In our for what it's worth column? This year was way, way different.
Okay. We had enough sense this time to drive up on Thursday night after work - in prior years we've gone straight up on Friday and set up when we got there. This time, we had a night's sleep and a more relaxing (ok...sorta) morning.
Of course, we headed out (in separate cars) from my sister's house to drive across to the showhall on Friday and about 10 minutes along the way I realized I had left something critical at the house. I doubled back, and the sister act went ahead, as they needed to stop for gasoline.
When I got to the house, my BIL didn't answer the door. His car was in the driveway. For 20 minutes I alternately phoned (thinking he might be in the shower, since the 3 women had finally left him in peace!)...and paced...and knocked wildly on the door. Apparently my messages on the answering machine varied from wildly hysterical to calm and back again. It must have been quite funny after the fact. It wasn't at the time! (We have only a limited time to set up at the showhall, and it's critical to get in line early or you pay the price.) Suddenly a car drove up. A man got out...he sauntered towards me. And I recognized my BIL. Whose car he had, didn't even cross my mind (his car was in the driveway, my sister had HER car).
He let me in, I got the stuff, and off I went.
Set up went very well. We discussed this afterwards, because it was so smooth. We've decided it's practice. We've done this the same way. I am always in the same booth, we always set it up the same way...with a minor variation or two. Whew. I was delighted that even running late we were in a very short line - within 45 minutes it was an extremely LONG line. (We drive our cars - or trucks as the case may be - into the showhall to unload.)
That night we went out to dinner at a buffet that had a lot of different things but mainly Asian cuisine. During the meal I was asked why I'd looked so blank when my BIL had gotten out of his car earlier in the day. "You were standing there looking at me like you had no idea it was me."
"I didn't. Your car was in the driveway. I didn't realize it was you driving up in that strange car."
They thought it quite entertaining that I didn't know they had a new car (only a week old to them). It looks just like the old one, same color, same style...but newer. I was totally confused, and it was the biggest joke! Oh well, I guess you had to be there?
Of course, we were anticipating Hanna, and bands of light showers were already falling during dinner. The Commonwealth of Virginia was under a state of emergency, but there were no evacuations. My sister lives only a couple of blocks from the Potomac so flooding was a possibility...we all went to bed, fingers crossed!
Saturday dawned in a deluge. It poured...We three grrls piled into my car and trundled the hour back across to the showhall. I managed a couple of photos before the show began...
SIL and Big Sis in the 2008 Nana Sadie Rose booth...
And Nana Sadie Rose
Things were quite slow. Someone came by and announced that the local officials were telling people to STAY in their homes for their own safety and that flash flooding was occuring around the area. My BIL was at home, and kept checking in with us. They had a lake in their backyard, but the sump pumps were working. Still he wasn't leaving (there was no question he should have stayed where he was to protect his property).
But for all that I did see customers, and made sales, it was quiet for a Saturday at the National Capital Cat Show! (sigh)
And then suddenly, someone said, "It's leaking..."
The roof of the showhall, around the skylights was spattering (at varying intervals) and where?
Right in front of my booth:
The showhall's solution was to pull three trashcans in front of the booth. (You can see the wet concrete here, but notice, too, that I immediately had removed bags from that side of the display rack to protect them.)
Here's a close up of the floor.
I agonized. To me those trashcans were unsightly. But the alternative was not good either...I let them be.
And we got 6 inches of rain during Hanna's passage. What a day.
But you know what? We made it to Chadwicks in Old Town Alexandria, right on the shore of the Potomac for dinner - they had no problem with flooding. (Oh what a lovely restaurant...fabulous food, too!)
Sunday was gorgeous. Much more traffic, tho' frankly Sunday has traditionally been a lighter day than Saturday. I did see my good customers who didn't dare brave the storm the day before (I do NOT blame you a bit!)...and that was delightful. I love my special customers who return to me year after year. You are the BEST!
Still, there's no question in my mind that the economy is worrying folks. Sales were down, much more than what a tropical storm could cause. So be it. We'll weather THAT storm, too, I know.
And Nana Sadie Rose, well, she "ain't goin' nowhere!"
That night? The sister act hit La Madeleine's in their traditional "Girls Night Out" bash...but by then, my plantar's fasciitis would not let me be...I was hobbling a lot, in quite a bit of pain. We retired to the house, and I iced my foot. Then hit the sack.
It's much better today (after resting it and icing it again yesterday). The drive back was fun. My SIL is putting together a photo album of her trip to Europe last summer, and we discovered a lovely shop, Scrapbooks Plus
in Chantilly VA (I am so fighting a new hobby...scrapbooking could easily be as addictive, I think, as knitting, sewing, and cross stitch are). Then, of course, we made the usual trek to G Street Fabrics.
And then we had lunch at Red Robin...those wonderful Garlic Parmesan Fries! Certainly those can't be part of anyone's normal diet...because the waistline will expand in direct proportion to how many servings you have.
Finally we made our way down I-81 to home...the car was unpacked (tho' I must admit, there's still a lot left to put things back to normal again...
I did get some knitting accomplished:
I turned the heel of the Regia Florence sock (the first).
But wow. I'm glad to be home!