October 24, 2011
Well, I survived another Fall Festival at Robber's Cave, and even though I am tired today, I am also jazzed at how wonderful it all was.
The men from our church got the tent put up Thursday night, and I started a fire in our fire pit we brought from our homestead. The kids who do the security durin' the festival like to sit around it at night, and some of the vendors who stay there at night cook hotdogs over it. They keep it goin' so I don't have to work so hard to get the day started when we arrive.
After a good night sleep, we were up at 4 am Friday mornin', had critters fed and watered, and arrived at the park by 6 am. We got coffee started, and once it was done, I put two milk crates in a wagon, filled one with sugar, creamer and spoons. In the other crate I placed an old baby blanket, and then set an old enamel coffee pot inside that and wrapped the blanket around the pot so it would stay warm (one lady saw me unwrap the pot to pour, and she said, "Oh look! It has it's own blankie!"). Then Obie and I took off to do our rounds.
We delivered coffee to the vendors who were busy gettin' their booths redy for the day and didn't have the time to go get coffee. I took orders for hot chocolate and herb tea, then we would return with cups of goody for those folks who don't drink coffee. Brian stayed back at the church campsite, givin' out coffee to folks who passed by. He told me later that we had given out over 150 cups of coffee by 9:30 am.
The hardest thing about doin' what we do durin' the festival, is tryin' to get folks to understand that they don't need to give us money for doin' it. I guess there are so many strings attached to so many things these days, folks have trouble believin' that there truly are a few free things left in the world. Sometimes, I just tell that that if they just HAVE to give--go talk to Preach at the campsite. I figure he can explain it better than I can.
I met a lot of wonderful folks, and a few not so wonderful, too. Oh, the food was fabulous! Obie and I had frozen cheesecake on a stick, homemade rootbeer, turkey legs, lemonade, and other lovely things to eat. Thank heaven, I seldom stop walkin' durin' the festival, or I'd gain 20 pounds! Actually, the way everyone in my church knows I am gettin' tired durin' the festival--I SIT DOWN for more than 10 minutes!
Saturday was even busier, plus it was my 'Biker Stalkin' Day". I do my coffee rounds, and then I load up with Biker New Testaments and go lookin' for bikers to witness to. This year I did somethin' different. I had a small notepad and pen, and after givin' them a Bible, I would ask for thier first names, so I could pray for them as they were travelin'. Ya wanna freak out a biker? Offer to pray for them, with no preachin' or pushin'. While a few of them refused the Bible--not one passed up a chance to be prayed for. in fact, one group of men and women requested a 'special' for someone called GPO. Now, I got no idea who GPO is--but if that many bikers ask for a 'special'? Ya gotta thinnk that boy NEEDS prayers!
Well, 20 minutes after we arrived Saturday mornin', I was comin' back from takin' coffee to the guys directin' traffick for the car show, and Brian pointed out that we had a flat on the truck--and no spare tire. I wasn't worried, since God had provided so many blessin's the day before--I knew a flat tire was nothin' big.
Well, I was right, 'cause Alyssa's daddy-in-law was able to patch the tire and re-inflate it after the festival shut down that afternoon. However, it was still seepin' air when we checked it at the gas station on the way home.
Brian said that if we got home and that tire went flat, we would be stuck on the mountain, and there would be no one to get things goin' Sunday mornin' befoer the others got there. I suddenly got the idea that we should just go home, feed and water everyone extra well, then grab what we would need for the next day. We would just sleep in the tent at the campsite, and we could be certain we would be there at openin' time. Plus, since there was rain comin' in that night, we probably should keep an eye on the tent, in case anything happened.
(BTW--while you will see that while God had a plan--I ain't that unselfish. I had an ulterior motive.....HOT SHOWERS at the campsites!)
So, we got home, took care of critters, loaded what we would need, and headed back down. Once there, I put a big cast iron pot of red chile stew on the fire. While it was heatin' up, a big--and I mean BIG--wind came up and swept through the park. Dust was blowin' everywhere, and the fire in the pit just swirled up into a pillar. I was a tad surprised a few moments later, when I looked across the roadway and saw one of the vendors EZ ups whip around and start flappin' up and down. Brian, myself, and Jerry, "the Rattlesnake Man", ran and got it taken down and put back at its site. Jerry then told us that the lady with T-shirts had really had a catastrophe. Her two EZ ups, that were wired together, had just flipped up over the tents behind her, and landed in the aisle over. All her merchandise was sittin' in the open, and a big rain was headed in!
The three of us ran to her booth, and the security kids ran too. We all began grabbin' everything that was uncovered and got it under the pavillion to keep it dry. we then retrieved her tent, and got it put where it would be safe. Then I went back into the tent, and realized that all the New Testaments that we give out were on a table...right under a big hole in the roof! I grabbed and moved them to a safer place.
Then the rain hit. I don't mean it came down--it HIT. By the time I got the truck ready so we could sleep in it, since the tent had water runnin' through it--I was soaked. We all got comfortable and the guys went right to sleep. I couldn't drop off, though, 'cause all I could think of was, what if we hadn't had the flat, and not come back?
Some folks would have lost all thier merchandise, but because we were there, stuff was saved from water damage. We would have lost at least a couple of hundred dollars worth of Bibles, and if the tire had gone flat up in the mountains, there might now have been someone else able to get there as early as was needed to get things goin'. I kept thinkin' about the so
ong, BLESSINGS, where she sings, "What if the trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise?"
The next mornin', I got the much anticipated hot shower (heavenly--I pray for the day we can have runnin' water at home), and I felt great. We got coffee ready, and except for a few of my older vendors, who can't just trot up to get a cup of java, I didn't deliver to anyone. Instead, I went around checkin' to see if anyone needed help settin' up from the storm.
We finally shut down at 4 pm, the tent was taken down, unloaded at the church, and after gettin' home and findin' all our menagerie was fine, we unlodaded our truck, loaded up the big water tank so I could haul water for horses today, and after a quick supper of leftovers--we passed out around 7:30.
Today has been slow compared to the last three days, but I am contented with what has been accomplished, and I look forward to stayin' home tomorrow. I'm plannin' a nice long Bible study and prayer time after Brian leaves for work.
Well, I got chores. Later ya'll.
© 2011 by Evelyn Edgett