Sunday, January 12, 2014

Escaping the Iceberg . . .

It was a little chilly in Ohio earlier this week.  You might have heard about it – you might have heard me screaming.  Last Sunday, we were supposed to get 8”-10” of white death – instead, we got rain.  And then Sunday night the temperature started dropping – to paraphrase Buzz Lightyear, it went “to zero and beyond.”  Cars were frozen shut, Tuesday morning it was –11, and the windchill hit –40.

And there was a show in Texas this weekend – I couldn’t wait to get out of Ohio.  But I had to thaw out the back door of the truck so I could load it.  And even though I plugged in the truck on Saturday (diesel engines require this in cold weather), that engine block warmer apparently doesn’t affect the battery – and the truck wouldn’t start.  But after an hour on a battery charger, that glorious sound of the starter grinding followed by engine life got me on the road.

By the time I got to Memphis, it was 32 degrees and pouring rain – and the local weather weasels couldn’t decide whether it was going to stay rain or drop a degree and turn to ice.  Thankfully, it stayed rain – and I kept moving in the direction of warmth.

I awoke Friday morning to rain – but the promise of sunny skies by the time we finished with setup.  So off to Grapevine I drove . . .

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You might remember these pictures – they appeared in this space in July 2011.  We start cultivating the future of our little craft industry from birth.  Now 2½ years have passed . . .

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. . . and Lucia McLaughlin is almost three years old, helping Mom and Grandma set up the booth along with her older brothers.  In return, I will “pay” them by transporting their Christmas presents north – these days they live five minutes from our mail center.  The first thing I told Natalie when I saw her was how unfair it was that they missed our little cold snap in Ohio.

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J.T. and Hudson got in on the act as well . . .

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But I think what they enjoyed most was stomping down some boxes that we were going to throw away.  And even Dad got in on the act . . .

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When we finished with setup, I decided to tease the masses by posting a photo of the booth – with the curtains closed – on our Facebook page.  We did finally open them on Saturday morning – and more than a few found their way inside.

A few other things I saw along the way . . .


When I was walking inside the building on Saturday morning, I noticed these – about six weeks before they will appear in my yard.  Still, it reminded me to start looking for them at home – I’ll take any sign of Spring that I can get.

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This was the booth across the aisle from us.  I arrived before they did – and that little green card on the table just jumped out at me.  If security is that simple, guards worldwide need to seek a new profession . . .

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After the show on Saturday, I met my friends Becki and Bill at Grimaldi’s (the picture is fuzzy because I swiped a little one from their website).  Good New York style pizza – and easy for me to find because it was right across the parking lot from a brand in In-N-Out only a couple of blocks from the convention center.  I had already been there after setup for a burger and a new t-shirt for Ryan.

And now it’s time to head back to Ohio – where the temperatures have moderated and may even reach the 50s for a day or two.  Of course, by the time I get there we’ll be staring at the teens and 20s again . . .

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One Final Thought – if you haven’t noticed, I have been spending all of my free time the past two weeks putting new items in the background on our website, so they could easily be made visible when CHA opened on Saturday.  If you go to our homepage at and follow the banners, you’ll find well over 250 new items that are now available for advance orders!

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