Compared to past years, when I have managed to attend our much-lamented late Renaissance faire more than a dozen times during the season, this year’s attendance at the new faire was rather pathetic. I had that half-day with Jasper on the school day, and that was it until this past weekend came around, and I realized it was the last weekend of the faire. Saturday I was busy grading and preparing for the chai party, which left Sunday afternoon as my last chance.
As soon as we got home for church and I got supper started in the slow cooker, I threw on some garb and headed over to the faire. This new faire is much closer to us than the old one, so at least it’s quick to get to. I was happy to see a full parking lot. My impression is that they’ve been pretty well attended this year, and I’m happy for them.
I made a beeline for the Greek/Gypsy food booth and ordered my delicious gluten-free lunch, then sat at one of the tables in the forest while savoring it. It was a beautiful sunny day after all the rain we’ve had. Though uncomfortably warm in the sunlight, it was very pleasant to sit in the shade.
As I ate my lunch, I perused the schedule and discovered that the first thing I really wanted to see didn’t start until 2:45. So I wandered around a bit and then when my shoulder started hurting from carrying my chair everywhere, I stopped at the “white tent” and bought a piece of cloth from Carol. I had coveted it on my last visit, but didn’t have enough cash. I don’t know if the one I got was the same one or a duplicate, but either way I got it and I love it!
Then I hauled my chair over to the area where the performance I wanted to watch would be, and set it up in the shade. I had over half an hour to wait, but I didn’t mind. At one end of the clearing was the blacksmith’s shed. I would have loved to sit close enough to watch him work, but there was no shade anywhere near and I have to be very careful about sun exposure.
So instead I listened to his hammer ringing and eavesdropped on conversations he had with other patrons who stopped by to watch him.
He is either Irish or does a very convincing and consistent Irish accent as part of his act. My favorite exchange came when a young couple came up with their pre-school aged daughter. The smith introduced himself and then said to the little girl, “Just wait till you meet my warhorse!”
As I was wondering where on earth he could be hiding a horse near that tiny shed, he whistled and a dog appeared, wagging his tail. “That’s not a horse!” the little girl said. “That’s a dog!”
The smith did a great job of acting astonished. “What? You’re telling me that’s not a horse? I’ve been swindled! Are you sure it’s a dog?”
“You mean I can’t put a saddle on it and ride it into battle?”
It was so cute.
Directly across from where I sat in the shade was the bird of prey shed, where three hawks sat on their perches and jingled faintly from time to time. Everything was so green, and the sun was so bright, and the whole scene in front of me seemed to glow with peace. I don’t get outside often enough when the weather is nice.
As I sat there soaking it all in, I got a phone call from a friend in Zambia. Now you young folks reading this won’t think that’s any big deal, but it still kind of boggles my mind that I can sit in the middle of a forest in East Texas, at a Renaissance festival, and talk on the phone with a friend on the other side of the planet!
Eventually the musicians arrived. The group consisted of three violinists and a guitar player. It was all instrumental and so beautiful. They ended with a couple of tunes from Pirates of the Caribbean!
After that it was time for the bird of prey show:
Then I made my way to the other end of the faire, into a thickly forested area where there is a “treehouse” stage. The musicians were a husband/wife team who call themselves Faire to Middlin’. I have heard them before and I enjoy their music. This time, I was the sole audience member.
This is one thing I love about small faires like this. I don’t think people talk about the music enough. Even small faires often have pretty good music acts, and you get to sit very close and interact with the musicians. On many occasions, I have been the sole member of the audience, yet I get a full show and often it will be tailored to my taste since I am the only person they have to please! My kids love to go to large loud rock concerts where thousands of people are milling around head banging and getting their ear drums blasted out. I prefer sitting outdoors in a beautiful wooded setting, listening to celtic and historical music performed just a few feet in front of me, and getting to interact with the musicians all the way through. I would go to faires for this one reason alone.
Faire to Middlin’ was a lot of fun and they were so kind to me. I wish I could have left a bigger tip, but I do what I can!
After that, there weren’t any shows that I particularly wanted to see, so I wandered a bit in search of our friend Elliot. I had seen him multiple times since my arrival, but he was always busy talking to someone else and I didn’t want to interrupt him. Still, I wanted to at least greet him before I left. I found him finally available to talk and with big news—he is now engaged to Destynnie, another faire acquaintance of ours.
Elliot himself wasn’t working the faire this year, but his fiancée had a booth so we went to visit her. She is training to be an herbalist and had a selection of dried herbs. On her recommendation, I got some dried hibiscus leaves which she thinks will help with both my blood sugar and blood pressure.
Chatting with the two of them was a nice way to end my visit. I didn’t stay until closing because we had company coming for dinner and I needed to get home. That was okay. I had my “fix” and I was ready to face the real world again.
Today my main accomplishment was going shopping to get stuff for exam week goodie baskets for Janet and Bri (one of Mercy’s friends). Plenty of chocolate and caffeine! I also finished the latest pass on the beginning of the novel I’m preparing to submit to an agent.