Relaxation Day

Hi again, Thursday August 15, 2019
Now to cover the second week of Pennsic.Or maybe a bit more. They call the first week “Peace Week”, and the second week “War Week”, but they’ve cut off the last weekend, and the opening ceremonies are Monday I think. We used to like to go to the closing court, where they count the wars backwards and everyone sits down when they get to the wars they didn’t get to. I get to stay standing until Pennsic 3, and Kat, who doesn’t look old enough, gets to stay standing until Pennsic 16 which throws people off, and we enjoy that. But now the court isn’t scheduled, it’s whenever the last battle ends on Friday, and we miss it, although we’ve tried to listen for the cannon. We’re not going to go watch yet another field battle (or miss any last sales on the last day people can buy)! So there it is.
But I left off last night after getting as far as the first Wednesday- a week after I wrote last. It was 11, and at the war we mostly went to bed around 10, except for Midnight Madness, and staying up to watch I Sabastiani on Sunday. (Some things are worth closing the shop!)
Let me run through a typical day at Pennsic for us. The sun comes up around six, and I sleep outside, but I do have curtains around the bed, so I usually don’t wake until 7. Willow and Kat have actual walls, so they don’t usually wake until 8 or even 9. This is my view when I wake- the kitchen, built around and over the trailer hitch. Our dining area is on the other side.  I do go inside to change. I fear I wore a lot more gauze and light linen this year because it was so hot. My heavier gowns stayed in the chest. I never even put on the shoulder cape in the rain- it was so warm, and I got caught at the University for the big torrent, so it was too late to do anything but go inside and change. (Then, under the roof, make chicken soup for supper.)
Breakfast was usually a fresh, warm, meat or cheese roll from the bakery with milk and fruit, (and our Chinese medicine and vitamins). I had a 9 o’clock class most days; I was grateful when it was in the class tent and I didn’t have to walk over to the university. When I got back I sometimes helped in the shop or washed the dishes. Mid-day I’d put together plates of bread, cheese, pickles, fruit and vegetables, bits of meat, basically finger-food for the girls to eat as they worked. We found an herbed cream cheese that I put in the celery sticks, we will be doing that at home. Kat’s station is in the window by the cashbox. This year we got a tablet so she can run charges herself without going to one of us for a phone. When we started, Ælfwine and I ran the shop, the kids ran the errands, now it’s the other way around. They are better at it than I am.
I had my kindle set to let me know when it was time to take the potion. In order to break the ambience less, I had it set to a cock crowing. Sometimes it would go off and I wasn’t there so the girls would explain to any customers: “Excuse me, I have to go strangle a rooster.” (I also had my phone on something called “Sherwood” that sounds like a hunting horn.)
For the first few days Willow was embroidering a linen tunic for Weehawk, my apprentice. When we were stressing about how Kat and I were going to break down without Willow, he offered to come help on Saturday, which is hard to get when everyone else is breaking down at the same time. His friend Conal/Michael also offered to help. It makes me feel loved. It also took a whole lot of stress off us. For the first part of the war we still had some stress about how to get Willow back for Evil’s wedding. (Important note, it’s short for Evil Author, as in someone who’s mean to their characters. Willow met many of her friends on-line, so they know each other by their screen names, just as I think of my friends by their SCA names. What’s in a name? Same person, but chosen names are often a lot more unique and easier to remember.) The first search for rental cars had the price doubling if she picked up a car in PA and dropped it off in NH. Apparently they throw in the charge for having someone drive it back since there’s no guarantee someone else will want a one-way rental the other way. We decided not to take two cars- that would double the cost of driving, plus add to confusion as we tried to stay together. We were still poking around hoping someone else from NH would be leaving on Thursday, but you really want to know someone before you commit to spending 12 hours in a metal box with them, and while there were a few offers, none of them was close enough.
Finally Willow found one she could drop at Manchester airport, and even better, Tyra (the friend she visited in Florida, but who now lives near Pennsic) offered to drive her to pick it up. She was also so close to Tyra that she took a day off to go visit, and found herself just as fond of the whole family as ever. I expect that she’ll go down to visit at some point.
These are the folks she spent a month with, and their cat loves her so much that he wandered around the house after she left calling “Willow, Willow!” Some cats can vocalize a lot like human speech. He remembered her, which was also flattering. (They are still unpacking from the move.)
