I went to a Vermont country fair this weekend. There were pony rides, a tent with folk singers, volunteer fire department demos, tag sales, an official “spokes-calf” named Cow-melita, and a 60-something roving Uncle Sam on stilts (complete with groupies … who knew?).
My good-deed mission for the day was to put aside my city reserve and strike up a conversation with some of the local residents. Those of you from small towns are probably having a good laugh right now — and so you should.
I’m always in awe of how my husband (a country boy trapped in a city-dweller’s body) can turn the most random encounter at the hardware store into a 20-minute lively conversation. Me? Not so much.
So as I admired the beautiful handiwork on display by the local artisans and hobbyists, I not only made a donation to the local Chamber of Commerce to support their efforts, I also paused at each booth to find out more about the people behind the creations.
It felt a little forced at first (I’m not really much of a bonsai aficionado), but I really started to get the hang of it after a while. They all seemed to appreciate me taking an interest and I learned a lot, too.
One thing became very clear — the people who take up these crafts and hobbies are passionate about them. And their enthusiasm started to rub off on me.
I left the fair ready to raise Alpacas, craft glass-bead jewelry, cultivate orchids and start quilting . Of course, now that I’m enrolled in Chatting 101, I might not have time….