After a tiring and stressful week, what I really needed was to spend several hours outdoors listening to music. By an amazing coincidence, that is what I was already planning to do!
After last night’s powerful storms, this morning dawned cold and sunny. It was perfect faire weather. I made myself a huge breakfast because it was my only meal of the day and I didn’t want to be tempted to eat at the faire.
Mercy and Daniel had agreed to go with me, at least for a while, so after they got here and I struggled into my garb, we set off for the faire. I love that this faire is only a fifteen-minute drive away. So handy.
As I drove, I was a little anxious, wondering if a certain booth would be there. Since we first started going to Renaissance Faires fourteen years ago, our favorite booth was always “the white tent,” whose proprietor, Carol, is one of the sweetest ladies on the planet. (The real name of the booth is “The Shop at the End of Time.”) When the old faire closed down four years ago, Carol moved to the new one.
Carol’s booth is an eclectic collection of oddities and adornments, and what makes it special is that most of them are very affordable. She has lots of stuff for a dollar! Hers is always the first booth I visit because I am bound to find at least one little thing I can’t live without. But when I went to opening day of the faire two weeks ago, the white tent was conspicuous by its absence. I felt more than a little bereft.
You can imagine my relief when I arrived at the faire today and saw Carol’s tent before I even walked through the gate! I made a beeline over there to greet her. It turns out she was delayed by car trouble—something I understand only too well!
Mercy and Daniel explored for a while and I went on to listen to my friends of Triskelion perform. The wind was brisk and even in sunshine it was cold day, but the sun beamed down and the trees have leafed out and are dressed in that wonderful bright “new leaf” green. It was heavenly.
Mercy and Daniel joined me for the birds of prey show, and we met up again for the joust at 1:00, after which they left. I spent the day migrating from stage to stage and listening to music. I rarely spend much money at the faire these days. I don’t eat food or buy drinks. I save up my change all year so I can tip performers though. I know how big a deal it is when audiences are small and you make your living performing.
I know I keep saying it, but there are few things I enjoy more than sitting outdoors in a beautiful setting and listening to music played and sung by performers who are only a few feet away from me. Over time, some of them (like Floyd and Sarah of Triskelion) have become my friends. Another group I’ve enjoyed a lot in the last few years is Faire to Middlin’, also a husband/wife duo. This afternoon, when they were setting up for another show, I was the only audience member there (which has happened before).
So “Mab Middlin” handed me a list of their entire repertoire, and said “How about you pick our set list for us?” The songs were helpfully categorized into “lively,” “funny,” and “pretty.” I knew most of them, and I was surprised to see some songs on there that I like but have never heard them sing—so I requested them. In fact, although some other people did show up, I got my own personalized concert. How cool is that?
I also was the lone audience member at a Triskelion show, so they tried to come up with songs to play that I haven’t heard them play a jillion times. We figured out I’ve been listening to them since 2010, so I’ve heard most of their repertoire. I did get treated to some new songs they’ve been working on, though, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
One fun thing about today’s faire was that there were an inordinate number of people I knew there. Not the people who work at the faire, whom of course I expected to see, but other patrons like me whom I know through homeschool groups or other activities. Two of my former students were there and although I passed them multiple times, they didn’t so much as hint that they might know me.
I ended up talking for half an hour to a friend from way back who was there with her family. She is a fellow diabetic who noticed how much weight I’ve lost so I shared with her what I’m doing and why. I’m always so thrilled when someone notices my weight loss—it doesn’t happen very often!
The last thing I went to was the second joust, where I sat next to an adorable family with eight children. The mom sat right next to me with a toddler on her lap. The (very theatrical) jousting uses exploding lances, and when one of the lances shattered on contact, the little boy burst into tears. He was so upset that the lance was broken! His mom had to work hard to comfort him and convince him that it was designed to break.
The sun still shone brightly as I drove home. What a beautiful day it was—full of peace, which is just what my heart needed. Lucy returned this evening from her final rugby tournament of the semester. They lost one game and won a game, and she seems pretty happy with how it went.
Here at the house, someone from the insurance company finally made it out to look at the roof, and discovered that in addition to the damage we knew about, there was enough hail damage from last Friday’s storm to make it likely that we will need a whole new roof—again. Our current roof was installed due to a hail storm several years ago.