There and back again. Since we spoke last, I’ve been up to Moorhead, Minnesota (which is just to the right of Fargo, North Dakota if you don’t know the neighborhood) for the Midwest Viking Festival at the Hjemkomst Museum.
The theme this year was rain and mud. I worried about rain driving up, I worried about rain when I slept, and I spent the days sitting under my awning, worrying about rain. The usual drill is to arrive Thursday afternoon and set up, to be ready for the opening on Friday morning. But it was raining Thursday, and Friday looked to be a little better, so I went straight to the motel for the night and drove to the museum the next morning to set up then. And indeed it wasn’t raining Friday morning. It didn’t rain at all on Friday, though the skies were cloudy all day (as “Home On the Range” doesn’t say).
But it rained overnight, and it rained off and on all Saturday. The heathens were doing their weather magic, which benefited them not at all. And that’s some comfort. I prayed about the weather myself, of course, but always with the tragic understanding that God has greater concerns than my comfort.
The rain did let up for a while in the afternoon, though, so although we had to pack up our tents wet, we didn’t have to do it in the rain (mostly). Which was something.
But the festival itself actually went better than I’d have thought, considering the precipitation. Attendance wasn’t bad, and I sold out my supply of Viking Legacy, plus a fair number of West Oversea. Also, Blood and Judgment achieved a surprising popularity.
One cheerful woman wanted two Viking Legacys and one West Oversea. Then she changed her mind and asked for a third Viking Legacy.
An example to us all.
A blonde young woman came by and didn’t buy anything, but she was amazingly beautiful, and the smile she gave me packed enough wattage to dry my tent out.
I wonder what it’s like to live like that – to be so beautiful that almost everyone’s happy to see you show up. It must be like having a free pass everywhere.
Also got a chance to meet a Facebook friend and fellow reenactor I’d never met before. Nice to meet you, Einar Severinson. Not as nice as meeting the blonde, I’ll admit, but nice enough.
I had a strange encounter with an old guy who informed me that he was a “historian.” When I gave him my spiel about Viking Legacy, he interrupted me. “I always get mad when people talk about Viking democracy,” he said.
I asked him why.
“Because they weren’t all equal.”
I said, “I didn’t’ say egalitarian democracy.”
He said, “Well, that’s what most people understand by democracy.”
I said, “The Athenian democracy wasn’t egalitarian either.”
He wandered off mumbling about how I was deceiving people.
Historian, my eye.
Anyway, when all was done I got my car loaded up with wet canvas and gear (thanks to the invaluable help of the Patton boys and some of their friends. I don’t know what I’d do without the Patton boys. If they can’t attend some year, I may have to bow out myself).
And now I’m home at last, beginning to recover. I’ve got my tent drying in the basement, and some money to count.
Could have been worse.