Have you ever heard of an Edible Book Fest?
I hadn’t until my mominlaw told me about one her local library hosts annually, in conjunction with one of the library book sales.
“Sounds fun… Tell me more.”
She found an article, sent it to me and we quickly agreed we’d love to do it together.
See, my mominlaw and I share a genuine love of reading. And not just reading: of books, of literacy and of doing activities together. It was pretty easy to seal the deal. No one had to be lobbied or convinced! We jumped in.
Fast forward to the month of April in breezy Casper, Wyoming.
My Fine Family and I arrive via Wrangler to do it up right…or at least figure out how we’re going to have a ball, participate reasonably and support the library in the doing.
Shirley, my MIL, charged me with full production, she’d bankroll the adventure. We mutually ideated, went on a grocery store reconnaissance trip to scope out available supplies and therefore get ideas. Our laughing at the local stores at 8 pm got some attention and a few friendly comments. Clearly, a good sign.
The next day we shopped and gathered what we *hoped* would be all we needed to create this Thing. Knowing that, like plumbing projects, cooking can unravel and require more than one trip for supplies. For the record, the one trip did it for us; we made it all work with what we already had & specific supplies.
Fest day dawned, we were feeling ready and our mantra had become Participation, Not Perfection.
Into the car the readied items go, off we drive – carefully – to the library to off-load and set up… We weren’t the first ones in to get it set (note to self for next year: arrive earlier). It was fun to see what was already set up as well as walk in alongside of another entry being gingerly carried to its designated table.
Patrons of the library then perused, cast votes and the organizers tallied the slips of paper; you could vote for one each in 5 different age & ability categories.
With anticipation, a crowd gathered… And at this point, seriously, I hadn’t even THOUGHT of the awards. I was doing it because it was great fun to do with Shirley.
Lo and behold, we got a 2nd place ribbon!! Talk about noisy happy recipients – I grabbed my MIL and we danced up to the front, both of us with silly grins on our faces, laughing the whole way, simply glad to be part of the whole shebang.
So what does all of this have to do with connecting?
Participation, not perfection is what. When you’re connecting with other people and therefore your community, your plugging in, paying attention and getting into a mix of involvement. To participate is to support, connect and meet & see.
A fest like this is a really fun way to share in the festivities, supporting entities like libraries and meeting other good-humored people. You should have seen some of the other displays…what a hoot!
We’re already plotting, okay – I am, for next year. I think my MIL is too. Let the connections continue!!
See you there next year?
FYI – we chose Hot Air: The (Mostly) True Story of the First Hot–Air Balloon Ride, Marjorie Priceman, 2006 Caldecott Honor Book