I've been working at my shop at the Ren Faire since 2001 which seems like a lifetime. It has become such a part of my life that the one year I couldn't do the faire my entire year seemed wrong. I can not imagine not doing faire.
One of the things I love most about faire is that there is a familiarity that is developed after even the shortest of times. It is a community where simply seeing another person over the course of a season, or many seasons, that seems to bond you. It is that constant of knowing those people are there that makes it all seem more like being home.
I have customers that have been buying from me since day one. I don't know their names buy I know their ring sizes, favorite stones, and what statues they have already bought. We chat easily about their collections and the one or two factoids we know about one another before parting for another year.
There are performers and faire employees that are regular sites. Some of them work in sight of our shop, some of them are in shops I frequent, but they are all a staple of faire life. I don't know their names any more than they know mine yet we still feel like friends in some way.
These familiar strangers are as much part of my world as my crew, who might as well be family. I look forward to seeing these nameless friends as much as I do my other faire friends. Their presence is comforting.
I am not sure they will ever know what they mean to me, but I am very thankful for all of them.