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As Promised

Okay, I promised to tell a story when I got back from Salida and could use a keyboard I was familiar with. Well, I'm back. First, I must say I haven't had so much trouble typing since seventh grade when every day Mrs. Lynch would insist I stop looking at my hands. "Well, Mrs. Lynch, all your insisting didn't work. I'm looking at my hands right now.'

The title of the story (Is this the last one?) that I published was chosen from frustration and hope. I was debating with myself about making the story the last one. The keyboard I was using was just (construction language) me off. That's the frustration part. The hope part? Elaine and I were discussing ending our trade show careers, again.

This is where today's story starts.

Following a "suggestion' from Elaine I bought, leased, or however, the (construction language) you get a tablet. "You will find you like it better than your laptop!" she said. "You will love the camera!" she said. "You can take it with you!" she said. What she didn't say was, "If you breathe on the keyboard, the tablet will print a letter or number of the tablet's choosing. I need to actually push on the keys. I blame Mrs. Lynch for that. Elaine thinks I can get used to it. Ha! It will be easier just to quit. I most likely won't quit, but you know, change can be frustrating.

Elaine can tell you exactly when and where (the trade shows) it all started, and she will if you ask her. Elaine started using her vacation time from her power pole career to attend and vend (hey, that rhymes) at fiber art, and trade shows. Goodbye, Disneyland, hello, Sailda!

After a good long time, I, Ol'Monner suggested we stop the traveling and open a brick-and-mortar. It worked for a while and then became widespread. I like to blame beervirus but the truth is we were kinda sick of the whole thing. Working Saturdays, lifting boxes of yarn, customers showing their (construction language).

Yep, I was working on a Saturday alone. A customer asked if she could try on a store sample sweater hanging on the wall. Of course, I said yes, after all, it was for sale. This customer removed her blouse and there she was, just her and me. And then she didn't buy the sweater.

I can't begin to tell you how many times Ivy had to look at a customer's underwear. Ask her, or maybe not. It was kind of painful for her, All this time Elaine was getting the itch. The trade show itch, which incidentally never went away.

For full disclosure, I enjoy parts of these shows But this is my story so I'm starting with the bad stuff. I have never enjoyed packing the truck, trailer, or truck and trailer, depending on how much stuff Elaine wants to take to the show. Elaine decided to take a bunch of "stuff" to this year's Salida Stuff Show. She planned on bringing yarn, garments, spinning wheels, wine glasses, and more stuff. So much stuff we needed to rent a large truck to carry the stuff. So much stuff It took three hours to put the stuff into the large truck. That is not my favorite part.

Then you drive for at least a day to unload the truck, trailer, or truck and trailer. Not fun. Next, we set up Elaine's booth. I call it Elaine's booth because if I don't follow directions (which admittingly, I have problems following) she moves the stuff I have displayed.

After the displays are in place the fun starts. Hopefully, Elaine is selling stuff, and I'm watching. I watch people, animals, rivers flowing, and stuff. People are the best to watch. They never let me down.

It was people who put up a hundred "Don't bring your dog to the park" posters to the Salida Stuff Show. It was people who brought their dogs to urinate on or near the posters. It was a people (person) who followed the poster who did not bring his dog, he brought his kangaroo.

Yep, his kangaroo. You know those sling things some women carry babies across their chest for ease of chestfeeding. This guy has a diapered kangaroo in one of those sling things walking around the Stuff Show. I watched him. Who wouldn't? Secretly, I am hoping next year to see, "Don't bring your kangaroo to the Park, diapered or not" posters.

Two days of watching people and things. Did you know that Salida has built a place to surf in the Arkansas River? I watched people surf in the river. I didn't surf myself because I didn't bring a helmet, life preserver, wet suit, and a desire to embarrass myself drowning in the river.

I promised to write a story on Tuesday. It looks like I need most of Tuesday to accomplish this promise. It is not easy being Monner. Coming home from Stuff Shows is not easy. Poultry have needs, Mac the Yak is grunting indignantly at the fence demanding sweet treats. Lizzie the dog needs to be scratched. Our house-sitting children ate what little food we left for them. So please be patient. I'm writing as fast as I can. Not to mention, writers are supposed to be on strike. Excuses aside back to the story.

I love people-watching but it can be exhausting. I see individuals that just make me wonder. One particular young lady is exactly what I'm talking about. Have you ever seen anyone wearing BRIGHT yellow plastic shoes named after those retiles? Compound that with matching leggings, and a matching Bright yellow top. To complete the ensemble, she was wearing a string of BRIGHT yellow bananas tied around her waist. Now I'm the most fashion-forward person, but I can't help but wonder. As the bananas ripen and turn brown and then black, does she change to a brown and then black outfit, or does she buy new bananas?


While watching people, I realized people were watching me. A twenty-year-old young lady with impeccable taste felt the need to inform me how much she liked my beard. I can't say it surprised me. Elaine might be the only exception.

Elaine asked me to watch the booth for a couple of minutes. I'm not very good at watching the booth and I might have nodded off. If I was asleep, I was awakened by two young girls. Pants with worn-out knees and thighs, bare midriffs, long straight hair, pretty girls. One of them pointed to a garment Elaine had made that had a fur collar.

Girl: Is that real or faux fur?

Me (groggy): Huh?

Girl: Is that real fur?

Me; This isn't my booth, I just found this chair

Girl: I don't believe you. Is that real fur?

Me: I'm just trying to take a nap

Girl: I think you know if it is real

Me: If I had to guess it looks very real, but I am really sleepy. Can I go back to my nap?

Girl: I knew it was real

The girls walked away waving goodbye. I thought they might have been from PETA. I didn't want any paint on Elaine's garments. Turns out, they just wanted to wake me.

The best part of Stuff Shows is taking the booth apart and loading the truck, trailer, or truck and trailer. It is even better if you get to experience this fun in the rain. The last two shows we have attended, we have dismantled in the rain. Throw in a little thunder and lightning and you have a perfect Stuff Show.

I did get to speak to a Colorado State Patrolman on this trip. I found out you need to turn the lights on while you drive in Salida. Who knew that street lights cannot be used to see where you are driving? And that siren was unnecessary. I saw him back there, it wasn't that dark.

Elaine is unsure that we are attending more stuff shows. We are committed to a Stuff show in Santa Fe next month but we could be done after that. I will miss the restaurants but not much more than that. Disneyland, here we come, I hope!

Our crazy lives!



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