Salida, Crutches, Family

Last week was a little unusual for me, Monner, not to mention my Mumblings. I didn't write a story. It wasn't that I didn't have a story to tell, I just couldn't find the time to tell it.


As some of you know, Elaine and I attended the Salida Fiber Festival in Salida, Colorado. If you didn't know that, you do now. That is, of course, you choose to read this stuff. The Fiber festival turned out to be a mini-family reunion for Elaine. We'll talk about that later.


As for most things in our lives, the Fiber Festival didn't quite go off as planned. I thought that when we opened our brick-and-mortar store, I would never need to go to another fiber festival, trade show again. At least as a participant. If the truth be known, Elaine missed them terribly, and never got them totally out of her system.


I should have seen the signs. New looms arrived in our living room. Elaine spent hours showing me sketches of garments she planned to make. I was choosing color combinations of garments that were somewhere deep in Elaine's creativity. Looking back, I'm not sure my color suggestions didn't just fuel her fire.


During the ten years or so that Your Daily Fiber brick-and-mortar was open, Elaine must have mentioned fiber festivals at least a hundred times. I would say things like "It's a shame we have to work in the store that weekend, maybe next year we can plan to go." While I was saying things like previously stated, Elaine was creating garments. I'll admit, I was a little baffled by all the garments. I asked, "What are you going to do with these?" As she has done for forty-plus years, she ignored that I was speaking and just kept making garments.


And then, just like she knew what would happen, beervirus and the governor closed Your Daily Fiber. Unfortunately for Elaine, not so much for me, beervirus also closed most fiber festivals. Oh, some of the festivals tried to hold virtual festivals. Thank God, I was able to convince Elaine, virtual festivals were, well, stupid. There, I said it.


So, Elaine started thinking and planning for the 2021 Salida Fiber Festival. It was at least six months ago, that I told Elaine, "Oh yes dear, I would love to go to the Salida Fiber Festival." Of course, I say a lot of things that six months later I deny ever saying.


Elaine and I both have historic ties to Salida, Colorado. Mine is minor, as my father paved the highway into Salida back in the early sixties. Elaine has a different story. Elaine's family lived in Salida before Elaine was born. Her aunt and uncle lived there. Her sister was born there. Her sisters had their tonsils removed there. Her parents owned and operated an auto repair business there. It was a vacation spot for her cousins.


So let's talk about getting to the Fiber Festival.


First, Elaine reminded me that I said I would go. She then invited her sister who was born in Salida. She mentioned to her Des Moines cousins that we would be participating in the Salida Fiber Festival. It started to look like a Williams reunion. More later.


Now I would like to tell you about seeing Elaine coming down our long driveway about a month ago.


Me: Hey, where are your bumper, fender, and fog light? Elaine: What are you talking about?

Me: Your car, is missing your bumper and fog light. Your fender is destroyed.

Elaine: OMG!


We have auto insurance that spends millions on advertising using a dork and a big bird. They agreed to fix the car. Elaine made an appointment to get the car repaired. The appointment happened to be during the Fiber Festival. We needed to rent a car to get to the festival. Not a problem. For only nine hundred dollars we were able to rent a car large enough to carry Elaine's display stuff, garments, Elaine and I, and Elaine's sis who had accepted Elaine's invitation, thank God.


The morning we were to pick up the rental car, the rental car called to inform us there had been a tire recall and they would not be renting ANY cars until it was resolved. Don't worry -- they would gladly refund any charges.


We had three hours to find another rental vehicle. I contacted another major car rental company that informed me that talking to a live representative would result in a 5% surcharge. I gladly paid the 5% and rented a car. Twenty minutes later this rental car company called to inform us they have NO cars. Elaine called a third rental car company. We sort of know the owners. No cars, but if we could wait one day we could get a car, a big one. What choice did we have? We are now one day behind, but with some last-minute changes to the schedule, it was doable.


Did I mention I was am using crutches waiting for possible back surgery? Well, I am, making me almost useless for the loading and setting up. Thank God for Elaine's sis, friends, and other vendors. I could drive and drive fast.. We got to the fiber festival in time to participate.


At the fiber festival, we were surprised by Elaine's cousin from Des Moines who helped set up. I found a picnic table to assemble display racks from a sitting position. I spent the weekend driving, assembling, and stretching. And more stretching.


The crutches might have saved my life. Leaving a restaurant in Salida, four young men started making comments about a lavender shirt I was wearing. Crutchless, I would not have been able to let it go. Elaine asked me what they said, I told her, "Just keep walking." Yes folks, even in small-town Colorado, too much beer, weed, and young people are not a good mix.


The Fiber Festival was fabulous for Elaine. Best festival ever. Great sales, dinners with relatives, driving a big fast car. Almost made me forget the crutches, except for all that (construction language) stretching.


I am a few hours late with this story. Today is the start of the Wild West Knitting Retreat. I had just sat down to write my story when Elaine called to inform me she forgot her spinning wheel. Spinning wheels are pretty important when you are teaching a spinning class. Elaine's sis and I drove the hour higher into the mountains to deliver the spinning wheel. On a dirt road somewhere west of Red Feather, Colorado, sis and I handed the spinning wheel to Elaine who was dressed to the nines. A well-dressed woman holding a spinning wheel on a dirt road (altitude 8,600 miles) blocking traffic. Somebody is writing their own story about that one.


Our crazy lives!


Monner