Every year, for the past six years or so, I have gone on a long weekend trip with some of my favorite people, this year was no different. There were nine of us that took the trip. We call it our War Eagle weekend. This weekend is what keeps us going throughout the year…..our reward for being wonderful! It is a tradition. It is a must. And the men in our life know, don’t mess with our War Eagle weekend!
In the northwest part of Arkansas, in the town of Rogers, there is an annual event called War Eagle. This event is more like an invasion. Let me explain. Out in the middle of nowhere, there is this place called War Eagle Mill. It is picturesque to say the least. Set in the Ozark mountains, right on War Eagle River is a working water-powered grist mill that was built in 1832. It is surrounded by 160 acres of some of Gods greatest work. The air is crisp and pure. The mountains have a gentle roll about them. The sound and rhythm of the water being lapped up by the enormous water wheel takes you back 150 years. I am telling you, it is Gods country. Every year, in the month of October they host one of the nations largest craft fairs. Thousands of women from all over the nation migrate to this little town to shop……and shop they do! It is amazing what you see when women, with money in their pockets, are let loose to do nothing but shop and eat.
I saw more than I could ever write about in one post but I will give you some highlights.
I saw crafts of every kind. Old tires turned into bird feeders. Pumpkins made from gourds. Rings made from wire and beads. I saw all sorts of jewelry. Bracelets made from old type writer keys. Necklaces made from domino pieces. They were even making necklaces using old Cracker Jack pieces. I saw old bed springs that were crafted into wreaths. Purses made from everything, from old cowboy boots to car tags, and serving bowls made from old record albums. There was pottery, blown glass and paintings. There was even a man carving tree trunks with a chain saw and the list goes on and on…
I saw women dressed up in some pretty stupid outfits. Some were wearing big hats adorned in feathers and flowers. Some large groups were in matching t-shirts so they could find each other easily. I saw one group of ladies in those bouncing antennas with glittered balls bobbing up and down on their heads (weird). I saw some wearing lighted visors with blinking green lights (also weird). I even saw four ladies adorned with large angel wings that were strapped to their backs!! (really weird!) Why these people felt like they needed to look like they just escaped from the local loony bin I will never know….bless their hearts.
I saw dogs. People brought their dogs! To shop! What were they thinking?? I love dogs just as much as the next person but I will NEVER take one shopping. There was one lady there with a huge Great Dane that looked more like a horse. There were people with doggie carriages and doggie totes. I saw dogs in outfits and hats. I even saw a dog wearing sun glasses! Then the ultimate weirdo had his three groomed beauties in a red velvet covered wagon fit for a queen. Come on! We are serious shoppers here and we don’t want to have to walk around your dog so we can get to the “Coke Can Wind Chime” booth!
I heard fiddlers fiddling and singers singing and I saw old men tapping their foot to the beat.
I saw food! Lots of food! I think I tried one of everything. What a cow.
I saw a lady eat some potpourri! Yep you heard me right!. There was a woman selling all kinds of wonderful smelling potpourri. She had them displayed in big tubs for people to smell. A lady walked up, smelled of it, picked up the scoop and began to eat! We all just stood there in shock……she just chewed it up and walked off!
I saw a 96-year-old man listening to the music. When I walked past him I smiled and said “good morning”. He stuck his hand out and I obliged him by giving him my hand for a friendly shake. Seems innocent enough right? After I shook his hand I smiled and said, “ain’t this a beautiful morning?” He stood up, balanced himself, grabbed me by my sweater at each shoulder and pulled me in till I was about 2 inches from his nose. I was getting a little freaked out about that time when he yelled right in my face, “these hearing aids don’t work too good out here!” Bless his heart. We then began a very loud, yelling conversation. He was a very sweet man but he just kept holding me there, nose to nose. I thought he was gonna kiss me there for a minute! Finally we yelled our good-byes and I went on my way.
I saw a woman come in to the “one person” bathroom that I was in. As I was washing my hands, this woman just walked in, sat on the toilet and started using the bathroom right in front of me…..there was no stall! I wasn’t real sure what to do so I just finished washing my hands and walked out. We all got a real kick out of that one!
I saw a $450.00 rhinestone brassiere (bra) on a 55-year-old woman. She should have not worn it though…..it looked more like a $450.00 rhinestone belt!!!! They were hangin’ a little low. Bless her heart.
The most amazing thing I saw…………. sisterhood. There is nothing in the world like it. Women to laugh with, cry with and act stupid with. We experienced unconditional love…..that’s sisterhood!
I can’t wait for next year……wonder what I’ll see?