THAT really took the pressure off. She picked it up Thursday afternoon, and came back to Pennsic to spend the night, then spent Friday driving home. So we figured that making Jamie a linen tunic (linen is a life-saver in hot weather, I simply went out and turned the hose on my head several times this war) was the least we could do. When Conal also stepped up, she decided to make him one too, although had to wait until we came home. (We probably could have got the linen at the war, and hand sewed it- I hand sewed my black undergown on the way down, but she was also working on the doll medallions and making necklaces.)
Getting back to a typical day, I usually had another class to teach at five, and when I got back I’d make supper. We stayed open as long as there were potential customers going by, then the girls would close shop, which consisted of passing the jewelry in through the window where Kat put in on shelves we made to hold it, putting the glass gems back in their boxes, and bringing in the booklets and more fragile artwork from my studio.
Then we’d eat- fairly standard food, of course, all period, although it was made on a propane stove. I did bake a blueberry cake the night it rained- that seemed cozy. I baked it in a stoneware dish; Willow was dubious, but I knew that’s how many things were made back then, and it came out great. We also had more vitamins and Traditional Chinese Medicine. We used it up mid-war and I brewed up another batch while there. I take it four times a day (because I’m more concerned than the girls are) and I can honestly say I feel much better. Sadly, I had so much more energy I walked more and my Plantar Fasciitis has kicked up, but I can deal with that. It does make me less useful as an errand runner though.
Once again we were across the street from Historic Glassworks and got to watch them blowing glass for ten days. Master Ali (Arab Boy)’s journeyman has gotten very good, and they now sell a lot of her . They can probably tell the difference, I can’t. But it’s so cool to watch them deal with the red hot (gradually cooling) glass. We watch them pull it out, roll it, blow it, form it, add other glass bits to it- then pop the finished piece into the oven to cool slowly. (I wonder how the first people to work molten glass learned about making sure it had a slow place to cool.)
We really do have enough pieces, but I wanted one of the green Anglo-Saxon globular beakers they had. I have a red one (because, red), and a cobalt blue one (a replica of the one from the Prittlefield prince find), and Willow has one that’s clear, but glow-in-the-dark: VERY Creative Anachronistic; I’d also like one in the amber glass they were doing. One new thing I leaned this year was that different colors of glass have different characteristics. They had a beautiful green this year (they tend to change colors each day), but it was apparently a bitch to work- it would harden up suddenly, and not flow as expected, so they got a lot fewer finished pieces, and Arab Boy swore a lot (more than with other colors). He actually restrains himself and if he’s REALLY upset, he goes out back where I’m pretty sure he lets off a string of expletives where the audience can’t hear him. I wish Potters Hall was up here too- he tosses pots and fires them in a kiln he builds over near the parking area right at the war. I wish the parchment maker would come back- he was cool.
He also always has a bunch of alchemical retorts and alembics and pelicans and condenser coils and ampules…. Obviously I have no need for them, but it’s something like a kids chemistry set, I want to try to use them, make some perfume, or liqueurs. But it would be a shame for him to have put all the work into making them and not have them used, just to sit on a shelf and look cool (probably with colored water in them). And mustn’t they be a bitch to clean?
[you see, that is a rhetorical question. It gets a question mark. On the other hand, I feel that if you start a sentence “I wonder”, it doesn’t get a question mark any more than one that starts with “I wish”. It’s a statement of what you’re thinking.]
Willow did get to the adult doll meet (by chance, as I wrote yesterday). They didn’t announce it in the book. At the same time, I DID announce the Soothsayers Guild meeting in the book, and almost no one came. On line it was suggested that I should have posted about it on Facebook/google/yahoo. This is why my first act as Guildmistress was to make a Deputy for Social Media. Most of the people who came were from other kingdoms, so we talked about how they could start guilds in their own kingdoms. It’s a LOT easier to organize a guild in a city based group than one scattered across several states! When you’re close enough to go to the same place with some regularity, practicing and information exchange can go on. I should perhaps mention for non-SCAers that SCA guilds are the opposite of medieval guilds. The intent in an SCA guild is to share and spread information, as opposed to Medieval guilds that hoarded it, and tried to keep their secret techniques to themselves.
