Yesterday there was a craft fair/festival in our town. Main Street was closed off, vendors set up tents, the potter had his wheel going, people were making kettle corn, lathe-turned pens and various other things. There was a wool booth with 4 real live sheep in attendance. This was especially popular with little kids and dogs!
I took a quick look around and bought a few things at the farmer's market and then hurried to help my friend who owns a gift shop on Main Street. The shop is actually in the dining room of her house. It is called The Front Room and she has lots of local items as well as unique and reasonable gifts. She carries the famous Prairie Kari Soap [I say this laughing, since I make the soap], Woodstock Chimes, His Gem baby clothes and lots of cool stuff.
At any rate I am still smiling when I think about some of the folks who came in. There was one young boy, I am guessing about 10, who was so enthusiastic about the Smencils that Linda sells in the shop. He was giving everyone within earshot a little education about how they are made with 100% recycled newspaper and smell cool. He was very good-natured and so enthusiastic! With his big dimples and quick smile he reminded me of Chad when he was younger, so smart and affable--like a grown up in a kid's body.
The chimes were a hit with many people trying them out. They sound lovely, and young kids as well as old men seem to love them--truly a intergenerational gift.
There were people who just came in to look, others who came just to say hi. Everyone loved the Buttered Maple Toddy Goose Creek candle Linda had burning, but no one bought one. Made in Liberty, Kentucky, these candles are wonderful and really throw the scent.
Some people tried to talk the price down on some items, but really, Linda's profit margin is not that high, so she needs to get the prices she charges. I cannot imagine trying to talk-down a shop owner, but I guess people figure "why not?" I was kind of taken back by their boldness.
I talked to some homeschooling parents who were just starting to homeschool. One lady said how much they enjoyed the book "Milly-Molly-Mandy" when she found out I was a Sonlight Consultant. Her little girl was about 8 and so sweet, she reminded me of my daughter Kari when she was that age.
At any rate, it was a great day. Lots of fun, lots of families, lots of jewelry sold.
Living in a small town is great and very rewarding, and despite my perception that I know everyone in town, I realized yesterday that I don't. It is events like this that get us out of our routine so we can encourage and get to know our neighbors. I can't wait till "Old Fashioned Christmas" when Main Street once again becomes a huge sidewalk, free from cars and commerce, and inviting us to once again get to know our neighbors.