Thursday, June 4, 2009

Flying Shelters, Oh My

We went out last night and did our preliminary setup at the Smoky Valley Rally. We had a 10' x 15' metal-pipe frame shelter with canvas roof, and a 9' x 13' screen room for our personal stuff (chairs, cooler, and projects to work on). The "rules" state that vendors must be on-site by 10 AM and must remain open and on-site until 9:30 PM. Why til then, I will never know, as it gets dark at 9PM, and there are NO lights in the field where they have us set up. hmmm. This morning we showed up bright and early, finished the setup, laid out all the displays, Richard left Diantha and I there on our own, and we and sat down.

It started to rain.

We moved all the displays to the center of the shelter, covered the moisture-attracting soaps with a quilt, and waited. For over an hour.

The rain quit, the sun came out (thank you for the faith, Annie). We moved the displays back into position and secured them, and waited.

We knitted. We carded a couple batts, one to sell, and one for Diantha to spin. She did a little spinning. We took Portolet potty turns. We each ate a sandwich. We got bored and did a circuit of the field, probably about 4 acres, with 12 whole vendors.

We had ONE retired biker and his brother wander thru about 1:30, waiting for the group motorcycle ride to start at 3. They were very interested in the carding and spinning. We had the 12yod of one of the vendors come over and also be very interested in the carding and spinning.

At 3 PM, it started to thunder. We moved the displays back to the middle of the shelter, the chairs to the center of the screen room, put away anything we weren't working on right this second, and sat down.

THREE minutes later, a gust of wind picked up our 10' x 15' metal-frame, canvas-roof shelter and sent it flying.

I caught one pole, Diantha the other, and we held it. The guys who had been setting up a band in the band shelter came running and helped us carry it back to place and set it down. No stakes. One guy says, only way this is gonna stay put is if we take the legs off and set it on the ground.

The flying shelter had knocked over the stacking shelves, rack with the quilted bags, table with the soaps. We took the legs off and set it down, making a giant pup tent. I crawled around on the grass in the rain, picking up soaps that I hope aren't ruined. I threw them all on the tablecloth, wrapped it up and pitched it under the tent. I crawled around under the tent and picked up bags, knitted items, and yarns, so they wouldn't stay on the ground and get damp.

While I was doing this, the wind tried to blow the screen room away too. I told Diantha to hang on while I got the car. She threw in bins of more soap, the bin of "stuff," and climbed in. I took the poles off the screen room, set the domed roof down over the chairs and we got the HECK out of Dodge.

Rules or no rules, I got 3 hours sleep last night and this was the 2nd storm of the day with NO customers. I was done. So done.

The National Weather Service is predicting rain until early afternoon tomorrow. So, rules or no rules, I am staying home until the rain stops. Then we shall go out, try to repair the damages, and see if we can make some money!


Cheryl said...

I don't blame you... I would be too. Hope things go better next time.

Rachel Locke said...

Almost sounds like someone didn't want you to be there. I woulda hauled outta there too. said...

Simply Huggs

Designs By Velvet said...

Sending you my best wishes and prayers for a better day. Been there, done not quite that, but still own the T-shirt.