The past week was just insanely busy. Barony meeting on Monday, archery practice on Tuesday, chiropractor on Wednesday, Thursday isabeau_lark crashed with us (not a busy thing - just a thing,) Isabeau was here Friday also and I had to pack for the event, and yesterday I made it to the Known World Heralds' and Scribes' Symposium.
Just to add to the insanity, I decided that I wasn't happy with the document I'd done for court at KWHSS, so I redid it on Friday when I got home from work. A little nuts, but I'm much happier with the second version. Unfortunately, the recipient wasn't at the event, so I didn't get to see it go out. It happens, but it was disappointing.
On the plus side, there's a little more room on my basement shelves now - Isabeau mentioned in passing that she needed to get another window air conditioner for the house, and I jumped ALL over the opportunity to give away the one that's been sitting in the basement since we installed the ductless system. Even better, the remote control for it turned up with I was cleaning the sewing room. How's that for serendipity?
The event was a good time - it had been on my radar, but I wasn't entirely certain that I was going, or that I was staying after I dropped off the document. I was a bit apprehensive about heading into Rhode Island, but the hotel was beyond easy to find - that was nice. I managed to get into all the classes that I wanted (why I wasn't sure I was staying,) and most of them were very good. For the gilding class alone, it was worth the trip - Dosalena helped me identify a bunch of things that I was doing... not wrong, but definitely the hard way. We didn't get to do as much actual gilding as she had wanted us to, but the conversation ranged all over, and I got a lot of answers about things that I've been wondering about/wanting to do. She's a really neat lady, and I'd love to know her better. I took a few classes from Master Robert Whitcombe of Brandywine, who is my grand-laurel. Interesting story there.
He mentioned in his class that he'd taken a nineteen year hiatus from the SCA, and three years ago he came back to teach at the All Things Scribal event in Bergental. When he walked in the door, not expecting anyone to know him, or to know anyone, he was greeted by two very small ladies who said "we're your great-great-grandchildren!" He said that was the point that he realized that lineage is important - and set him to thinking about where HE came from.
That made me remember an afternoon lots and lots of years ago. You see, those two ladies were Anne Elaina's apprentices. And that afternoon all those years ago I called over Anne Elaina and a bunch of witnesses, and I gave her an apprentice's belt and told her a story. I told her about Master Robert Whitcombe of Brandywine, one of (if not THE) first scribes of the East, who took two apprentices, Ariel of Caer Myrddin and Daryl of Avalon. Ariel became a Pelican, and Daryl a Laurel. Daryl took two apprentices: Amber Sturmwolf, and myself. Amber and I both went on to become Laurels. I told her that her "family" was small, but proud, and then I told her that it was important that she remember. Apparently she did, and it was important enough to her that she passed that admonition down to HER apprentices - and three years ago it came full circle, and a man who has never known me found out how important he has been to me.
Yes Robert, lineage is important.
There were some definite down sides to the day. We were sharing the area with a wedding, and there was a bit too much Beyonce in my first class, even with the doors closed. The event was definitely NOT friendly to day trippers. The only place to change was in a two stall bathroom open to the other hotel patrons, and there was no place to leave your things if you didn't have a room. For that matter, if you didn't have a room for two nights, there wasn't anyplace to leave things, now that I think about it, since check out is usually 11:00. That would explain the number of people wheeling suitcases from class to class with them... I could have hauled my clothes and such out to the car, but I didn't have enough time between classes to make the trip. My own fault on that aspect (I should have hauled the stuff out sooner, but it was a trifle annoying. I had just assumed that it was going to operate something like Birka, where there are changing rooms to change and leave a few things if you aren't staying at the hotel. Likewise, if you didn't have a room, there was no place to sit and eat lunch.
That was a little lonely.
That said, the lovely ladies of Bergental took pity and gathered me in for dinner. I'd just about decided that I was going to skip court and head straight home - I didn't have a taste for finding dinner by myself, and just sitting in the hallway by myself and waiting for court didn't appeal either. They grabbed me and it was a fun time. For some reason court was scheduled for an hour after the end of the last class. It was too much time to sit around, but not enough time to actually get and eat dinner. We ended up ordering, and dinner came just at 7:00 - so we ate in the last row in court. A little odd, but it worked.
The drive home was a little ugly. I was really, really tired to start with, and two hours home seemed like a very long way at that point. I was foggy long before I even got to the Connecticut border, and I was actively seeing things by Deep River. I used every trick I ever learned driving back and forth across Pennsylvania, so it all worked out fine. I got home and went straight to bed.
It was a good time. Was it $100 of good time? I'm not sure. It was definitely less than I was expecting - the last time I went to a KWHSS was about 20 years ago in Washington, D.C. when it was a *big deal.* For a known world level event, this felt very small, and very local. I'm not sure why - maybe that's just the way they are these days. Then again, I didn't take any classes in the heraldic track - those probably had more long-distance travelers in them because the heralds' work is more universal across kingdoms. I was just startled at how few people attended.
Now I just need to get a good night's sleep tonight and get my feet back under me. It's going to be another involved weekend next week.