Due to financial circumstances beyond our control, we missed a large chunk of the Walnut Valley Festival this year. We also missed the tornado that sent most of the campground scurrying for cover, so I guess it's a fair trade.
The remarkable thing about this festival is the fact that there's something for just about everybody. Love music? You're covered. Into camping? No sweat. Do you like hard-core festival foods like fried pickles and cheesecake on a stick? Welcome to paradise. Are you financially irresponsible? There are three barns' worth of craft vendors waiting for you.
Himself describes the craft barns thusly: "It's a whole bunch of stuff that makes you think, 'I gotta have that', and then you get home and wonder why you bought it." Walking sticks. Tie-dyed everything. Stained glass. Wooden bowls. Painted saws. Wind chimes made of forks. Mailboxes made of old license plates.
Being a fan of handmade things, I always enjoy looking through the craft barns. For the most part, it's a surface enjoyment. Not being well-versed in quilting or stained glass, I can enjoy the beauty of the finished product, but I don't have the background to carry on a knowledgeable conversation with the artist. Things were a little different this year. I walked into the barn and saw no less than FOUR people spinning yarn. This, for me, is like walking into a fast food joint and finding eclairs.
In Himself's words, "She was like a bird dog on point."
Being a sensible man, he promptly wandered off with Junior to seek out cherry limeades and Frito pies. I spent the next two hours talking sheep breeds, staple length, and acid versus cold dye processes. Colorways, drafting techniques, favorite uses of various fibers. Every now and then, I would see a blond head peek around the corner, shake, and withdraw. I finally cut the poor guy some slack. Gathering several business cards, I joined my family and headed for the roasted corn stand. The whole adventure struck me as a reasonable exchange.
If he can take off on a four-hour search for the lost chord in a camp on the other side of the festival, a two-hour chat about sheep can't be that ba-a-ad.