Here it is, folks: the moment you've all been waiting for; the terminus of our journey; the mecca of our pilgrimage; the question and the answer; the dessert of our weeks long feast: The Crafty Bastards show in Washington, DC.
Before we set off, Betsy got some advice from a friend who'd done the show before. "Bring all that you think you could possibly sell and then more." Betsy made jewelry for 2 weeks straight prior to our departure. She hammered and twisted, strung and starched, epoxied and polished for hours and hours. And we left Portland with something like 17 pounds of jewelry.
We drove to the show as the sun was rising over Washington. There may be no more beautiful a metropolitan visage than the Washington monument backlit by Saturday morning sun after weeks of rain. I love driving a big city while her residents are still rubbing their eyes and slapping the snooze button. Shop keepers sweeping the sidewalk, no horns, no anxiety about making it across three lanes of traffic to that surprise left exit, U-turn in the middle of Adams Morgan? Right this way, sir.
It's 7:20am and hundreds of crafters from all over the country are already perspiring as cars and station wagons are emptied. Cardboard Dunkin' Donuts coffee jugs are drained by the dozen. Tents pop, dollies dole, and a small city erects itself.
There's something so perfect about craft events. You're a temporary resident of an ephemeral city where everyone makes their small corner immaculate. It emerges in a handful of hours, lives and thrives for several more and then vanishes.
And live and thrive this show did. For 8 hours, our booth was filled with people. I don't think there was ever a time during the show that we had fewer than 3 people shopping. There were times that the booth was completely filled with people, like a clown car of jewelry. We talked with so many people and had so much fun. And then, it was vanishing time. Rewind it all. Watch the dollies roll backwards and the cars double park. Watch the vendor mingle this time. Watch the smiles and the hugs.
We navigated through the crazy DC traffic to a dinner spot with an entourage of friends and family. We ate and drank and felt really really right. Just right. The sentence of our journey had finally earned its period. Nay... its exclamation point.
***Song of the Moment: Give a Little Love, by Noah and the Whale***