I think our big activity at the war is watching garb go by. I heard that some people play the “garb/not-garb” game, but that’s tacky. I choose to think that people who are not in garb have just arrived or (like the kids in swim suits who’d been at the water balloon attack on the fort) don’t know how to make the specialized bit of garb that they need, or they may think that they are in “an attempt at” garb. I do feel strongly that safety always trumps authenticity- we wear our glasses and leg braces etc, and they should be invisible to our minds eye. On the other hand, people going around in poor garb are, in essence, teaching others who see them that it’s OK do wear that in public. That makes me sad when there is so much absolutely gorgeous garb going past all the time. Next year I may simply take pictures of gorgeous garb and armor because it’s really impressive! I occasionally got pictures of friends when I saw them and they looked particularly fine, like Corwyn, Mihel, and Brian. (I think Mihel, a a magician, was on his way to perform at some Royal camp. Brian is just a flashy dresser- you should see his armor!)
Did I finish our normal days? One night coming back from the privy Kat heard a deep voice from the dark saying “I can see you”, not seeing where it was coming from, she sped up. A bit later she heard it again, sounding like it was the same distance from her. She ran the rest of the way. I figure it was someone thinking that they were cute, but that’s creepy!
Maybe the best news we got was Dennis de Dijon came. He’s actually paid for a painting of himself and his lady, which I haven’t finished, but they weren’t there last year, and I couldn’t contact him by phone or email, and I was worried that one or both of them had died. I can’t do the painting until I have the pictures they were going to send me of her garb. I have the reference pictures for their faces, but I have to paint the garb from the photos to get the details right, then put the faces on (or it will look like bad photoshopping). So I was VERY happy to see him and see that he’s alright (although his lady has decided not to camp any more). Actually, there was a death. They had a photographer friend who was going to take the garb pictures for them, and a week before they were scheduled to do it, she died- didn’t wake up. That’s sad, but I’m glad it’s not either of them. We talked a LOT! I also had lovely chats with Leslie and Kami, which made me feel very loved and appreciated. I also got to chat with John (I’ve spaced his name) a singer who was in an accident two years ago and we thought was going to die. He said every bone in his body was broken and he was in a coma for six weeks. They told him he’d never walk again, but he triumphantly took several steps away from his walker and showed me that he can- if only a little, but more than expected. It’s wonderful when old friends ‘come back from the dead’! He does mourn his tenor voice, having been on a respirator so long his voice is now much lower. But he still knows all the many songs.
The classes also made me feel appreciated. There’s a core of Anglo-Saxons who come to all my Anglo-Saxon classes, and one of them did a class on making an Anglo-Saxon Ring Pouch, (Kaleeb the Green Eyed), and she brought me one as a gift! The supernatural classes are more popular, and after I got standing room (outside) at our screen house class tent, I switched the Witches down to the university tents. I also (blush) found out that while delivering the ballot boxes, I’d missed a class- somehow I hadn’t copied it on the list I’d made for myself so was blithely unaware that there were dozens of people waiting for me. I still feel badly about it, even though I rescheduled it for the last day. I always put my classes early or late as possible to avoid the heat, but of course, some people don’t get up early (having been partying), or have social plans at dinner time, so I think that reduces the attendance. Still, that’s better than nodding off in a class I’m teaching!
Before Honour got in and put up her tables, people kept walking in toward our kitchen- then past to Bow Street. I suppose there aren’t that many wide spaces between booths (or if they are, people hang canvas walls across them). They might think our kitchen was a booth. On the other hand, Willow called one gentleman on it, and he came back shortly with some bags of grapes by way of an apology. “I knew better, so that makes it worse.” He apologized. That was nice.
Once Honour set up, she had the tables across the space, and that reduced the foot traffic. During the day she had her jewels on it, and many evenings she used it for judging the siege cooking contest. She’s been doing it for years, she gives the contestants the ingredients and they are judged on what they come up with. It should be period, and they should have some sort of, if not documentation, research to explain why they chose that way to cook it. This allows her to not have to cook, and yet still have the ingredients her rather limited diet allows. (It’s only limited if you assume that only modern American foods can be eaten.) One adorable contestant was practically cooing “I get to play with quail!” And artichokes, and other medieval but unusual foods. The biggest issue this year was she’d bought some beans that are poisonous if you don’t cook them long enough, but she’d gotten the kind you need to soak for a week, not a day, so she didn’t distribute those. She did distribute huge amounts of lard, which one assumes would have been used for deep frying, but I doubt would still have been around at the end of a siege.
