Over the past month or so I've met quite a few itinerant craftspeople on my Florida excursion. Turns out that many, if not most, of the folks doing craftshows are "from away". This past weekend in Bradenton I met folks from Michigan, Maine, Virginia, Pennsylvania and NYC. There are a few "rookies" out there like me giving Florida a trial run, but most are fairly seasoned in the adventures of doing shows in the winter. They are veteran "Snowbird Craftsmen" I guess.... sort of like a bunch of traveling orphans....a little pack of "Annies"...some possibly hoping to find Mr. Warbucks along the way, but most just trying to "make a buck" in the winter when there are few shows up north! And although it feels a little juvenile to be drawing parallels with the musical Annie at my age I find it quite irresistible. So be it. The musical Annie is really about optimism. And I find that as a group craftspeople are generally a very optimistic lot. Last weekend was a nice little test of that.
For me the weekend started on Saturday around 4 AM. It was a 5:30 set up. It was a nice day and all was going well until around mid-day when the wind started picking up. And by late afternoon many of us were hanging on to our tents and discussing what to do about the evening since there were "wind advisories" for the area (on a two day show tents are usually left up overnight and security watches over things). So although a few craftsmen took everything down most of us lowered the tents and hoped for the best. As I drove home over the Sunshine Skyway bridge I thought of my little tent as I looked down at the whitecaps below.
There's a line from "Its A Hard Knock Life" that goes..."Don't it seem like the wind is always howlin?" It certainly did on Saturday night.
It was 36 degrees outside when I got back to the show on Sunday morning. Fortunately, my tent and the stuff in it survived just fine. But a few others, like one of my neighbors in the brown tent didn't fare quite as well. Although her tent got displaced by about six feet she said "lifes too short" to worry about a little tent blowing away! And by late morning she had put everything back to rights again. And so had most of the others.
..."The sun'll come out tomorrow. Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow. There'll be sun"
The sun did come out on Sunday but unfortunately not too many people. The wind had died down but the temps were still a little chilly for Florida. Nonetheless, we sat on the sunny side of the street and said things like..."of course it could have been much worse"..."there's always next week", etc. One craftsman noted ..."I don't worry too much about individual weekends. It's the total at the end of the year that really matters". And as most of the craftsmen packed up and left Bradenton they were already talking about next week. "See you next weekend in Dunedin....I hear its a great show"!
I just checked the forecast for next weekend for Dunedin. Rain is predicted for Saturday! But Sunday is supposed to be nice. Guess I better get some trivets of the sunflower painting I finished last week printed. If its going to be sunny in Dunedin I may need of whole bunch of them!
Postscript to Tomorrow:
Dunedin turned out to be a good show. But a few weeks later, in the Villages, another storm with 40 MPH winds blew up in the night and took out the tents of 12 craftsmen! One guy said that a tent ended up on the top of his camper! Fortunately, mine was spared and the sun did come out again on Sunday. But as Forest said " Life is like a bowl of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get".
This page is where I put stuff that doesn't fit elsewhere.... news, photos, an occassional idea, work in process, etc.