I couldn’t just pick one. Someone on Instagram posted a request to talk about how someone’s kindness really impacted you in your life. Actually, he posed it as a contest, but it’s kind of a funny contest because by being able to extend your gratitude you’ve already sort of won in a way.
This year has given me so much to be thankful for. Back Burner Designs has brought me all over New England for deliveries, pickups, meetings, and shows. I have traveled up windy mountain roads in Northern New Hampshire, driven along the coastal roads in Maine, traveled down to Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Jersey, and to New York City – twice. I sent pieces to states all over the country and there are even a couple of t-shirts in Europe.
Travelling is cool, but what really makes the journey worthwhile is the people that have been at each of those destinations. It’s the family in Sandown that let me pick up a truckload of barn beams from their collapsed barn pile, the couple in Littleton that donated a full trailer-load of reclaimed lumber, the guy in Weare who reached out to me and donated his antique joiner, the contractor and his wife who let me salvage some wood from a deconstruction project in Berwick, the woman in Rollinford who donated piles of antique lumber, and the gentleman in Lee that parted with a pile of old joists and even found a person with a large enough trailer to bring them down to the shop. It’s the friends who volunteered their time and skills to help lay the floor in the new shop space, the friends that gave their strength to move lumber and deliver tables, the friends who let me use their trucks to help move stuff around, the friends who have given lumber and other materials and tools, and the friends in other states who have let me stay with them while travelling. It’s all the people I talked with at shows, the people who have referred their friends, the customers and their families, like the families that let me deliver their dining sets on Thanksgiving morning and who made sure I was still getting to eat my own Thanksgiving dinner. Lastly it’s everybody who has supported me; it’s the people buying my products, the people liking and commenting on my posts, sharing with their friends and appreciating what I do, it’s you reading this blog post right now. That is what has made this journey worth taking.
Without all of the great people, the words of encouragement, the donations of materials and time, and all of the other support none of this would be possible. There wouldn’t be any road trips, stories or memories. There wouldn’t be a new shop, new products, or new posts to make. There wouldn’t be a story to write in 2016. Fortunately, there is all of that.
I posted this image last January and I promised that 2015 was going to be a big year for Back Burner Designs. I may not look like it, but I was cold; the picture was taken in November and the shop was 30 degrees that day. Even colder than me was photographer Kate Beddie who took the picture. Now, a year has passed and I’m in a shop space with twice the space, a real floor, more electrical power than I know what to do with, and most importantly, heat.
This year has been full of big announcements, great opportunities, amazing stories and generous people, but those triumphs are punctuated with challenges, compromises and setbacks. It’s the tough days that make us appreciate the good ones and I’m so humbled when I reflect on the past year.
Thank you to everyone who has been a part of this crazy year for Back Burner Designs, I appreciate your kindness more than you know. 2016 is going to be a good one!