Since she couldn’t put up her kitchen- all she could do was put a table over her trailer hitch and plug her refrigerator in it, then cover it with a cloth. Since our kitchen worked, we let her use our stove, which she didn’t have to do often because of the contest. We were so close that to get around the end of her trailer, she had to walk through our dining area. The only issue we had was that one or more of the contestants didn’t have dishes in which to serve their entries, and borrowed ours- then didn’t wash them. I thought that was rude, but I suppose it’s unexplored territory for them.
Friday night I was getting ready to make supper when Weehawk came by looking spiffy. I complimented him, then discovered he had come to collect me. Æthylhawk was doing an Anglo-Saxon feast at East Kingdom Royal, and I’d totally forgotten that I’d agreed to come “say sooth” as part of the entertainment. It was an amazing feast in the grand old tradition, and all Anglo-Saxon recipes- it was billed as a Mead Hall, and I’d been part of looking over the recipes on-line beforehand. The girls quickly dressed me, and Weehawk and I were seated at the entertainers table. There was so much singing that we didn’t get to any rune reading until time for the third course, at which point we made an announcement that we were reading runes for people, at which point we were busy until everyone left. I think had we made the announcement at the beginning we might not have gotten to eat! But the food was incredible, and I think the readings went well. Sadly, it was a fund raiser, sold by table, and there were two unsold tables, so they didn’t make as much as they’d hoped. And there were heaps of leftovers. I was sent home with chicken, lamb, beef, pork, shrimp, a whole duck (which I gave to Honor, since she had a refrigerator), cake, cheeses, bread, and other goodies. We ate very well for the next couple of days! I especially liked the hazelnut cake with cherries and cream on top. While there was some honey, there was no sugar used, which impressed me. SCA cooks sometimes fudge that. One sad note was that they’d brought down a whole frozen pig to roast (It was going to be the subject of a class on how to roast whole beasts that day. It had to be canceled as the heat had gotten to it) and they had to send out for fifty pounds of fresh pork. Luckily, the butcher told them that if he gave them advanced noticed, he could have a pig for them in upcoming years if they wanted. I think they should have goat and rabbit, but then, I like them. I also sang Song of the Shield Wall, and shared with my table how good fresh figs are when combined with soft cheese. (Did I get that from Ratatouille?) If you ever have them at the same time, try it.
I don’t think much of the Pennsic Independent paper. Sadly, as with the program books, I don’t know how many people read them, but each morning I try to check the Pennsic University updates where they tell about classes that are cancelled, added, or moved to a different time. That seems important to me. I found one on portraiture in period and managed to get to it. We have so much in common, art, an interest in medicine (her son has developed a treatment for cancer which he’s taking to England to test so it won’t get suppressed), and half a dozen other interests we have in common. (Also her kids told her not to teach so many classes, so she was sneaking them in before they got there.) One interesting bit in the class was that early portraits were painted to represent someone in court when they couldn’t get there. If there was a portrait of them, it gave more weight to their written testimony. I need to look into that!
The class was being taught by a lady who I’d seen riding around in a scooter with a dragon’s head on the front, which always made me smile. I tried to convince the Independent that they should do an article on the people who’ve had to “join the cavalry”, the ones who need powered wheeled transport in order to participate in the event. People resist becoming “one of them”, but everyone I know who has gotten one is thrilled to be actually able to go to the activities again. I also think an article on the etiquette of dealing with service dogs would be good. People are missing their pets and often mob the working dogs, and they should know better.
Pennsic has a Disability Services department, and one used to be able to flag down someone in a golf cart (security, DS, or other staff) and they’d use the walkie talkies to contact DS who’d send a golf cart to take you wherever you needed to go, then arrange to pick you up. Last year they changed to having routes that run through camp and you’re supposed to flag them down as they go by, and they’ll drop you anywhere on the route nearest to where you need to go. This does NOT include the university. They don’t allow the drivers to deviate. The justification is that anyone who camps should be able to walk a half mile, and their routes go a half mile from anywhere on site. Walking a half mile on canes or with a walker- up an unpaved hill, in 90º weather, sometimes with things to carry? This is a freaking lawsuit waiting to happen. This is not providing accommodation for the mobility impaired. Worse, the carts are only rated for 600 pounds, and so if the driver weighs 250 (not unusual), and a passenger weighs 250 (gee, you think someone who can’t get around well might gain weight?), and someone flags them down who weighs over 100 pounds, it’s “sorry, we’ll pick you up on the next circle.” an hour later- in the sun, and does that mean they tell the other people they pass on the way  with the empty cart “sorry, pick you up next time” or do they past the first one again? You may get the idea that I am irate. I’m not. I’m livid. I have, and will complain about this again. At this point I’m not handicapped, so I “haven’t got a dog in this race”. The lady who taught portraits’ cart had gotten a flat tire and her kids were trying to get a replacement, and she had all the materials for her class to carry. Uphill. For a half mile. When she can’t really walk herself much. This is SO wrong!
