It is interesting to see what is popular and sells each year. Some years it is Christmas crafts, some years it is home made candy, some years it is home baked pies and cakes. Every year the youth group nut sales are popular and the home made noodles are generally sold out within minutes of opening. (That's another reason for being a volunteer - you can sometimes get a bag of the home made noodles.) In recent years, the individual pies and other baked goods that can be frozen and are packaged for one or two people seem to have gotten popular.
Cleaning up is always fun. We (the gentle people of the cleanup crew) have to wait until the bazaar is winding down and then we begin to put up tables and chairs, collect and put things away, vacuum the church, and generally act like a glorified janitorial crew. A certain number of the men that used to help with cleanup have gotten old enough and had enough physical problems that they no longer can do work that involves lifting, etc. The task that is the most tedious is vacuuming the seeming acres of carpet in the church. I kind of enjoy it - there is a certain satisfaction to turning a messy debris strewn area into a neat sea of carpet. I just wouldn't want to do it every day!
The bazaar and the activities surrounding it give a sense of continuity to life as well. This church is the same church that I attended as a youngster, the same church that my wife and I got married in, the same church that our son was baptized in, the same church that my wife and I re-affirmed our marriage vows on our 25th anniversary in, etc. Well not the same physical church since the original partially burned down shortly after we were married, but spiritually the same. There are very few things in modern life that have a permanence like that. And like the church, the bazaar seems to have a permanence as well. I can remember my grandmother participating in the bazaar. In fact, the first time I remember watching someone hand make noodles in a large quantity, it involved my grandmother and others either in the church or for the church.
And so life goes on year after year. Yet another advantage of living in a area where traditions still persist.
(Notice that NaBloPoMo has started - 30 posts in thirty days - prepare to be blogged to death!)