After we got home on Monday (the 21st of September), we unpacked, did laundry, re-did our list and repacked. We needed more food, more blankets, more clothing than in Pepin, as we would be camping for 7 days – Sunday was for set-up, then school tours Monday through Friday and Open to the Public day on Saturday.
So we had everything ready, headed to Joy’s and picked up the trailer. Joy and Ken and the girls came out to help us set up (thank you, kids!) and we had a simple supper that night before they headed home and we tucked into bed.
Joy and the girls came out for a day to tour and catch some of the educators / demonstrators, then had supper with us. Ken stopped over to say hi but had to head home, so missed a great supper.
Several mornings, people stopped over for coffee or breakfast and several evenings others (or the same) stopped over for supper. It makes my heart warm to see a dear friend sitting across from me, eating what I have cooked. On “good” (read “dry”) days, I cook over a brazier rather than a campfire. Bending does not suit my style, nor does it suit Norm’s peace of mind, as I complain when I bend! The brazier is a little lower than a kitchen stove and works very well in dry weather. In wet weather (another story) I cook in the tent on our “4-dog stove.”
We had thousands of children come to see us in Bloomington. This is a very VERY big event that has been going on for years. An Educational Rendezvous, if you don’t know, is an event where demonstrators and Re-enactors put up their tents (properly called “lodges” in Rendezvous talk) put on their weird (to “civilians”) clothes and show school children how things were done in the past. A “real” Rendezvous is for enthusiasts that camp for a weekend or more and the time period is pretty much limited from the 1780s to about the 1830s. An Educational Rendezvous is not limited to time periods, as you only have to have a craft / skill that has historical value. In some ERs, there will be Vikings and Scottish clans of the 1400s and 1500s; on the other end of the time line, there are the Civil War buffs who come out and show the children how to shoot cannons.
These events have become very popular, at least here in Minnesota. As I said, Bloomington’s is very big, lasting a whole 6 days.
The weather was fantastic, even touching on the hot side until Friday morning, when it started to rain. And rain. And pour. And DUMP water! Now, as these demonstrations are put on outside, it is of the utmost importance for the children to dress appropriately for the weather. It always amazes me to see so many children in the rain in tee shirts and shorts, even though it IS the end of September and technically Fall. I asked a group if they even KNEW it was going to rain that day and they all looked at me as if I was talking a foreign language! Now, come ON … don’t the parents look at the weather and help plan the children’s clothing? We knew, from weather reporters in the group as well as the night sky that it was going to rain. WE were prepared!!! We were warm (or at least dry)!
Fortunately on Saturday, it was dry. Nothing is more important than dry canvas when it’s teardown time! Joy and the girls came over to spend time with our friends. It was Bubba’s 11th birthday the next week, so Joy brought cupcakes to share with the closest of our friends – the people that know the girls from all their visiting with us.
The plan, after teardown, was to go have supper with Joy and family, then head home (3 hours away). The girls convinced Norm that we had to spend the night, at least. Joy worked out the plan for us to stay at her house in order to go to Albert Lea in just a few days. Logistically it worked out – it was 3 hours to go home, then laundry, repacking, restocking food, then 2 hours to Albert Lea 3 days later.
I made sure that Candy would / could take care of the animals for a few more days than planned, then canceled my last therapy (yes, still for the knee, Candy D; it is still giving me problems and pain!). I counted pills and actually had enough to make it through the rest of the week. So we decided that what we didn’t have, we would do without and we stayed at Joy’s, making the girls very happy.
Sunday was laundry and inventory for food supplies. Monday was food shopping and then we went to Martial Arts with Ken and Bitty. As I mentioned earlier in a post, they tested out and are now White Belts. Bubba has decided that now she is 11, she will try to do Martial Arts as well.
Tuesday was a quick stop at a 2nd Hand store to get jammas (I didn’t have WARM ones with me) and a few other necessities (Norm needed warm jammies, too). Then we headed down to Albert Lea to set up early. We didn’t need to be ready until Thursday morning, but this way we could set up leisurely and have time to visit with friends.
So, that’s our week at Bloomington – more next post on Albert Lea, the LAST event of the year for us. It was another beautiful day today – sunshine and no rain. We have had a total of about 7” of rain since we left for Bloomington so having sunshine is really a treat. You have a beautiful day!