Back to more pleasant subjects. On Sunday we closed early to go see Moonwolf and I Sabastiani.  Moonwolf was as usual, and I Sabastiani was also “the Greatest Commedia del Arte in the Entire World” (at least in my experience). We ate, as is tradition, at the food court, but frankly, I don’t think we will again. It just wasn’t that good. I also think it’s worth the trouble to take a seat that’s wide enough for my butt when we’re going to be sitting for three hours straight. Those metal folding chairs can cut into my hips!  Still, I won’t skip the performances!
This year Efenwealt Whistle wasn’t the performer between those performances, instead we saw John Inchingham whose humor is more educated, running from Greek myths to Shakespere. I sometimes wonder how many wonderful performers I don’t see because I don’t go look. And I caught the Fools Parade going by on Wednesday. No stilt walkers this year. But they are always fun to watch. I also want to just take a camera to the main thoroughfare to get images of the people walking by for the opening ceremonies. Incredible garb! Let’s face it, especially when it’s hot, some of the garb isn’t quite as snazzy as court garb. Still, it often looks more “real”.
One day a lady who’d been in one of my classes dropped by and played her harp for me for about an hour- to thank me for teaching. I did a sketch of her and her harp to thank her for the beautiful music. Life is good.
That may have been the afternoon of Midnight Madness. I took a lot of pictures during the evening, as not many people came over to the west side where my studio is. We had our lights up, and Willow had a separate cashbox to reduce the running in and out, but I think I haven’t pushed my art much lately, and people don’t know I’m there.
Basically, “these are the people in my neighborhood”: the glassblower, us, the jewelry merchants (oh, there was a fellow who came by on night who saw the strings of glass beads hung out front, glowing in the light from the window, and he asked if he could buy one. His daughter had lost a tooth and their tooth fairy gives gifts, not quarters. That was a fun sale), the potter, the seller of teas, baskets and woven bands. Down the street is an armorer, a carpenter, and Hobbitronics with their VERY sturdy garb and stuffed bears. The other way is the coffee shop and the shops with bows and Sharp Pointy Things (that’s the name of the shop). I’m not a fan of Midnight Madness, and we are always ready to sleep by Midnight. (Even now I am ready to sleep by 9 or 10), but it didn’t rain, and that’s a good thing. This year they said that if it rained, Midnight Madness would be moved to Thursday, and I’m SO glad it wasn’t!
Thursday is the day Willow left.
It’s also the day after Midnight Madness when just about everyone sleeps in, and shops are often not opened until 10 or 11. This is significant because that morning I have to go back to the shops to collect the ballots from the Merchant Appreciation Awards, so that I can count them and deliver the announcement of who won -by one p.m., so that it can be printed in the paper on Friday. That’s always an issue. I had a class Thursday morning, and I picked up the ballots on the shops between the University tents and us, but Willow collected the rest for me, and Kat helped me sort them and count them up. I have to say that there are STILL a lot more people that I’d like who haven’t heard of the contest.
On the other hand, someone recouched the number of compliments written down as “You got nearly 50 people to write hand written thank you notes?” When you look at it that way, it’s pretty impressive. And the merchants so love reading them!
 As I got back from class, Willow ran off to the west gate to meet Tyra and her folks, she picked up her car and hurried back, although they wanted to take her to lunch so that she could paint the box as she always had.
This year we were excited that it was Moongate Designs who won. They are the people who create the Lady Tudor Glitz  (no, you don’t know her) books each year. We’ve been buying them for twenty years now (not sure how long really). I think that Bronwen’s been selling the plague rats for 30 or forty years now. I remember when it was 25 years she had silver ones. The “you don’t know her” is a warning that while the characters are based on people she’s known in the SCA they are all pretty much several people mixed up into an archetypal character, which she then went on to make endearing in their own ways. Lady TG always wanted to get recognized, to be queen, etc. We all know people like that.
