I almost changed my mind this morning when I woke up to the sounds of a thunderstorm. I've been to the fair in cold weather, hot weather and many times in wet weather and it is absolutely the worst in wet weather. When I checked the weather report, the news was good. The storm was fast moving and would clear the area around 8 a.m., then clear skies and spring temperatures. Perfect. Oh, yes, they warned there would be gusty winds later on.
The first couple of stops were great. The skies were crystal blue, the temperature was in the mid to high 60s and the crowds were light. (In fact the crowds were light all day and I don't think it was because of the early morning rain. I think it was evidence of the uncertain economy. Shoppers were staying home in droves. I've never seen such low attendance. The dealers were glum.)
Driving from Warrenton to Round Top to Shelby to Round Top to Burton to Carmine is always an enjoyable journey. The country roads wind and rise and fall and on either side are beautiful pastures full of beautiful cattle. Spring is particularly nice and today I saw the first really fine displays of bluebonnets I've seen this year. Many pastures were full of bluebonnets, with a sprinkling of Indian paintbrushes and yellow daisies. I love the bluebonnets best and I love that they do their finest showing during the week of my birthday.
It was hard to find a good place to stop and take flower pictures. But then I spotted a little cemetery where the bluebonnets are dressing up every gravesite. I stopped and got my dozen or so bluebonnet closeups for 2009.
Just after I finished with my photo session, the gusty winds arrived and they weren't messing around. My last few stops had dealers set up inside huge tents that rattled and swayed and heaved and made you wonder if they would (a) collapse while you were inside or (b) rattle all the antique contents into antique shards before the afternoon was over. It was exhausting fighting the winds between tents and it was nerve-wracking to be inside and watch all the displays shuddering. I gave it up a little early and went on into Carmine and did the remainder of my antiquing in the little shops that line its 2 block main street area. The wind still blew you around while you walked from shop to shop, but at least it was more or less calm while you were inside.
The drive home was wild, with the wind tossing Big Red around like a rag doll. I was glad to get home and get inside and away from it, but I'm glad I went and got a nice dose of spring in the Texas countryside.
I saw a lot of things I wouldn't mind having, but my pursestrings are tied pretty tight right now, too. I managed to keep my purchases to two small containers for future miniature scenes. I said no to two beautiful oak barrister bookcases, an oak vanity and chair and a lovely oak library table. Antique golden oak calls to me like a magnet calls iron filings. Maybe next time. The whole shootin' match will be back the first weekend of October.