Wednesday, August 26, 2009

August Fair Story Winners!

We have winners for our favorite Fair story giveaway! I'd like to post the winning stories below!

1st Place: Ravelry Member Ifelsif

Oh, good, I have one!

We had been asked to demo spinning at the New York State Fair. I brought my wheels as well as several spinners, my Rakestraws and some CD spindles we made as giveaways for kids. I was spinning on the Rakestraw when woman walked up pushing a baby stroller with a little boy of about six years old in it. He stared in fascination at the spindle.

I went closer to him and showed him how it spun while his eyes got bigger. He reached for it. I gave him one of the CD spindles with a bit of roving tied on to it. He seemed to know immediately what to do and began to spin.

Then the magic–he looked up at me with a huge smile, directly into my eyes, and said, “Thank you.”

Doesn’t sound like much, does it? But the mother was crying. She told me he was autistic and rarely if ever spoke. He never spoke to strangers, never even looked at them. She wheeled him away, spinning on his new spindle, and he left a large piece of light inside me. I’ll never forget his smile, his sweet “thank you!”

Second Place was a tie with Ravelry Members: IdyllHands and hotglaslass

Here is hotglasslass' Story:

I just went to the fair with some co-workers as a “team building” event.

One of my co-workers is a quiet lady of about 50 years. She is very shy and tends to keep to the back of the room and only speaking out loud when asked a question.

We were taking turns picking something to look at, and when it came time for her to pick she said she wanted to go on the tilt-a-whirl because it was her favorite thing when she was a kid.

She turned and asked who was coming. One lady said she gets motion sickness, another said she had a headache, etc. In the end I was the only person who was willing to go with her.

We bought our ride tickets, and stood in line for only a short while. As we were getting on the ride, I asked her if she liked to “lean”. She looked at me with a gleam in her eye and said “yeah”.

We leaned and spun and spun and the whole time she was GIGGLING! This woman who barely makes a peep, and is always reserved was giggling like a kid being tickled! It was so infections that I giggled too. We spent the rest of the day with silly grins on our faces.

It was by far, the best time I ever had at the fair.

Here is IdyllHands' story:

Do craft fairs and festivals count? I hope so because my favorite story/stories come from them. My family has always been involved in one way or another with craft fairs. My grandparents started it all with their woodwork and painting. I grew up attending many of the fairs in the Northwest Arkansas area each fall. If there was a trip to Arkansas planned for October, rest assured, we’d be headed to one of the many craft fairs.

There was a period of time in my life where my participation was merely as a shopper. My grandparents no longer sold at the shows due to age and being sick and my craft was music, can’t really haul a bassoon out to the craft fair and make money at it (or maybe I could - perhaps I’ll try that some time). A couple of years ago, my mom pushed for me to start making my jewelry for a local show that her and my sister were signed up to do. I never saw my jewelry as being something I would sell. I tried to back out a few times, but she wouldn’t let me.

That first show was a blast. I sat under our tent and the canopy of trees during the early autumn days eating turkey legs, caramel apples and selling our goods. Eventually, my jewelry making somehow led to knitting and handspun yarn and then on to Etsy and other venues.

Last September was the last craft fair I would get to do with my mom. On the evening of the last day, she went into the hospital with what would later be diagnosed with a severe and aggressive form of brain cancer. She fought very hard until this past Thursday when she finally couldn’t do it anymore and left this place for somewhere with less pain and to a place that would allow her to walk on her own after many months in a wheel chair.

It is so hard to imagine craft fairs without my mom, without her excitement over the turkey legs or the Native American flute/pipe music coming from the booth down the aisle. It’s so hard to imagine those crisp, fall days without her turning up her nose the the John Deer tractor quilts (you know the quilts… you’ve all seen those quilts) or splitting some strawberry shortcake with her.

However, it’s also hard to imagine not going to a show ever again. I look forward to my favorite time of year, my favorite craft fairs, and getting to go browse. Even if my mom won’t be selling her stuff next to my sister and I, we know she’ll be there with her turkey leg.

I suppose that’s it - my favorite “fair” story is a lifetime of craft fairs with my mom.

Thank you all for sharing your beautiful stories with our group!


Alisa said...

These were all beautiful stories. Thank you for sharing

Cathy said...

THose were wonderful stories. Thank you for sharing your experiences.

Turtle said...

what wonderful stories!

Ann Ryan said...

They all bring tears to my eyes! My daughter doesn't speak much, and when she does, it's magic. I can totally relate to what that mother was feeling. What a gift.

Robin said...

These were wonderful stories.

Terri said...

WOW! I feel so fortunate to be able to read about such great people who are all making the world a better and more beautiful place by just doing what we are meant to do...small things to help each other. Thanks for sharing your precious stories with us! And thanks, Jessie, for all you do to bring us together to inspire and encourage each other.

TheClayMuse said...

stories thank you for sharig, reading them was a great way to start the morning