Going into the Conference, I must say I was a bit down on things in general. In July and August, our internet service was down intermittently for several weeks. Since my veil business is primarily online, internet service is key. I had spent several weeks trying to catch up, fielding calls and emails from upset customers whose veils were delayed. Quite frankly, I was exhausted.
So my plan for the weekend was to take some work with me, and take some time to relax. You know what they say about God and making plans, right?
The first couple I spoke to at length came into the Well (it's what we affectionately call the Wells Fargo Arena) on Friday evening, while I was setting up my booth. My husband and our 3 youngest kids had left about an hour before, because the kids were running around and I wasn't getting much done.
The wife was pleasantly surprised to see my mantilla booth. She shared with me that she has worn a veil ever since she was a small girl, and showed me the one that was given to her for Confirmation so many years ago. "I'm scared to wash it", she said, "because it might fall apart". She was very glad to hear that veiling is making a comeback, as was her husband.
This couple had come from a small town in Iowa, and told me how they were so lucky to have gotten a room a the hotel across the street. When they called, they were first told all rooms were already sold out, but the person said they would check. As they were holding, a cancellation came through! We stood inside the Arena, looking down at all the seats. They both wondered if it was too large for a Catholic conference in Iowa.
The next morning, as I stood at the bottom of the stairs at 7:30 a.m., waiting for my two teen daughters to hurry up and get going, I wondered if all this effort would be worth it. We were already 30 minutes later than I wanted - vendor booths opened at 7 a.m. and here I was - herding teens out the door.
We made it to the Well at about 8:15 a.m. To my surprise, there were about 5 or 6 women waiting at my booth! In the midst of trying to open for business, somehow we managed to sell about a dozen veils before Mass with Cardinal Dolan began at 9:30.
The question posed by the couple the night before was answered pretty quickly that morning. Here is a picture of the Well on Saturday. It's estimated that 7,000 people were there for the Mass:
|Photo Credit: Daniel Nielsen|
To be continued....