Friday Willow was ready to leave, but stayed long enough to participate in the ceremony where we made the award. It’s not a kingdom award, but I think it means a lot. Then I took the compliments around, which may be the best part. Willow whisked off (dropping Alex at the garage to pick up their car that had been repaired) and was off to NH again. She went the northern route- she thinks simply for those few glimpses of Lake Erie one can get from the road. I’ll write about the wedding after I finish up the war chronicles.
Friday is the last battle, and the last day of sales. I’d have loved to have gone to the final ceremony and Kat and I even planned to listen for the cannon that signals the end of the battle, but I think we were distracted by making the award. The last battle is at ten and I have no idea how long it takes, but when I was walking the marketplace, I saw that there was no one on the field. We counted down to the last hour of sales (5 pm), then started scurrying to get everything clean and put away that we could manage before Saturday pack-out. Weehawk came over, and so did Zeke and Gideon. Gideon helped Kat pack up the ceramic goddesses while Weehawk and Zeke did the dishes. (By the time I got back from delivering the compliments, my foot was telling me to find sitting down jobs! I made stroganoff for supper, then when it got dark, I realized that the cloths we use to wrap the ceramics needed washing, so we went down to the laundry and did that. I slept in with Kat.
In the morning Conal and Jamie were back at 8 (they’d offered to come at 6, but that wasn’t happening! We packed up faster than I expected, but they were used to tents and not the whole process we have to do. Reverse of the description of how we put it up… take about everything out, pack the stuff that goes back in carefully so that the weight is balanced, pack the car and trailer. Jamie got the trailer for me (his had been next to ours so he knew where it was). One complication was that someone was loading their camp into their RV on Bow Street, which caused quite a traffic jam. After a few hours it cleared out and we could bring ours up and start packing.
A bit of excitement happened. One of the merchants at the bend in Bow Street had his car slip down the slope and crash into the Willow tree Friday night. (Lots of merchants actually pack up and get out Friday.) The EMTs took him away, and the next day the car and trailer were towed. I don’t even know which merchant it was.
   I really appreciate how the girls and I know what happens first and how things work, because this time we had to explain it. On the other hand the guys really listened well. And I was amazed at how well Kat had absorbed Willow’s How to Pack the Trailer lessons. (Admittedly, as the one shorter than the trailer, she’s always been the one on the inside having things passed to her.)
Conal mid afternoon, and Taz called Jamie to see if he’d be there soon (they’d packed up EK Royal without him), when he said we still had the front and sides and jacks to do, the next thing I knew Taz was up helping. The final breakdown went pretty fast. Once the stuff is in the car, it’s just take down the canvas, the poles, the stairs and pass them all inside. (Darn I should have taken a picture of how neat everything is before the tractors get to it- just for comparison!) They got the jacks out without dropping the house on their heads- which is, after all, the point.
Here’s our victory picture after we passed the last jack in. The guys were very surprised at how sprightly Kat was, leaping about and summersaulting through windows like a gymnast, flying up into the loft, very much her father’s daughter. Meanwhile, I’m feeling pretty old and slow. We finished up at 6:30, which is good time for us. I invited the guys to dinner- but then realized that sunset was soon and I don’t drive at night, and offered them a raincheck.
I’ll be honest- Willow doesn’t let me drive her car, so I was pretty nervous when I started out. We got to the hotel in Grove City, ordered a pizza, showered and went straight to bed.
Willow sent us updates of her Saturday. First thing they did was go out to a salon to have their hair and makeup done. The beauticians were amazed at the mass of Willow’s golden hair and tried to curl it. I think the went out for sushi after, then went to put on the gowns- I like the picture with the various stuffys so many of them brought.
I like the image of all the bridesmaids in golf carts. Apparently that was to sneak them around the back way so no one would see them until they made their grand entrance.  The bride was lovely, and the groom besotted, of course. The mothers in law were confused by the names the young people (who’d met on line and called each other names like Evil (author), Bats, and other screen names. Willow looks normal by comparison. The wedding planner (who apparently came with the country club) snuck in and changed the music from what they’d  selected to American wedding standards, but that seems to have been the biggest snafu of the wedding.
Apparently there’s a modern practice of ringing bells to “make” the bride and groom kiss, and an annoying relative brought a cow bell. Willow stole it, he stole it back, she stole it back and stuffed a napkin in it, he stole it back, she got it again and removed the clapper. Eventually she had to give the clapper back when he left. Sounds like the usual wedding foolishness.
