I'm back from my adventures in Medieval Land. Ro and I are as usual overbooked and overstimulated and wearing ourselves out. Today I'm taking half the day for me to sit and be a useless lump of potter, then I'll get myself together and get busy being productive in some fashion or another.
This posting is going to contain some more personal information than is usually contained in my musings, but it's part of the chaos we deal with as potters and people, It is also long and while peppered with humor, quite serious.
So here it is.
I'm not sure how many of you have seen the photos from Pennsic and followed our crazy story of life in the mud-lane, but I want to lay out a series of events and let you all follow along feeling grateful that you don't have someone made of Crazy in your immediate life. We are busy people, we work hard, we try to set a good example for our kids.
Pennsic is a big deal. It's our biggest and most time consuming event. it's 2 weeks of selling. We must be open a minimum of 8 hours a day, but can be open as early or late as we want, so we try to open by 10 and close somewhere around 10 or 11PM.
It costs us about $700 to be there. That's Merchant Fee, Campground Fees, Camp Fees (yes, Campground and Camp) and a food plan from our camp so we all eat better and don't have to buy every meal at one of the vendors. All in all it's a great deal for two weeks of living somewhere other than your own home. While we are there we get to visit other artisans, hang out with friends, sometimes go to parties that other camps are hosting, and of course watch medieval enthusiasts beat on each other with Rattan. Pennsic is an immersion experience.
Surrounding this years event are a few new family situations. We still have 4 cats and a dog, but the kids- Catharine and Morgan are now 18, out of school and having their own lives to some extent.are into a new stage of life. From our perspective as adults they are only halfway or less engaged in their new adult status. They have a lot to do and only 24 hours in a day to do it. Screw sleep.
There has been some extra craziness involving Catharine because her long term boyfriend had become increasingly abusive to her and two weeks before Pennsic he was arrested for assaulting her. He went to jail and was soon out on $30,000 bail with the understanding he was to stay away from her. The first thing he did was go to her apartment. So he was rearrested, this time on $300,000 bail. He didn't make bail and was safely locked away in the local facility.
When I say safely locked away, I mean for Catharine's sake, because we were leaving town for Pennsic and we didn't want her having contact with him.
Like many abused women she feels a mix of guilt, anger and shame for pressing charges and despite coming home bruised up another time just a week before this incident, since she wasn't seriously injured in this outburst, we are certain she would have forgiven all until the next time. Instead she seemed to maintain her anger at him, we were proud.
Then she went away for the weekend to the beach and brought home a surprise. A new boyfriend! She brought him home to her apartment. To stay. Permanently.
We were speechless.
This is when as parents, we try to find reason in an unreasonable situation. Recent NPR stories on the development of the brain, impulsive behavior and the unattached frontal lobe came to mind as we smiled and met her new beau.
Truth is he seemed like a rock of stability for her. His fault was having no job at the moment an no reason not to take a chance on love and follow his heart. He appeared to us as communicative, friendly, polite, no nonsense and essentially the opposite of her last boyfriend. Especially in the drugs and drinking party zone. The kid would have the occasional beer, but life wasn't about the next party. This seemed good.
So when her lease ran out just days before Pennsic and she asked if THEY could come home. We reluctantly agreed on several conditions. No parties and she finish cleaning up the room she abandoned at the beginning of the summer and she do her part around the house. He would be able to stay until he got a job and a place of his own..a month at most, in lieu of rent he would be doing chores and housework and helping with what needed done.
They would also take care of the animals while we were gone.
Morgan was supposed to go with us to Pennsic, but also had to work. In the end it turns out he couldn't come at all and worked nearly every day..3PM, 4PM, 5PM to 3AM
OK. We go.
Week one went pretty good. Ro came out a few days after I did, We got into the groove of Pennsic. Week 2 came and I went home to do some banking and pick up some meds Ro forgot. The house seemed calm. All appeared to be going as planned.
