Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Life on the Road; Our Show Tour in the Midwest.

We were dripping wet, our clothes looking like we had taken a dip in a pool.  But no such luck, we were on the grounds of Eden Seminary in Webster Groves, setting up our booth for the show the same day.  It was 2 o'clock in the afternoon in St Louis and also very hot and humid and my mind kept thinking of a shower or a dip in some Caribbean lagoon.  But we had to endure and go on. After on day the shape of my shoes were etched on my skin and I was badly sunburned.  What a relief when friends brought us ice cold malted milk shakes and we all visited.

We had  arrived in St Louis the same day after a delightful time and previous night at Randy's apartment (a close friend of Barry's in Kansas City) and had lunch with Ruth, Barry's mother, who had cooked her marvelous vegetable soup.  Seeing her was great and since we live quite a few miles apart it was a joy giving her a hug and visiting with her again after one year apart.

The show at Webster Groves went well but the heat was almost unbearable.
On the 9th of June, we went out for dinner courtesy of Ruth whose card and gift filled my soul as did the Indian goddess Lakshmi that my husband had brought for me from Colorado. We met with Barry's brother and wife and a dear friend of Ruth accompanied us.  We had a great time and since it was my birthday we had a good meal at a fanciful restaurant with interesting paintings on the walls.

All day, I thought a lot of all the family and friends left back at home in Colorado and other states.  I thank you for all my messages and good wishes on my recorder or my email.

Back at Ruth's house I was working like crazy to try to replenish my stock of jewelry and did an awful lot before leaving for the next show in Salina, Kansas.  I astonished myself.

It is quite amazing that this relatively small town puts on such a fantastic show, so well organized with fabulous art all over the park where it happens; and also 4 stages of live entertainment with a different group of musicians every hour. It is a major local event, and tons of people come from the surrounding communities. They have a booth for everything including lost children and many volunteers with water, tea or coffee all day long for the artist and a really good breakfast for all of us.  But again the intense heat and humidity pursued us.

I recognized many of our clients and enjoyed especially the lady who is a long time local reference librarian and had many interesting thoughts about many things. Very interesting, creative gal.  

After suffering two days in the heat, a strong shower Sunday morning cooled things off for the afternoon a little bit followed by sunshine, and we broke down our canopy with it being completely dry.  We were barely at our hotel, took the needed showers and cooled down and got ready to go out to eat when the sky opened up.  A storm of epic proportions with intense winds forced us to promptly retreat to our room where we ate a salad for dinner.  It was fortunate that at least it gave us time to close the show and get to our hotel before the storm. It would have been a horrible scene had the storm arrived an hour earlier while we were all packing up.  

Another great thing about the Salina show is that I also got a second place prize for my jewelry with money attached and it added to our income for the show.

On Monday we were on our way to Kansas City.  While cruising in the van, and I got to look at the road and terrain while Barry drove.  I was entranced by the patches of pink flowers on the sides of the road, the tall grasses undulating like waves under the breeze and the furrows seemingly moving in curving shapes just as lovely as the land and the gentle hills so green with watering holes for the cows punctuating the landscape and reflecting the sky. 

There in our suite, I mostly worked while Barry ran necessary errands and also got to see a few friends.   The show began Friday, and on Sunday morning the show started later at eleven so we had time to have breakfast with Bernice and Maurie, some of Ruth's oldest friends who insisted on cooking for us.  What a breakfast! three juices, eggs, sausages, bagels, biscuits, hash browns, coffee, delicious fruits, two different butters, and two different jellies and finally a delicious apple strudel!  Enough for a crowd.  Bernice also packed a great lunch bag that we ate at the show. It was wonderful!  

We also survived another brutal and humid heat and a violent storm that pushed our canopy (with 88 pounds of weights on each leg) six inches while on Barry's advice I had packed all the jewelry and we had closed up and abandoned the booth.  We went to the nearest restaurant "Bravo" for lunch while the storm raged outside. There I ate the most wonderful spaghetti with a bolognese sauce I ever tried. 
After the storm was over, one of our neighbor's canopy was ruined and he had to go home.  Ours was wet of course but it stood the rain and wind and we were so glad since we had a new canopy top, to find the interior really dry. I had to redisplay the jewelry of course while Barry reopened the canopy and the show went on.  We had the visit of many dear friends and of Nancy who was our greatest buyer!  She also brought us a bag full of goodies from Andre's, a gourmet place packed with beautiful napkins and little miniature knives. Delicious.

The day after we slept until we woke up.  Quite a delight instead of waking up early to the alarm clock.  We also packed, which took a while since we had a mini studio involved and we left to go see Marietta who is Ruth sister and lives in a nursing home.  She was having lunch and afterward we went with her to her room and chatted one hour and a half.  She is ninety years old, very upbeat, and remembers the whole family by name, talks as she was nineteen and is current about the news and the family life.  An amazing lady and an inspiration.

We left around two p.m. and hoped to make it to Colorado that evening since we have a show in Brekenridge this weekend; but a lightning storm developed on the way that Barry loved but that scared me totally.  On my right, the sky would light up totally white with so much lightning.  I was speechless making myself very little in my seat in the van.

Then the warnings came on the radio of severe thunderstorms ahead with possible tornadoes and we decided to stay at the nearest little town, Oakley.  We had one of the rare rooms left in the town late at night and slept well despite the fact that the room was not much but it was a refuge from the storm.

After what seemed like a long drive we finally returned home today with many memories and three good shows and a good tour.  Barry was a champion at driving and creating such fantastic and creative solutions to our life while away, and also being a funny, warm and dear companion to share this time with me.  I have to say it was quite an eventful tour but also very rewarding.