It’s Ren Fair season, and I am again surrounded by creative people acting and playing like we are in the renaissance. I’m teaching people how to spin wool, smelling the blacksmith’s fires next to me and hearing the lilting accent of an insult. I love these days.
If we were having coffee, we would be meeting later than normal. Cohiba asked if I could take the Wee One during part of the morning, and so you and I arranged to meet in the afternoon. I offer to buy your coffee in thanks for your flexibility, but you wave me off. Its warm enough that we can sit outside, in the sun. Cohiba was right about the winter being better here, I comment to you, thinking of my friends in the Midwest who can’t even think about going outside without the wind cutting their face.
There is a father daughter couple sitting next to us; they look like farmers or ranchers. Their boots are heavy and mud-encrusted, and the brim of his hat is broad. Her jeans, though, are bejeweled around the pockets, which is incongruous with the muddy cuffs and army jacket. Incongruous, but it still works. “You go, girl,” I say quietly as they walk to their truck, and you laugh.
If we were having coffee, I would start to tell you about party planing I’m doing for Wee One’s first birthday. She turned 11 months yesterday! Ack! I had the hardest time coming up with a theme, but I have and I’m really happy about it. Now I’m thinking about decorations and pictures I want to take.
I didn’t realize party planning could be so fun, though! I think its because I’m celebrating something I love so much. I’m also trying to keep it inexpensive, so I’ve been trying to borrow a large number “1” for birthday photos a friend is taking. I haven’t been able to, though, so I’m going to draw something. Do you think that will look stupid? I ask, afraid that homemade will look tacky. Your mom did a lot of homemade stuff when you were little, you say, and you thought it worked.
Now that I think about it, my mom did a lot of homemade stuff, too, and I knew how much effort she put into it and felt special that she put so much consideration into the items. Making things for her is a way to put my love into action, I realize.
If we were having coffee, my birthday is coming up as well, you remind me, and ask if I]’m going to do anything special. I can’t really think of anything yet, I tell you, though I did make up a birthday list, which I usually put off. Perhaps I’ll try to go to dinner with friends? You suggest going paint balling. Seriously? I ask. You went a few months ago, you say, and had a blast. I think I want something a little more low-key.
I might fall back on an old favorite: having a mix Superbowl party and birthday party. I love the Superbowl, and it’s always around my birthday. Would you come? I ask, and you wave your hand at me. “I hate football,” you remind me, smiling.
There are two young kids couple sitting at a table next to us leaning on each other’s laps, looking at their phones, and kissing. We giggle and we try not to stare as we gather our belongings to leave. Oh, we remember those days well, and are glad they’re past.
This is an annual exercise I’ve done since 2014 in which I set goals for myself for the next year. A lot like New Years Resolutions, this is just like a vision board for my next year. In 2014, it was The 36/36 Challenge (36 because I started it late in the year) and last year, it was The 51/51 Challenge (51 because I got it out a week late.)
This one was hard to write, which really surprised me. I had a hard time thinking of new things I want to get into, but that may be because I’m still a new SAHM mother and so involved with the Wee One.
Though I’m getting this one out late in the year, I’m still applying it to all 52 weeks because I have begun doing things in the challenge.
If we were having coffee, you wouldn’t have sat down before you asked me about the craft fair I did on Thursday. Oh Lord, I begin. What an experience. In your haste, you drop a large bit of coffee cake on your lap and have to run over to get a napkin. But you gesture for me to keep going, and I tell you about how small I felt when I first got there.
The tables were all the same size, but they were all decorated and looked huge. There were displays with cloths hanging off of them, and arrangements set up in the front of the tables. I just had a small selection of crocheted coffee sleeves with a few fingerless gloves. I did have a sign I drew and looks pretty cool, and you say something encouraging to that and ask if I sold anything. I sold enough to make up the price of the table and $5 more. That’s a good thing! you say encouragingly, and ask me if I’m going to do another one. I’m not sure, I say, though I learned a lot in this experience, so if I do, I’ll be better prepared.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you about the girl who was at the table next to me, Rachel – really cool with awesome hair. It was a little dreaded and went down to her waist. She was easy to talk to and invited me to another fair she’s hosting at her ballet studio next weekend.
She had a number of different items she was selling, not just one thing, which gave me the idea that I could sell an assortment of things I made. Are there other things you want to make? You ask me. I talk about the sign I had made; I had included some Zendoodle-inspired drawings around the letters, and I had been thinking about doing some drawings to sell. I told Rachel as much, and she suggested drawing them on cards to sell so then people can either buy them to give or to frame. You agree that was very cool of her. I ordered some plain cards on Amazon that night. You’ll have to make me something! you insist, and I promise I will.
Oh, and another thing! I tell you that an article I wrote for SheKnows was run, and that was exciting. Now I have earned the Experts Among Us badge on my blog. 🙂 It was a week of doing new things, and its good.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you about the playdate I had at my house yesterday. I have friends in Washington! I say excitedly. And our apartment is so clean. Not only did I vacuum, Cohiba and I got things really cleaned and thing put in places, so kind of organized. It’ll look better once we get the furniture we’re planning to get (once the reimbursement check comes from the move) but it is so much better.I also went to a holiday thing with some other mom friends, and went into the trenches with them as one of the babies threw up on her mom. We all worked together to clean up our friend and monitor the other babies – it was fun.
This was a wonderful week of new things, and its good.
When I started to get to know my husband’s family, I realized that I would become the family crocheter. His grandmother had done it before, and had crocheted the family all kinds of gifts, slippers and hats – she even crocheted a blanked for him (or his mother) to give to the woman who would become his wife (me). It’s quite precious.