7 October

Open House: The Sisters Of The Shawl

by Jon Katz
Sisters Of The Shawl

Day two of our eighth annual Open House began with cold, rain and strong winds. At first, we thought we would have to call off day two, but the  rains stopped and  the Sisters Of The Shawl, Maria’s belly dancing class, braved the rain to dance, an  eager daughter in tow.

Maria is not ready to dance in public yet, perhaps soon. It was a lovely day in many ways, a small but steady stream of wonderful people, and I found to my pleasant surprise, that I had time to talk to them and listen to them.

I am always surprised how far people come to meet me and Maria and see the dogs. I’ll put up some portraits. today and tomorrow.

Red, Fate and Bud were big hits with the sheep. Somebody opened the farmhouse door and let Fate led Bud out without our knowing it. Fate runs to the sheep whenever she gets out, poor Bud panicked and  ran towards the highway, one of the dancers  saw him and stopped him and held him until I got out with a leash.

It was too close a call for me, he’s always in a crate when we go out but I just came out to sign a book for someone. I think Bud was  overwhelmed by all the people and attention, and just lost his bearings, he never goes anywhere near the road.

More lessons about vigilance, I had no idea Fate had slipped out and that Bud had followed her.

I loved the conversations I had  today – Linda, who drove five hours from Rochester to meet me, she has been reading my books and the blog since I  started it in  2007, she knows the whole story, poor thing. She was great.

And Heidi and Ashley showed up to talk photography with me and go and meet the donkeys. I did four sheepherding demos, and although the crowd wasn’t large, it was steady and filled with wonderful people.

Maria and I are talking about how to make the Open House better, even simpler, and more inclusive of our readers online who can’t be here. We have some exciting ideas to kick around, we’ll share them soon.

Stay tuned. I love this Open House, it was affirmative, warm and inspiring for me. So many stories of good people seeking to make their way in the world. Maria is exhausted, tomorrow she will sort through the receipts so she can pay the artists quickly. Despite the small crowds and bad weather,  she sold a fair amount of art.

Tomorrow, we have a lot of work to do getting the farm back in some kind of order.


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