Sunday, July 22, 2012

Walnut Grove

Several of you know that Norm and I demonstrate at Walnut Grove every year.  This is at the annual Laura Ingalls Wilder event, held on the first, second and third weekend in July.  The pageant is held on Friday and Saturday nights and there is a celebration in the park on Saturdays.

Now, I have to admit that we have never been to the pageant.  On Friday nights, we are preparing to head to Walnut Grove on Saturday.  And on Saturday, we are usually too pooped to pop, much less go to the pageant.  But I have heard that it is really a great one and I am hoping someday to have the energy to go.

Walnut Grove is only about 30 minutes from us, so it's a great event to go to.  The people in charge put up an awning for us and take it down, so all we have to do is show up, put up our things, demonstrate (and hopefully sell) and tear down.  We usually go to Storden's Shady Drive-Inn for supper afterwards ... it's cool and I don't have to fix anything to eat.

This year has been extra hot and humid, like most places in the nation.  Our area is heading from a moderately-severe drought to a severe drought.  We had rain on Friday and Saturday -- a few drops each day - not even enough to make a puddle or keep the driveway wet for more than about 10 minutes.  However, it DID cool us off so that our threatened heat index of over 100º did NOT happen, and we were extremely grateful.  

Every year, since it's in July, we anticipate hot weather but anything over 90º is getting to be pretty intolerable to this little ol' lady's bones.  This Saturday, it kept getting hotter and muggier with less wind so that I was afraid it would get up in the 100s.  My drawers (oops, unmentionables) were clinging to my chemise (another unmentionable) and that was clinging to my petticoat (oops, again) which was twisting around my dress.  So when I sat down, I would have to re-stand and adjust EVERYTHING before re-sitting. 

But dill pickles, lots of water, yummy snow cones and a wet cloth under Norm's hat kept us going to the end of the day.

Weather aside, though, we had a great 3 Saturdays.  Norm sold spoons and spatulas and butter knives and possible pouches.  He has to make more before the events this fall.  I didn't sell anything but a bar of soap the last hour of the last day, but I DID sell my passion to several.  I have women and girls who are going to look into wheels and looms and teachers (most of them live too far for me to teach) and start spinning or weaving.

Going to Walnut Grove means making new friends and meeting old ones.  My new spinning student, Peg, came for awhile.  There is a blind woman who lives in Walnut Grove that stops, with her husband, every year; she is a weaver (not so much anymore, but she still weaves some) and we talk techniques - her fingers are so sensitive that she can "see" patterns on the runners and placemats I've made.  

Then there is "Laura" - Melanie Stringer portrays Laura and travels to events such as Walnut Grove to talk about Laura as a married woman.  Last year she fell in love with my Sontag (working woman's shawl); she had Joy knit her one and wore it this year.  It looks great on her!

Doesn't she look great?

This last Saturday, I met a photographer, David Rambow, who uses old-fashioned cameras to make great works of art.

He does tin type pictures; he took a picture of me - I had to hold still for about 12 seconds while he used the camera (at his left - our right) to capture the photograph.  The box behind him (with the material) is his dark box.  He brought the tin type over and let me watch while he poured the chemicals into the tray and the picture "came to life."  He promised me he'd send me a copy of it ... I hope he does (are you listening, David?).

So, now our events for the month are over - I need to repack the boxes, put away things and continue my planning for the trip to Europe.  It's getting closer!

It's been a hot day - as usual.  I think most of you have been hot today.  But it is a beautiful day, non-the-less.  You have a beautiful day tomorrow.

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