Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Two old ladies sell rugs and pander to fowl

We got up at six Saturday morning and were at the show around seven.  All the other exhibitors were there, too, stocking shelves, arranging cash tables and the little things that get us through the day.  The coffee cup, the thermos, the cooler, the jackets we wore in, that kind of stuff. 

Ten o’clock, we were ready to go.  Here they come. 

A fair is so charming when you stand back and look at the booths and the bustle.  Here’s a peek behind the booths.   

It was a busy show.  The activity never let up.  Linda’s work has a couple of trademark features.  She signs every rug with a red “L” in the header.  She’s done that forever.  At seven years old her daughter Cara told a customer, “If if doesn’t have a red “L”, it’s just something to walk on.”  You can read all that on her web site.
The other signature is packaging.  The rugs are rolled up, just like a bedroll, and tied round at both ends, with the strap left in the middle, using scrap ends of rug weft.  The customer can sling the purchase over the shoulder, like a Continental soldier.   I tied rugs all weekend.  After the picture of the crowd coming onto the grounds I barely got up again for two days.  But plenty of rugs walked around, advertising.

A customer “came back” to buy a previously considered rug.  It was turquoise and had left not long before.  This husband jokingly said to his wife they could find that rug in five minutes and make an offer.  I sold a huge red, orange and yellow rug to a customer I was helping inside the booth while the woman Linda was talking to outside the booth was trying to make up her mind.  My customer and I both realized what was going on outside, but outside had no idea of the action inside.  My customer decided, I pulled down the rug and started “ringing” her up.  “But wait,” outside said. “I’m trying to decide.”  “I’ve already decided,” my customer said.

Linda mentioned we were never going to get a picture of the two of us in the booth, and a customer said she could do that, so here we are.  There are a few rugs left. 

Here I am, glassy eyed toward the end of Sunday afternoon.  There are not enough rugs left to even make the booth look attractive.  Yes, Olive, it was a very good show.  And fortunately Elaine, I did not wear my three inch heels.  The red dust turned my red sneakers pink.  Can’t believe I didn’t leave with pink hair.

There was so little left we were loaded out and left in an hour.  Thank you, Bruce.  Back at the motel, too tired to do much except watch the ducks and geese again, until bedtime.

There was a pond behind our motel, full of wildlife.  Linda always stays at this motel, in the same room, for her Indy shows, just to keep an eye on things.  She had to tell Cara there is no sign of Ratty this year.  We watched for four nights and no muskrat.  Very sad. 

But the mallard adventures were worth staying up for.  We had one childless pair who went about their business and settled down near our balcony each night.  Out in the pond, two mama mallards.  One had a brood of eleven in her wake.  The other had five much smaller ducklings in her charge.  Watching them be mothers was worth the price of admission.  Their husbands must have been among the males milling about on shore; these two didn’t need dad close at hand, but we assume the dads were in the thick of altercations among the males on shore.

We watched ducks diving for fish out on the pond and bottoms up feeding closer to shore.  The fishing was mighty fine; people fished along the bank and said small mouth bass were abundant and the carp were huge.
Way across the pond we could see Canadian geese each night, but they didn’t come round to our edge where the two mamas sheltered the kids for the night.  That all changed Sunday night.   A pair with several goslings took their evening stroll around our end, right through the male congregation.  No muss, no fuss. 

We rooted around for scraps and came up with two pieces of bread to entice ducks and geese.  I made it go a long way.  The big Canadians and their goslings made such a fuss we soon had the mama mallard with the bigger ducklings up on the bank. 

The little ducks walked right through the holes in the wire fence.  The Mallards hopped the fence.  The Canadian’s stepped over the fence.  The little Canadian goslings were too big to slip through the fence, too short to step over and had wings too undeveloped to assist a hop.  So, they stayed on the grass and hoped for long throws.

When the bread was gone, everyone left.


  1. The rugs are beautiful!
    Lucky you to get a ringside seat in the ducky/goosey goings on! They are fun to watch..I lose all track of time when I'm watching wild animals.
    Jane x

  2. So glad the rugs went well....and what a ducky show you had later.

  3. Sounds like a most excellent adventure! Makes me want to do two things:
    1. go sell something at a market with one of my best pals.
    2. buy one of Linda's rugs.
    You two are wonderful, you really are. So very glad you blog.

  4. Yes, yes. Please show us some of your weaving soon. Or tell us more about it. Either way, I'm eager for a bit of your art.

  5. Feeding ducks is such a satisfying and restful pass-time.

  6. What a fun, fun fair! Amazing, isn't it, how quickly a bare field can suddenly become a cute little street, lined with little shops.
    Beautiful rugs! As I always say, the proof is in the sales!
    And I love feeding the ducks. Perfect weekend!

  7. Sounds like a lot of work but very satisfying.

  8. That sounds like a very busy and very satisfying time. The ducks and geese would have worked restorative magic. Thank you.

  9. Elephant's child said it well, busy and then relaxing with the geese and ducks, what a great spot to stay, loved hearing about the rugs too.

  10. Interesting story about the rug dealing. You snooze you lose they say.