Evil and Frank DID get the small cake they wanted with the fantasy cake topper (although it doesn’t show very well), with cupcakes for everyone else. Willow found a knife version of the Final Fantasy sword for them to cut the cake with.
Afterwards Bats needed a ride to Logan for a four am flight, so Willow crashed in her hotel room for an hour or two, then took her, and got to watch the sky brightening in the morning as dawn came. This is something we don’t see that often any more.
Kat and I slept in, I didn’t want to drag her out to early, nor was I eager to drive east into the sunrise until it was well above the horizon. I was nervous though. With the trailer it’s a twelve hour ride, and to get home before dark we really should have left by eight, not 9:30. We messaged back and forth with Willow. We measured whether we were getting the usual slowing with the trailer (we were). At eleven thirty we came to the conclusion that we’d be about to Hartford at Sunset.
Since Willow was dropping off her rental car in Manchester, and they have a bus station at the airport, she checked it out and there was a bus she could get from there to Hartford. She bought the ticket on line, and after dropping off the car waited to get on the bus. But they wouldn’t let her- her ticket was from the OTHER Manchester bus station, and they wouldn’t let her use it. Greyhound sucks! There was much weeping over the ass-hattery, but eventually she pulled herself together and rented another car that she was allowed to drop off at the Bradley International Airport. “You want to rent a car for three hours?”
At that point we were racing the sunset! We hit construction (which confused the GPS). The GPS tried to take us over the George Washington Bridge, but we just went where we knew we needed to go (Tappan Zee!), and we pulled into Bradley with the sunset in our eyes. After going around the perimeter road three times (with the GPS telling us “your destination is on the right” when it wasn’t) I saw a sign that said Car rental returns, and figured that would be where Willow was. And she was! I was deliriously thrilled to see her. (Also my contacts started feeling scratchy, so doubly glad.)
She is so much my hero! We found an Applebees and ate, well, Kat and I did, Willow ended up vomitting in the ladies room- I think from stress. But she drove us home, and we were there before midnight. We took in the cooler and put the perishables away while she backed the trailer into the driveway. As a final frosting to the cake that was her day, something snagged the plastic cover to her bumper and pulled it off! After such a day she just said “that’s a problem for tomorrow” and we all went (gratefully) to our own beds.
The rest of this week has been catching up. It took me two days to go through my email, and I chucked 6K unwanted posts. (Some of those were old) I’ve gone through my regular mail- not too many bills. Did the laundry- a bit worried because it’s the end of summer, and I’m not sure about the well. The car was emptied and Willow went down to Tufts Tuesday to get her tooth repaired. They were surprised the superglue worked- apparently body heat breaks it down. She did have to regale it more than once. But it’s fixed properly now. I have appointments with the doctor, the dentist and the eye doctor before the end of the month and Kat has one on Monday. I am suddenly relieved that I didn’t schedule the ECT, as much as I love the people down there.
I’ve been sending off checks for PPDs, and other events, and Arwen has passed me the Guildmistress position in the Soothsayers Guild, so I spent a lot of time trying to create organization out of that. And writing the first part of the Pennsic letter yesterday. CTCW planning committee meeting tonight. (Why do I think I do nothing?- oh yes, because I do nothing I can make money doing!) Willow went to work at Avi’s today (since she was busy Tuesday) and Kalen was so happy to see her again. Kat and I went out and refilled the fridge and larder.  So we are home again and getting back into what passes for normal life around here.
Oh, and I did get one other thing at Pennsic- 6 new jars of honey!
I had one interesting discovery Tuesday: I went to bed and slept 9pm to 9am, and woke up (as usual) several times during the night to go to the bathroom, limping from the Plantar Fasciitis. But when I got up at 9, there was no pain. Apparently, if you leave your leg up long enough, it heals up. This doesn’t sound like it would be a very useful advice for most Americans, but anyone with fasciitis may find it useful.
I’m going to say thanks again to Willow for heroically saving me from driving after dark, and thanks to Mark for loaning us money we needed to get there. I’m feeling very blessed right now. Also a bit foggy. My bed-time shifted while we were at war. Goodnight!
Love,

Virginia/ Tchipakkan/ Mother

Te nisi oblectas, perperam facis.

(If you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong.) – Sir Ernst