The end of April approaches. This, in and of itself, is not a thing. However, the end of April (generally) means the beginning of May also approaches, and that is a thing. See, the first full weekend in May reveals people scurrying all along the Eastern seaboard to descend on the little town of West Friendship, Maryland, home of the Howard County Fairgrounds. See, the first full weekend in May and the said fairgrounds are home to Maryland Sheep and Wool.
Now, as you can imagine from the name, this event is something like heaven for a fiber fiend. It is acres of vendors, all of whom have wonderful things to sell you that have something to do with the fiber arts. Some people are selling animals (sheep, goats, alpaca, rabbits), but most are selling fiber (yarn, batts, roving), tools (winders, swifts, looms, needles, hooks), patterns, or any number of other things that might be of interest to a fiber junkie.
I haven’t gone to this event for the past few years, mostly for physical discomfort / health reasons. Between overheating, heart palpitations, dizzy spells, shortness of breath, migraines, fibromyalgia pain, and the like… it’s been very easy to find reasons not to go. But, this is the 40th anniversary of the event. And, I haven’t gone for the last several years. And it isn’t even that I want to go for the shopping (though, oh my, the shopping).
Really, the reason I want to go is to be amongst my people. (Yeah, yeah, laugh all you want.) But seriously, there’s a lot of community amongst the crafty folks. People who simply smile knowingly and shift over to make space when you ooh and ahh over the cashmere. People who don’t laugh when you mumble about ways you can convince your SO to let you adopt an alpaca. People who will spend 20 minutes looking for just the right buttons. You know: fellow nutters.
So, the reasons to go are many. The reasons not to go are, unfortunately, also legion. First and foremost is the bad knee (which is, in its own special way, also leading to a bad ankle and bad back). Walking for any distance is problematic. Also, the overheating. But, my thought is this:
- On Friday afternoon, check the weather. If it’s not going to be crazy hot outside, plan to go to the shindig.
- Saturday morning, leave early so as to maximize my chances of parking somewhat close to the entrance.
- Be willing to whip out the handicap parking pass, if necessary. (I don’t so much care for doing this, but do in extreme circumstances.)
- Bring a hydration pack, and use it.
- Be prepared to leave whenever I need to, even if I haven’t spent much time at the event.
So, it could work. Even better, anyone in the area want to go with me, understanding my limitations? (Hey, a girl can hope.)