|Mayfaire in the rain -- :)|
Only two weekends of Fest left. I can't say I'm not sorry.... It takes so much out of me to do this for the entire Fest season, and I half wonder if it'd be any easier if I did the Circuit and made every weekend a Fest weekend. The thought gives me the shivers. I'm sure I could do it, but I doubt for very long.
Autumn is my favorite season of all, and by the time Fest is over for the year I've pretty much missed its highlights. My gardens have peaked, the leaves have turned, Indian Summer has left the building -- the works. I'm still in a sort of post-Fest recovery when my birthday comes and goes and Halloween appears. But I know if I didn't have Fest to do come August every year I'd miss it in spades. It's just that now that I'm older, it's more difficult for me to Do It All.
This year, Fest has been sweet and rather uneventful. And as usual, I've learned a lot. I've learned that framed art is a luxury few can afford in a crappy economy, and that my lifetime customers will purchase from me regardless. Some have even saved money to commission something special. Others have drawn during the year and are eager to show me their work because I've specifically asked them to.... Some new customers are now my friends and have already visited me multiple times. Why someone would pay the admission price just to see me and have a Scotch Egg is unimaginable, but there you have it.... Strangers have stopped in for a smile and a hug. Little kids have stopped by to tell me what books they've read since I asked them last. And some customers have even brought me books(!) because they know how much I love them, bless their hearts.... The people I meet and take the time to get to know -- no matter how difficult that is for me -- are some of the most amazing and heartwarming folks on the planet. But it took stepping out of my cocoon to learn that.
The remaining two weekends will be easily the busiest by far unless weather interrupts attendance. Barring that, I expect to be pulled thin and feeling especially apologetic. Friends and family often wait until the last minute to attend, and by then I barely have time to wave and acknowledge them let alone enjoy a proper visit, and I feel bad when I can't give everyone my undivided attention. But it is what it is....
And -- believe it or not -- I'm already planning for and looking forward to next season. :)