This is a nice time of year to be the person who I am. Just yesterday I had my first moment in a long time (as far as I remember) where I was truly in a good mood. It wasn't because anything extra-ordinary had occurred, I just was. I enjoyed the moment, and shared it with my wife. We decided to enjoy the moment. And we did.
The City of Bend is having its WinterFest 2006 this weekend. There are vendors, wine sharers, beer sharers, ice sculptures, magicians, kids story-tellers, drummers, ski-ramp with ski-people ramping, fireworks, Live Art, aero planes, people, music of a wide variety of kinds, and art in the formal and informal sense. A nice thing to have this time of year. People are out of their houses, showing themselves and others that they too have the yearning to be somewhere other than at home.
The ski-ramp hosted single and double ski skiers. Some were young, and others younger. Fireworks popped in the sky as Nicholai looked on, not in amazement, but rather with a ‘what’s this all about?’ kind of look, and ‘why would they want to do that?’ expression. It was chilly but not uncomfortable that first night. My son and I had walked into town from the house, which is a decent 10-minute walk for most of us. He’s a rock star! We also checked out the Leer Jet fuselage and small two-person helicopter. He was all about that.
The second of the three days I went to the festival on my own in the middle of the day. It was a little strange to be there on my own, but after a little bite to eat I went wondering to see what they had to offer a person like me. There were six or eight ice sculptors doing their thing. Some very traditional looking, others in shapes of things that couldn’t quite be made out. A magician took a white ball and put it on a red kerchief, he then showed us that the white ball had become one with the kerchief by holding the silky fabric in the air for us to see. Half a ball on either side. Not a very impressive trick using magnets. There was a tent set-up for kids to play Go Fish, and Pie Throwing. Sponsored by the Free Church. Are they nihilists too, I wondered? Just around and next to them was a sort of petting zoo. I say sort of because I don’t really know what a petting zoo looks like. There were two horses. Actually one was horsepony and the other half horsepony and half pony. There was also a great-looking flopsy eared rabbit. Just a little further on was a large exhibit tent. In it were food and wine vendors from all over. A tasting set-up. The roof of the tent was clear plastic, and the heat in there was just great green-house warmth.
I was in no mood to drink wine, but I walked to all the food sampling tables I cared to visit and had some great boysenberry pie (boysenberries are very readily available in these parts I hear), fig bread, butternut squash spread, ‘nutrition bar’, olive crisp bread, and red liquorish. Several artists were displaying there work in the middle of the large oval. A potter whose work I found to be appealing will be making us a couple plates to add to our small dinner plate collection (we first need to tell him that). We bought a mug from him today. It’s waiting in the kitchen for me to make coffee and drink out of. After I biked home I found that the house was quiet. Sleeping people. I stepped back out into the early evening air and thought about the next day.