Friday, September 16, 2011

Blown Away

craft show

Two years ago, I participated in a craft show held on Saturday, September 19. The day also happened to be my birthday.  I wrote this post about the experience and thought I would repost it today.   We are leaving this afternoon to visit my parents for the weekend to celebrate my birthday with them.   I’m hoping for good weather, but at least we’ll be inside.


“The wind is my friend.” “The wind is my friend.”

The man next to me was chanting, with quiet desperation in his voice.  We were squished together like sardines, along with many other vendors, inside a big permanent tent set up at an outdoor art show. His whole display had just crashed to the ground.

The day had not started well. Everyone had set up their displays early that morning amid cloudy skies and howling wind. But then miraculously, the wind died down and the sun came out. It was going to be a gorgeous day after all!  We milled about and visited with each other before settling in to wait for the show to open, the customers to come, and business to be good.

And then I noticed something. My handmade bags began to twist ever so slightly on their hangers. My canopy gave a slight shiver. And I thought to myself, in despair, “It’s coming back…”

In the blink of an eye, it was back, growing in force like a runaway train. And before I had time to go to plan B or even come up with plan A…BAM! Over went my display racks and off like kites flew my bags. It was a horrible moment. Some kindly people (I don’t know who they were, the moment is a blur), helped me set back up. For a little while I was good, and then BAM! This time something rather unladylike slipped out of my mouth as I expressed my frustration.  I was in a state of panic. What was I going to do? The show still had a good 4 hours to go.

It did not take long before everyone was in distress. Paintings, jewelry and everything in between were set aloft. This is when many of us were ushered into the big tent, normally reserved just for a few artists. It really didn’t matter. Even inside the tent, the wind kept finding its mark. I heard vendors say over and over to potential customers “Well, I had a nice display set up, but you see, the wind came up…” As for me, I sat quietly in a daze, the wind having deafened me and left me speechless hours earlier. My once neatly hung bags, arranged carefully by style and color, were in a shambles, and my racks were anchored to my table with a tangled maze of ropes. All that I really cared about at that point was that my bags were all still there. (I didn’t count them. I probably should have.)

As the hours went by, the day continued to deteriorate.  The wind blew harder and harder and it got cold. It even got to the point that all of us stopped looking around to see whose stuff had taken the latest hit. The only thing that mattered was how fast we could pack up and go home.

So what can I say about the wind, now that the show is over?

That after being battered by it for hours, I finally know what it’s like to have straight hair.   And I probably should learn some new vocabulary words to express myself in times of crisis.  That once again, Mother Nature proves that she is Mother Nature.  (When the event coordinator became irritated with me the week before the show because I asked her what happened in the event the weather was bad, and she said it wasn't going to be bad, I felt like I’d chalked up a victory right along with the wind.) And most of all, in the worst circumstances, we come together and help each other.

And you know what else? 

A piece of chocolate birthday cake tastes even sweeter after a trying day.  But I sure could have used a little help to blow out all those candles.  Where is the wind when you need it?

(Thanks to my daughter Amy for the "before" picture.)


  1. Well, you started with a very nice display. I can imagine the frustration. I recently did a vendor fair where I was next to an industrial fan that kept blowing away my display board.

    Happy birthday friend! I hope it's a fantastic weekend for you!

  2. Ah, the wind. It makes me very irritable. Luckily, it doesn't blow in eastern Nebraska nearly as bad as it does in western Nebraska.

    Happy birthday! I hope you get to eat LOTS of chocolate cake!

  3. Lisa-thanks! And I can sympathize with you-that industrial fan would have been a royal pain!! I've never done a craft fair that was fun-there is always something that spoils it. Always!

    Thanks Melissa:) I hate wind! It blows here all the time. Chocolate cake really helps me deal with it though;)

  4. Your display looked charming, I would definitely have bought a tote there! What a birthday memory you have though ... Wishing you all the best this year, have a very happy, happy birthday :)

  5. Thank you Joanne! You are a sweetheart:)

  6. I tried to comment on this post a few days ago and it kept signing me out of your site. Sometimes blogger scares me, makes me wonder why i haven't backed everything up. I can't imagine having all of your precious bags scattered by the winds. They are true works of art!

  7. Thanks Kim-I am touched by your comment. I think what happened there made me stand up and defend myself as an artist.

    Blogger scares me too!