The last normal gather I (and $HOUSEMATE) attended was in February 2020. It was the 2020 Siouxland Winterfeast (See: https://elegantungulate.wordpress.com/2020/02/23/no-bambleweeny-57-submeson-brain/ for detail) and not long after that the “lockdown” nonsense began and even places that were not necessarily following in lockstep had so many venues playing CYA that it didn’t much matter. EVERY event we might have attended in 2020 was canceled.
One of the.. quirks.. that was one ‘genius’ at work figured he’d economize by getting rid of a lot of experienced people and screw over others by moving them from full to part time. This joker was such a ‘winner’ I made a point of printing out one his email rants as I recognized where it brake with some regulations, and… well, I didn’t deploy it, but when someone hands you ammo, hang on to it. I suspect I gave a co-worker pause when I said that while I claim no control over the world, it was quite the coincidence that ALL my reasons to use vacation time went POOF just after the vacation time did. Alright, one did not, and the time I had asked off for an event got extended a bit so I could visit my mother… after the Supreme Court of the state she lives in slapped down the Governor yet again.
Well, the first weekend of this month things were returning/returned enough to normal that the Siouxland Renaissance Festival was NOT “cancelled due to plague” (as the 2020 fundraiser shirts read). There were few with masks – and the person with the plague doctor outfit fit right in (such has been seen in previous pre-COVIDiocy years). Like every year, I attended the (not exactly ren, but…) Mythical Garden. This time I was not one of the characters, but did attended to the stars of the show as it were. I need to reduce my tonnage and up my stamina. That is plain. However, it was still QUITE therapeutic.
Since I was not “on” I could indulge a bit, and the new meadery is quite capable. I’m not sure if the old wasn’t up to it, or what (the “Egyptian” mead with hibiscus is/was great) but the new (for all I know, a re-branding. I didn’t get all the fiddly details of everything) had a VERY sweet dated based mead, and something else I found too dry for my taste. Due to the naming of them, the mix was dubbed a “Maroon” (as in marooned).
One seemingly minor thing was that a Taurus (bull on one side, Taurus symbol on the other) medallion that was struck at the faire a good many years ago, was finally re-strung. In 2019 – or maybe even 2018 – the original stringing failed beyond repair. The replacement had a mechanical clasp, that failed badly in 2020. Now, a new stringing without a clasp and things feel right again.
I’d jokingly suggested we should be able to write off most of the weekend’s expenses as therapy… and got a few laughs, and one person pondering just how much could be dealt with via HSA with correct wording. One semi-sad thing is that one quite good act will be retiring this year. A fellow who has a “bad” magic act (he’s good enough at comedy he can get away with it) is leaving after this year. In fact, after the next show we will see him at, he’s moving overseas – it’s all about keeping his wife happy. He’s not alone in the act, and the other fellow and I have a little conspiracy going. Details… not yet, nope.
Besides the faire itself, there were the visits to a few local restaurants. I’ve particularly missed one, and last Spring we made a trip to South Dakota that would have been to go there, but Sioux Falls had locked down (South Dakota didn’t force things, but let local municipalities do as they liked). So that night we went to a place in Tea, SD instead. The interesting thing was the staff as the restaurants were masked, though many wore them a bit low so they could breathe easy. I suspect corporate CYA more than anything. Especially as a little out of the way cafe we visited Monday morning didn’t have that nonsense going on.
And in the week since… things changed some and I’m to back working full time. 2020 is over. I hope.