Monday, October 09, 2006

Applebutter Fest

The antique knitting machine that was used to make my socks. Applebutter festival, Grand Rapids, Ohio. Behind the artisan is the canal. In the old days, barges were pulled along the canal by mules, walking the towpath trail. Now, the towpath trail is a hiking trail. It's one of our favorite places to walk. The festival takes place on the banks of the Maumee River.

Allen and I try to go to the Applebutter Festival in Grand Rapids, Ohio each year. I remember we used to take our boys to this festival with us when they were little. There are all sorts of sputtering antique engines, crafts, and, our favorite, the historical reinactments. Every so often, cannons fire over the river, giving everyone a start. The main menu items are bratwurst and saurkraut. This year, I bought a pair of socks that had been made on an unusual antique knitting machine, used during civil war days.

It's past midnight now, and the events of the day are mixing with old memories. I just now read this poem by James Wright:

Trying to Pray
This time, I have left my body behind me, crying
In its dark thorns.
There are good things in this world.
It is dusk.
It is the good darkness
Of women's hands that touch loaves.
The spirit of a tree begins to move.
I touch leaves.
I close my eyes and think of water.


Cynthia said...

Around here, there is the Fall Folklore Festival every year, complete with the antique machines, the crafts, fresh pressed apple cider and bludgrass music. I love it, and the poem from Wright is just perfect for a day like that.

Erin said...

I love the poem. "It is the good darkness." Beautiful, especially because darkness often gets a bad rap, I think.

I love fall festivals, especially those that include crafts and artisans. Last weekend, I went to the Ohio Renaissance Festival with a group of friends. That was quite an experience, too! The shows and crafts were very interesting.

dreaminglily said...

Beautiful poem.

Sounds like a wonderful time too. My mom loves applebutter lol... I miss festivals, haven't been to one in a long long time. They always remind me of being little. Such good memories.


cpc said...

Sounds as if you had a nice time at the Apple Butter Festival in Grand Rapids.

I always enjoy fishing the river during the summer months. Nothing quite like wading and working the deeper holes on a hot July day.

I don't know if you saw it or not, but there was a fine picture of the fesitval on the front page of tonight's Bowling Green Sentinel Tribune. It appears that the festival was pretty crowded.

Keep a smile on and best of luck with your paper grading. I can certainly relate.

Rhea said...

I am going to a Fall Foliage festival next week here in New England. Great time of year!

beths front porch said...

I went to the Tall Stacks Festival in Cincinnati. This a gathering of the Ohio and Mississippi River steamboats, with music and fireworks. We saw the fireworks while on the river and heard Ricky Skaggs. I'm learning a few things about festivals. The most important may be that I enjoy them! But they open up an avenue to the way others look at things, even as I watch them look at the crafts, listen to the music, or complain about the length of time it takes to tie up the Belle of Cincinnati.

Anonymous said...

Lovely! Until they discontinued them at Yankee Peddler, I was one of the crafters paid to demonstrate some oldtime arts, especially the ones we can't do fast enough to make money at today. Working there, I made friends with the bobbin lace lady, the rug hooker, the shoemaker, the Pysanky artist, and many others. It was such a time of joy. My skill was the hand knitting of Fishermen's knit sweaters and other intricate styles, including Viking and Arabic designs, and I answered questions and helped other knitters fix their boo-boos, too. I would love to know more about this knitting machine---do you have closer pics? The name and contact info for the crafter? Teagrapple wants to know, with thanks.

V said...

Beautiful Words.



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"I was no better than dust, yet you cannot replace me. . . Take the soft dust in your hand--does it stir: does it sing? Has it lips and a heart? Does it open its eyes to the sun? Does it run, does it dream, does it burn with a secret, or tremble In terror of death? Or ache with tremendous decisions?. . ." --Conrad Aiken


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