Shelridge Farms, was without his wife Buffy this year (she was in Chicago at another fiber event). He frequently took to asking Eli to watch his booth when he needed a break. He paid Eli in yarn and a fingerless glove pattern (that I am to knit this Fall) that Eli was admiring. Sometimes Eli settled into a corner and played games; sometimes he meandered around looking at booths or visiting the animal barns. Always he was great company. At one point, on the stickiest muggy afternoon, he came up behind me and draped himself around my shoulders. A part of me wanted him off; it was just too hot. But another part of me realized that he may not be affectionate with me in public like that for much longer. I let him hang there, soaking up his weight and sweetness .... and sweat. I'll bet that is the last time he'll volunteer for such an outing again.
It was hard to decide not to return to Allegan next year. I so enjoy the people and I get to do a little shopping for interesting supplies as well. But the distance requires lodging, meals and time away from my yoga teaching schedule that all eats into my profits. I decided to focus on more local art fair-type events, especially after the sixth or seventh person said I needed to do juried shows. Saying goodbye to my vendor neighbors was surprisingly moving. They have been welcoming and helpful and kind for two years now. All of them understood my decision and agreed with my plans, even as they remarked how nice it had been to share space and company. They also couldn't stop praising my son. I wish I could take credit for Eli, but he has been conscientious and helpful since he was a very little person. I loved hearing his praises sung all weekend. I had good sales, good help, and good company. What else could I ask for?