Today was a great day at the Alafia River Rendezvous. Mr. E and I spent half the day in the car, working. Since laptops are not period-correct for 1840, we resorted to sitting in the parking lot. Picture this…the two of us, in the same outfits as my photo from the last blog, sitting in the back seat of the Suburban with the doors open. We’ve got laptops on our laps, and we are working feverishly. I should’ve had someone take a picture. However, that would have involved speaking to someone and risking a conversation, something I generally avoid.
So, when we finally went inside the compound (Fort? Settlement?), we found ourselves surrounded by frybread and fruitcakes.
First, the frybread….
What you see here is a “Mountain Taco” made on frybread. What is frybread, you ask? Well, it’s the end of my low-carb eating plan, that’s what. It is dough that has been deep fried. Think elephant ears, and you’re on the right track. Now, this frybread can be prepared as a dessert (my favorite) or as a meal, such as the taco. Everything tastes better when it’s sitting on fried dough. I'd even be willing to eat venison if they put it on frybread. (I really hope that was beef I had today.)
It must be really good for me to eat it. Just remember that these people are camping in the middle of a field, with no electricity and no running water. Most of them, including the man who prepared my meal, did not look like they had bathed in weeks. I don’t know how they are washing their hands or their dishes, and I’m not sure how they are managing to keep foods to a sufficient temperature. Yet, I still ate the frybread taco. It’s really that good. In fact, I wish I had one right now. Oh, well, there’s always tomorrow.
And, the fruitcakes…. Boy, oh boy, the fruitcakes.
Let me preface this by saying that I, indeed, was out there, dressed just as strangely as these people. So, I really shouldn’t say a whole lot about them. But don’t worry. That won’t stop me.
Here is an example of how many women are dressed at Rendezvous. Rumor has it that they even wear period-correct undergarments. Really? Why?? I’m pretty sure improvements in underwear have been made since the 1840's for a reason. It wasn’t because someone sat around saying, “Hmmm. This corset is really comfortable with the bones sticking into my skin, but I think I’ll change it just for the heck of it!” No, I’m pretty sure we have gained a level of comfort since then. So, why do we want to go back?
What kills me is how serious these people are! They are all very, very busy. They are walking here and there. They are working. They are shopping. They are cooking. These people are on the go, and they are living life just like their forefathers did. I’m doing good just to walk in the long skirt, let alone work in it! And why work? We’re in the middle of a field. I want to tell them, “Sit down and relax, people. Have some frybread. You’ll feel better.”
Meanwhile, the kids are busy playing. They run and throw sticks and balls. They meet and greet friends. They climb trees. Here’s a photo of my always-compliant child when I told him to climb the tree so I could take his picture. Thanks, Beetle, for cooperating, as usual.
Here’s a photo of Beetle and Dillon sitting in a tree when they didn’t know I was looking. My child and my pseudo-child touching a real-live tree instead of holding an X-Box controller….it warms a mother’s heart.
Once Mr. Everything and I went in the village (Colony? Commune?) today, we basically spent our time joking about what everyone else was wearing.
This guy gave us a lot of material. I followed him to the restroom (We’ll be discussing the restrooms another day..) and waited for him to come out just so I could get his photo for you. That’s how dedicated to you, my readers, I really am.
And what is this group of normal, average citizens doing? Why, they are attending a wedding reception, of course! I’m not kidding. Someone got married there today. They wore their 1840's garb and not even a fancy white dress or anything. I could only tell who the bride was because she was carrying a bouquet of wild flowers. Do you think they spent their wedding night in a canvas tent? I’m sorry, but that’s over the top. What a great way to start a marriage, with a little insanity! Next week, maybe they can arrange for some counseling.
So all in all, it was a great day for people-watching. The Goose is sleeping there in a tent tonight with a friend, the Beetle and Dillon are happily playing video games in the year 2013, Mr. E and I are still working, and all is right with the world. -Al