour at home. This time around, the class featured the confessions of a sea-level girl who (in self-inflating grandeur) once thought she would teach bread-baking to a friend at 7,000 feet altitude.
We got to spend some time with some people who have become very special to us—Lisa Bedford from www.thesurvivalmom.com and her beautiful family went out to lunch with ours, just to get to know each other.
We found an amazing restaurant with Kellene Bishop from preparednesspro and www.womenofcaliber.com, a restaurant that makes all-natural sodas in-house. We were immediately taken with the grounded nature and authenticity we found in Lisa, Kellene, and Patrice Lewis (ruralrevolution.com). Dr. Prepper always stops by to say hello to us, encouraging us along the way. Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy never fail to check on us, stopping by the booth to speak to the importance of nutritious whole food. Colorado Ron and Bubba Davinci bend over backwards to ensure our experience is the best one possible, as do their great wives. Jeff (The Berkey Guy) from LPC survival, Sun Oven, and many others all work together to bring the best products at the best prices, educating consumers along the way. Ironically, in the business world many of the other vendors would be seen as competitors. In the small world of self-reliance, we rely upon each other for friendship, advice, and the occasional brainstorm and partnership. You see, self-reliance starts with community.
If you have thought of visiting the Self Reliance Expo before, please note the next one nearest you on your calendar and don’t miss it! We had people come as far as Chicago, Texas, New Mexico, San Diego, and even Nebraska to come visit the vendors and bloggers at the Self Reliance Expo in Colorado Springs! If you were there, please drop us a note below this blog and say “howdy”!
Signing off so that I can go drink a tall glass of water and don my fuzzy slippers,