After a very cold Saturday in the thriving metropolis of Wellsboro’s Dickens of a Christmas, I think I am still thawing out from the cold.
The day started with the usual barn chores, a quick shower, and loading the vehicles with all of my accumulative hard work over the past several months. I put on about thirty layers since the thermometer was only showing a balmy 14 degrees outside. As I jumped into the car and headed to town, I thought I must be totally nuts to stand outside all day long and sell soap.
I quickly set up my stand and made everything look as perfect as possible. Vince and the kids headed back to the house to get Mr. Phil and Chico Jose. They were going to walk the guys around Dickens again this year since Mr. Phil was so popular last year.
While they were gone, I was mobbed with customers. Have you ever tried to make change with knit gloves on? My fingers were so cold I couldn’t feel them anymore. It seemed the harder I tried to make them work, the more my body was determined to work against me.
The family showed up with the boys and off they were walking. It didn’t take long until several customers said they met Mr. Phil and Chico Jose. They were a hit once again this year. But it also didn’t take long to for me to notice the poor guys were shivering from the cold.
Reluctantly, Vince took them back home to their snuggly warm barn and all their goat friends. He left Mikey there as well since he was already complaining of being cold too. It wasn’t even 11 am yet.
I am still busy at my stand, my fingers are frozen, and I can’t feel my feet. All my arthritis in all the broken bones I have had over the years is now screaming with pain. My back is killing me, I am hungry, and I have to go to the bathroom. I don’t go to the bathroom though because I don’t want to take off the thirty layers of clothes that I have on.
As the bank clock flashes 2pm and 29 degrees, I am starting to sell out of a few scents and trying to make my fingers work. Vince is beside me, helping me out all day. When we aren’t helping customers, we are swaying back and forth, marching in place, and thinking “warm” thoughts.
By the time 4:30 rolls around, I pack my stand up and what little soaps I have left, throw them into the vehicles, and put the gas pedal to the floor. All I can think about is my nice warm coal stove in my livingroom and how Mikey had better not let it go out unless he wants to die.
I run in the house, start peeling off layers while standing in front of the stove. It is almost an hour before I have some kind of feeling in my hands again. Vince and I decide on take out pizza for dinner because no one feels like cooking. He also took pity on me and gave me the night off from barn chores. While they are doing milking and feeding chores, I took a long HOT soaking bath to try and get my core temperature back up and ease some of those painful and throbbing arthritis ridden bones and joints.
While soaking in the tub, I realize I am no spring chicken anymore. While laying there in the bath and feeling old before my time, Vince bursts in to tell me I had a banner day in soap sales.
Although I am so thankful for every single sale since this particular craft fair’s proceeds is how I purchase Christmas presents for my family every year, I really just want to lay in my hot soaking tub and try and thaw out again.
Not ready to get out of the tub but since I am starting to look like a prune, I get out, dry off, and put on the warmest flannel pajamas I can find. I then eat some pizza and crawl into bed. I cover up with a quilt and a down comforter with a heating pad on my throbbing back. Needless to say I slept like a baby.
So this years Dickens of a Christmas in Wellsboro has come and gone. It was a complete success once again thanks to all of my customers. Even though I am still thawing out…I’ll be back next year but maybe this time I will put on forty layers with battery operated socks or something.