After 18 years I went back to Pennsic.
My hiatus was not something that I wanted at all, but life and finances kept me from going. This year it is only by the grace of my love that I was able to attend. My health has gotten worse over the years and I now require a CPAP machine – cause breathing is a good thing. Chris was an absolute love and got a battery and solar charging set up that would handle the CPAP and keep our cell phones charged – as well as my Fitbit. I admit, I was a bit concerned, but then I am exceptionally gifted at worrying. I come from a long line of worriers. It is what we do, and I’ve taken the masterclass in it. That said – it worked out beautifully for all of Pennsic. I will try to get the info on the battery and solar charger that he got to share with everyone. It really worked out stunningly well.
I had some movement issues as well to work though as I had pulled my back muscles pretty substantially about a week before I was leaving. The first couple of days were rough – getting used to walking more, and sleeping on an air mattress. After a bit though, while my back was still cranky, it was more manageable with the judicious application of two Aleve with my morning medications.
I really was not sure how well I was going to handle the walking and moving. I did okay – but not as well as I would have liked. C’est la vie. I listened to my body, even if it did mean missing classes that I wanted to go to.
The things I did get to do though — oh my goodness!
I volunteered at Newcomer Point a couple of days during Peace Week. It was awesome to help new people to Pennsic and some to the SCA find all the fun things going on. AEthelmearc had Bingo and a “Find the Queen/Princess” game going on. There was the Camino (which I want to do next year). There was Pennsic Rocks and AEthelmearc Rocks with painted stones around site. One gentle made over 250 chainmail pendants and hid those around site as well to be found by lucky campers. We provided information to folks on where things were, what group was camped where, and how to get involved.
I finally learned how to use a loom I was gifted awhile back too. It was not a style that I was familiar with, luckily I know people who are, and managed to finally catch up to Mahin. We had a delightful time together with her showing me how the blasted thing works, and how to figure patterns out with card weaving. I have a much better understanding of it now, and managed to get a copy of the book she was telling me about. She also had me in tears with a story about how I was ‘responsible’ for her getting a Laurel in her art. While it is not truly my story to tell, so I won’t, I will say this much — be kind. Be courteous. Be Generous with your time and praise. You do not know how far the ripples you send out in this world will reach.
I took a class on Favors and Tokens – which was interesting but very focused on CIS Het, and had no room for those like myself whom are Poly. I know that it was at least somewhat based on how favors were given during the time periods we study, but it would have been nice to have a bit of discussion on how it could be adapted to more modern ideology. For example – per the class you are to only have one favor bestowed on someone. Right now I have 3 given to others, and am in process of making a fourth. One is held by Chris, the one in progress will go to Jinx when it is completed. One of my best friends holds one – Perote, and the other is held by Her Highness Signy Heri of the Kingdom of Atlantia, who wore it several years ago on the fighting fields of Pennsic when I was unable to attend (she felt that I was an inspiration with some of the personal growth work I had been doing, and it is very cherished memory for me to see images of her in armor wearing my favor).
I also got to take a three day class on bobbin lace. I felt rather under the weather for the third day and so did not attend, but the first two days were excellent. I have something new and pretty to learn. It moved very quickly class time wise, and I was not always able to work more on the project outside of class, which I found somewhat frustrating. I may work on all of it during the next 50 weeks, and then pop in on the day three class next year if I can. But I have the very basics down so it makes considerably more sense to me now.
There were little moments all around that were amazing – walking at night under the moon and stars, past torch lit camps where singing or drumming could be heard while holding my love’s hand; seeing loved ones that I haven’t seen in months, seeing dear friends receive well deserved awards and recognition. Moments that filled my heart with joy were those all too brief ones.
I wouldn’t trade a single moment of it and I can’t wait to do it all again next year.