This past weekend I was in Enterprise, Alabama at the Piney Wood Art Festival. As is typical of small southern towns, the promoters were some of the friendliest and accommodating people you could ask for. The hospitality was exceptional … but the weather? Well now, that was something entirely different!
On Saturday the sun was shining and the temperature was lovely, but the winds grew fiercer by the hour. I’ve worked hard to do away with so many of my displays that fell to the winds at shows in the past and I thought I was finally finished with that. I wasn’t really prepared for wind gusts of up to over 30 m.p.h. however and I found myself repeatedly picking my displays up off of the ground. So much so that my glutes were sore from all the bending and stooping! Talk about frustrating. And then there were all of the pollinating oak trees that we were surrounded by (the pines were down the hill). They were dropping pollen which was being forcefully blown into our booths all day long. I kept picking oak flowers out of my hair and displays. The pollen was so thick I could actually draw a smiley face in the yellow dust that collected on my glass cube units. Fun! And now imagine all of that in your lungs … because that’s where it all seemed to settle. My lungs and sinuses were not happy at all.
Around 2:30 or so I scooted on down to my friend Dorethas tent (Dr. Meow) to visit a bit only to be paged back to my tent by my sister, Rhonda. “Some people want to talk to you” she said. It was the judge and several of the board members along with a photographer. I had won an award! My ever popular “Marthra, Winged Thing #3” Lunar Moth Pendant had won her second award. This time it was an Award of Distinction (last time an Award of Excellence). I was very happy to hear the news. They placed the ribbon under the bust and took our picture. Too bad I don’t have a scanner or I’d share the picture with all of you. 😦 I did, however, take a picture of the ribbon to share.
So did you think that the adventure ended there? No, no… the best part was yet to come. Sunday morning we awoke to hear tales of severe weather headed our way. We arrived at the festival to find many other vendors breaking down and packing out. We debated for some time as to whether or not to call it and pack out ourselves. I spoke with Dave Deal, one of the board members, about it and he encouraged me to please stay and open make a determination about leaving after noon. I agreed to do so. Come 12:45 there was about a 20 second sprinkle, which quickly turned into a wall of water blowing sideways right into my tent, effectively drenching all of my table cloths and 80% of my displays. I struggled to drop the walls of my tent to salvage what I could of my displays and in the process I was drenched as well. Yes … I packed it out at this point. I couldn’t possibly conduct business with my tables and displays dripping wet. As it turns out, this was a good call because the worst was yet to come.
After a break in the rain, we loaded up the contents of the tent into the van and said some quick goodbyes to our fellow vendors. As we pulled out of the grounds my tummy reminded me that I had neglected to feed myself … and it was time. After a brief discussion with Rhonda on the state of our starving bellies we voted unanimously to have a decent meal before getting on the road. I decided we would enjoy some good ol’ southern comfort food so we headed straight for Po’ Folks. Oh yum! We were there just long enough to take our order when another band hit. The rain was moving sideways with even greater force than it had before … and then the hail came. First, little dime sized pieces … which quickly grew to GOLF BALL sized pieces of hail! We were so glad to be in the building and not on the green with all of the other vendors … The hail must have continued for near 20 minutes. I couldn’t help but think about my poor friends back at the festival. I hoped that no one lost their tent or sustained any serious damages of any kind.
This weekend I will be at the Festival on the Green, still battling some serious winds but thankfully no rain, no hail. I’m not looking for adventure this weekend, lol, just a nice quiet art show.