Then just as I was ready to head back I got a call from Ro. Cath is freaking out, talking about killing herself, is upset at the new guy,depressed about everything. Craziness. So I go back to the house and take her with me to Pennsic, Leaving new guy and Morgan in charge of the animals and new guy alone in our house.
So there are a lot of thoughts that go with this.
1) We're protecting her so she can be closer to family. Safe.
2) Her crazy drama is going to infect us at Pennsic and we won't get the rest from her insanity we were hoping for.
3) There's stranger in our house!
4) The animals are all going to die of thirst and the cats will have an additional infection from using a filthy unchanged litter box for 2 weeks.
5) Pennsic is not the place to take a bored over 18/under 21 hottie with a weakness for drinking.
6) There's a STRANGER IN OUR HOUSE!
7) This is going to be expensive! (cost an additional $250 to get her in as well as another $150 in clothes so she could be dressed appropriately,
Not to worry..the stranger went home and left Morgan in charge of the animals. 2 days later, Morgan left for a long weekend of camping, so he paid one of his friends to take care of the animals on Friday.
THERE'S a different stranger in the house! (But don't worry, new guy comes home to us again after we return..after putting $250 into Cath's car for repairs while he was out of town with it.
This brings us to Friday..we should have been home Friday night but the sales schedule changed at Pennsic..while we could break down anytime on Friday, we couldn't drive in and pick it all up until 11PM. So the madness ensues.
Catherine wants to stay and play another day and has arranged a ride home the following day.
We need to have all our pottery and all of Jessa's Clothing on site in the morning for the opening weekend of the PA Renaissance Faire. We're 5 hours away from the Faire and have to stop at home and unload, take care of the dog, feed and water the cats, and ultimately take the dog with us because Morgan has gone and his friend is not planning on Friday night to Saturday animal care.
We sold all day from 10AM, I took a 2 hour nap from 7-9PM. We started packing down at 9PM, brought in the truck at 11. Took two loads of stuff to Elliot's bus back in camp..(display tents etc and a wee bit of backstock and display stuff. We finally loaded the stock and plywood etc and got on the road at 3:15AM. We got home at 6:30, unloaded the backseat, took care of the critters and loaded the dog. We made it to faire at 9:15, unloaded the totes in time to hand them off to Jessa and get off site by 10AM. We were home by 1PM. I was passed out by 2. Ro lasted a little longer because she snoozed several hours on the drive. It was brutal.
We recovered a little bit on Sunday and then went into a weeks long Art Camp, I taught 3 days, then on Friday went to pick up a load of clay.
So Friday morning the abusive ex got out of jail by making a deal with the DA. Cath is still suffering from guilt for pressing charges against the guy who pushed her down the stairs. She says she still loves him and we are concerned that despite warnings as well as threats of impending homelessness she will try to contact him. New guy was concerned too. All hell broke out between Cath and the New Guy over the possibility of such a reunion, so after getting a frantic phone call from both parties on my way out of town, I returned from 20 minutes out, picked up New Guy and his stuff and after stopping at the supplier in Harrisburg for clay, delivered him to Baltimore.
I came home, arriving 10ish and we began preparing for The Raku BBQ with the kids from the Art Camp and various friends. I was firing from 11:30AM - 5PM.
Today I am wiped. It's getting on to 4PM and I am just now starting to feel as if I could possibly get something done.
The picture at the top is of Jessa, the pottery and clothing, safely delivered and for sale at her new building at the PA Renaissance Faire.
So..New Guy is gone. Cath knows we won't be supporting her in any way if she gets back in contact with the abusive ex. She is scheduled to start school on Friday. She has come home and been home more in the last few days than usual.
We have art camps for one more week. Then that chaos in our lives is over.
Is there hope? Can there be peace?
Oh yeah..and one bit of good nes. The short sale on the house in Erie has been approved and the closing is on the 25th.