Sunday, February 6, 2011

You Need a Valentine Like This . . .

We are in Lawrenceville, Georgia (NE of Atlanta) this weekend for our annual stop.  And I have the usual travelogue, which will come a little farther down the page.  But the best story of the weekend started on an icy Tuesday in Dayton . . .

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This was our parking lot on Tuesday afternoon, in the middle of an ice storm that roared across the Midwest.  North of us, folks in Chicago, Detroit and such got more than a foot of snow.  We got a skating rink – this was the scariest patch of ice I have ever experienced.  Just getting from my car to the front door was so dangerous that I didn’t leave the building until it was time to go home (and it was worse then) – lunch just didn’t seem that important.  Later Tuesday evening, the electricity went out at my house, and stayed off for sixteen hours.  When my dad called from Tucson the next day to inform me that the temperature there was 18 degrees (the lowest temperature ever recorded in Tucson), I just snorted -- “I can top that.  The low temperature here was 47 – in my house!”

That is all relevant to a Valentine’s story because I was at the mail center alone – Patti and Debbie are terrified of driving on ice and snow, so on days like this they stay home.  So I answered the phone when Tom Walborn called to set up a convention surprise for his sweetheart.


The lady holding the box is Tom’s wife Barbara (41 years), surrounded by friends who were in on the act.  Tom bought his wife one of Tim Holtz’ new Vagabond machines – she had been drooling at the thought of one for some time.  And he asked me to give it to his wife when the nice lady on the left (this is “OB” -- “Other Barbara”) and a group of friends brought her to the booth.  The gift came with a clue-filled card . . .


Corny, but sincere . . .

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Seconds later, an excited Barbara was on the phone, thanking Hubby for being so thoughtful.  Then she sat down at the demo table so Peggy could give her a test drive.  Feel free to show this post to your significant other – we would be happy to do this for you as well . . .


We were really looking forward to escaping Ohio for a few days – the weather has been really lousy since late November.  But we discovered quickly that lousy weather follows us everywhere . . .

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Thursday morning, I finished loading the truck on that sheet of ice in our parking lot.  Friday morning, I awoke to this view on the radar – 33 degrees and monsoon rains all day long in the Atlanta area.  Florida beware – we’re headed your way next!

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We got the truck as close to the building as possible and got everything off – felt like we were blocked in by our own boxes.  It wasn’t until Saturday morning that I noticed the changes at Sue Rothamel’s demo table . . .

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The banner was easy to spot, but you have to look a little closer to spot these catchy little cases – among the embellishments Sue added to this one is a working clock.

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This was the hot item in our booth – little packages of scraps and such for a dollar.  Gary’s 96-year-old father-in-law Walter puts them together in our backroom.  He had eight boxes full of them ready for us to take with us, and I really thought they would last for this show and the one next weekend in Clearwater.  Silly me – this was the view of the bottom of the barrels at 3:00 Saturday.  All gone . . .


This may have been the happiest lady in the house after the giveaway – in a way, she called her own shot.  In the middle of giving away nine or ten prizes, she started griping that I wasn’t drawing any tickets in the 300s.  Ticket after ticket had numbers in the 000s and 100s and 200s and 400s – no 300s.  And every time, I looked at her and gave her grief.  Then came the last prize – a Lacy Circles die from Spellbinders.  And I drew the winning ticket, stared straight at her, and started to read.  “Three!” I screamed, and then paused, just to rub it in.  Then I read the last two numbers – and it was her ticket.  The whole crowd howled with laughter as she came to claim her prize.  It was a perfect end to the day.


  1. Did you grab your ice skates? Maybe you should keep some there :) wow. I remember some major ice storms, but that looks amazing. scary, but fascinating. Show looks like it was great fun; Barbara is one lucky lady :)

  2. a truly inspiring and heart felt creative valentine...nothing better than that. thanks for sharing the story... -tim

  3. Hey, rain is always better than ice! We have had our share of ice this year in Atlanta! At least the days of the show turned out beautiful. Love the gift story! Loved Walter's packets of paper also! I did my part to empty the bins! Great to see all of you.

  4. Hiya! We are Peggy and Neal Wade's grandchildren. We will not say our names but.... DON'T SAY ANYTHING MEAN ABOUT OUR GRANDMA AND GRANDPA AND THEIR FRIENDS!!! OR ELSE....

  5. Wouldn't think of it -- Peggy and Neal have helped me with setup and teardown in Collinsville, and Harriet and Michael have been friends for years!