I had gotten used to being a square peg in a round hole. In college, I was in the first class of Boston College to admit women (we had urinals in the bathrooms). In my career, I survived and thrived in the male dominated commercial real estate business. At home, I was a normal, down to earth person who lived in a hoity-toity, uppity, full of attitude and entitlement suburb (tolerated because of good schools and solid property values.)
My difference became the norm for me. Now, for the first time in a very long time, I’m living somewhere permanently where I feel like I fit: Falmouth. It is an absolutely delightful, refreshing, happy feeling.
This morning I spent time reading, doing some writing, and a bit of knitting. Then we headed to downtown Falmouth to enjoy not one, but two festivals in downtown Falmouth. My Facebook status reported:
Off to the Strawberry Festival and Arts Alive Celebration in downtown Falmouth… Yes!!!! I will scope out all the fiber creations, and David will eat alllllllll of the fried dough and sausage sandwiches. Life is good:)
At 10 am, the streets are “just full enough” of people with kids and dogs in tow. The shops are open and each has a garden set in the sidewalk that is in full bloom. Nobody has a cell phone attached to his/her ear, and nobody pushes or bumps into us. People smile and say hello. They make conversation. I feel like I’ve died and gone to heaven.
The first stop is the Strawberry Festival at St. Barnabas. I confess, I ate the most delicious serving of strawberry shortcake, complete with extra whipped cream at 10 am this morning. Well—it does contain fresh fruit, dairy and wheat! David, on the other hand, starts off the morning with a hot dog followed by his even larger portion of shortcake. People ask how we like it, comment on the gorgeous red color against the white cream, and ask where to get some of their own.
Young couples with little ones in buggies or held by hand mingled with the gray hair set. I play with one baby while her mom sells tickets; while chatting I learn that the baby was a preemie and is thriving. I just finished knitting hats for the preemies at Falmouth Hospital, and the mom told me how she will forever remember the little preemie hat that her baby wore when she was first born and in the NIU.
Teens make the rounds in their own broods, but actually make eye contact with the rest of the world and say hello. It is a melting pot filled with pleasant people, great food and all kinds of stuff for sale. A book table is full to the brim with recent publications donated by townspeople and sell for a dollar or two; customers are two layers deep and everyone is gabbing (not grabbing!) about what book they particularly enjoy. An antique linen table is filled with, you guessed it, your grandmother’s linen closet goodies; handmade lace, lots of embroidery and exquisite cut work are on display. Folks chat about how they once had a tablecloth like that… and who spilled the wine on it.
We stroll through the tent with all kinds of recycled treasures and promise to return for a lobster roll on the way back to the car. Onwards a few blocks to the Arts Alive celebration in front of the library. Here we find live music, more yummy food, and a vast assortment of creative artwork.
The folks who man the Falmouth Art Center booth have a loom set up and invite all to take part in Free Form Weaving. A basket of fiber is nearby and someone else is spinning while a third person is knitting a gorgeous shawl. They talk about what they were making AND ask what sort of fiber work I do. We swap information about types of yarn and patterns… and I learn that this is an organization I really want to belong to asap.
There is a potter, complete with her wheel, working on a beautiful bowl. The expression on her face proves that she loves her work. A spinner has her wheel in full swing and her artsy hand spun yarn with thick and thin bobbles is so lovely that it could be worn as a necklace. Another woman is knitting mittens with yarn she dyed using natural products; the colors are rich and unique. I want them!
We find the photographer who took our family photos years ago. As we are telling her how she so wonderfully captured us on the beach, another couple pipes up that she also took her wedding photographs fifteen years ago. She, too, captured their essence.
I could go on and on, but you get the picture. Today I found a lot of creativity, nice people, a real sense of community, and a place I’m happy to call home.
What a lovely post, Diane! I love the pics that go along with the narrative. Seems like you have found your sweet spot. I have been to a few fairs like that…