Sunday, May 16, 2010

Mother Nature's Fury

Yesterday was the first of the summer series of shows called Art in the Park in Blowing Rock, NC. There's one every month from May through October. My lovely sister volunteered to come help me out with this show and I greatly appreciate that. Even more special was the opportunity for the two of us to spend some time together here in the mountains. (She lives closer to my Dad, so when I see her, it's usually when I go down to the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area.) She hadn't  been up to see me in a couple of years.

She arrived on Friday evening, just before a hellacious thunderstorm. We had hail the size of a quarter and lightning popping all around and big, big thunder. Torrential rain and wind. She'd been here about 45 minutes, when the power went out - I heard more than one transformer pop. I had planned on cooking dinner for us (a rare thing, but I was willing to do it for her!)but the power was still off. We waited until the rain let up and decided to go to town and get dinner. Got in the car. Drove as far as the bridge and backed up and abandoned the idea. The creek was almost to the top of the bridge and we were afraid that if we went out, we might not be able to get home! Poor Sis is extremely afraid of lightning and thunder, probably after being knocked off her feet by a nearby strike when she was about two.

So we warmed up soup on the gas stove and made sandwiches for dinner. (If you call "warming up" cooking, then I guess I DID cook after all!) We laid on the fouton and talked until it was dark, then went to sleep. The power finally came back on about 10:15.

We hauled our butts over to Blowing Rock early on Saturday morning and set up the booth. This took longer than usual because I had a new layout in my head that I hadn't actually ever set up. It required a few rounds of moving things to get it "just so" and the jewelry displayed like I wanted it. Then we settled in and waited for the customers to start spending money. And we waited. And waited.... waited some more. I made my booth fee back, but not much past that. I think I managed to pay for gas and lunch.

And, then, to top off the sucky day, the black clouds rolled back in about 3:00, but the show promoters didn't come around to tell us we could pack up early until we started hearing thunder. Nothing like the feeling of being under a metal tent frame when there's an electrical storm going on! By the time we got everything broken down and I retrieved the car, it was pouring buckets and we just heaved all that soaking wet stuff into the car.

Situations like this make me wonder why I even bother. Sis kept asking me that question. She's been with me for a few shows, but never one that was really successful (she's starting to think it has something to do with her!) I believe it has to do with hope. No one ever spends time taking their best photos, filling out forms, and paying huge application and booth fees with the thoughts that it won't be profitable. Some shows just aren't good, and there's no way to tell ahead of time if you'll make any money. (Side note: Yes, I can tell ahead of time about SOME shows - I never do festivals, for instance, because the focus is usually on something else, like music or food, and the art is just a side note. So I don't even apply to them. This series of shows in Blowing Rock have always been good in the past.) And you don't haul all your crap around - a whole carload of crap, just to display a couple of little boxes of jewelry - like you're some sort of turtle, or gypsy, just for the fun of it. It's really not fun at all unless you're making money.

So I'll be spending the next few days drying things out. When we pulled the tent out of the car, with the canopy top still attached, there were baloons of water trapped in the fabric. Things are spread all over the porches getting air. Table covers are in the washing machine. My car windows are down as we speak, to try to dry out the carpet, and I'm keeping an eye out for what looks to be our third day in a row of thunder and lightning. Whoops... just heard a far-off rumble... gotta go close the car windows and get this posted before I have to unplug the modem again.

1 comment:

HappyDayArt! said...

I had a sale like that, minus the rain. Ugh!

It will get better.