And the year starts to wind down…
We’ve finished another show. The packing and unpacking are done and we’ve taken a day or two to put up our feet and relax (well, I did… Jeanette went to a gift show for work and, when she got home immediately dug out her spinning wheel so she could start spinning). And, how did the show go? Very well, thank you. The icing on the cake, though, was the unannounced contest. Seems the show’s organizer, the indefatigable Becki Dahlstedt (who’s celebrating her birthday today!), got together with the ad reps from the local magazine to come and judge the show. The best booth would get next year’s booth fees paid, second place would get 50% off and third place would get 25%. We won second place!
Then, adding to the feeling of a year winding down, we went to the Ozark Folk Center’s annual Christmas potluck party. Elena baked two delicious quiches featuring our eggs and goats’ milk cheeses for us to take and they were a hit (gone in about 5 minutes!) Jeanette had worked that day, so she made a quick dash home to get me and the quiches and if we had been gone 5 seconds longer, we’d not had a place to park. Talk about a jam-packed event. I’ve never seen so many people attend this event (and that’s a good thing!) Part of the method to the madness of the Christmas potluck is to share information. The park was down a bit this year, but not significantly… there’s always room to improve. But for all that the visitation was down, many of the other numbers were not. That was nice. Once the numbers were shared, awards were presented. Each year, a ballot is passed around to everyone at the park (and that’s a lot of people!) giving them a chance to vote for Musician (or group) of the Year, Crafts Person of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, Hospitality Person of the Year, Employee of the Year, and The Miss Bette Rae Miller Spirit Award.
- This year the Cobb Brothers took home the Best Music Group – well deserved and congratulations to them!
- Linda Odom, who operates the Apothecary Shop (and the lift 🙂 ) making, and teaching the making of, soaps and lotions and notions won Crafts Person of the Year. Congrats to her!
- Arkansas Master Naturalists, a group that came in to assist Tina Marie and her gardeners with the massive task of keeping our gardens in peak health – not an easy task in a drought year – were presented with the Volunteer of the Year Award.
- The Hospitality Person of the Year Award was presented to Josh Epperson, the Park’s Assistant Superintendent. He’s just about everywhere all the time. It’s not unusual to find him in the restaurant acting as host, or at the front desk as receptionist, driver, guide, and plumbing repairman at 2 a.m. Well done, Josh!
- I didn’t hear who was presented the employee of the year award, and I suspect it was omitted to make way for a few special commendations:
- Mary Gillihan was recognized for her many years of service as guide and interpreter and musician and teacher. Congrats!
- Melody Miller, office manager, was recognized for all her hard work in keeping the administrative side of things running smoothly and doing so while a massive transition in management took place! Wow!
- Miss Bette Rae Miller (yep, the same gal that has the award named after her) was recognized for her many years of service. She’s been with the park for more than 26 years and in that time has worked all over the place, but most will remember her as the smiling face that greeted them with wonderful stories at the General Store! Way to go, Miss Bette Rae!
- And then there’s the Miss Bette Rae Miller Spirit Award which is given to someone who goes above and beyond in promoting the park and making it a better place. I’m proud to say I was given that award this year.
There are 2 orders in the shop that need to be finished and will be shipped by Monday, and another package to be shipped besides. There are updates to be made to about half of my websites (WordPress 3.5 was just released and that means work!), but that will be taken care of in short order. There are a few invoices to deal with and maybe a bill or two. But, none of this is happening with the sort of intensity it was a couple months ago. The year is coming to an end… Things are winding down… At least until January when I’ll begin to get SweepIn 2013 together!
Happy Holidays from Laffing Horse!