The day was sunny, and not too warm. A small number of pavilions dotted the grassy area being used for the Turkey Tourney. After checking in and surveying the terrain, I let loose Aidan (my 7 year old) and B.J.'s friend, Mitchell, who we were minding for the weekend, and Elizabeth, my 14 year old periodic 'Aidan Squisher' (he says he's too old to be a baby or sat, so he gets squished instead) My husband, Jared, and our 11 year old would be joining us later, after Religious School and services.
Aidan and Mitchell had a wonderful time making masks, playing with boffers, and doing the game booth. And they enjoyed the Turkey Tourney lunch of hot dogs and soda. I had taken the precaution of making some roasted Cornish game hens, and other munchies, for my own lunch, but I don't really care that much for hot dogs. Aidan also took the opportunity to flirt with the ladies by joining in the first session of dance practice. (yes, this is my seven year old. Accomplished flirt at an early age. I blame the influences on his early childhood by SCA friends) And he made sure to get his share of hugs once Lady of the Mists, Peza, and MaryAnne and Loria arrived. I sat in the Darkwood pavilion, finishing sewing my dress for the evening and watching the fighters in the Turkey Tourney. Later, I wandered over to the dance practice area for the second and third practice sessions. In between, I socialized, kept a random eye on the kid-units, and nagged my real charge for the day ' Baroness Liesl, once she arrived.
As evening approached, I changed into my new Florentine (thank you MaryAnne and Isabel for the assistance in getting dressed) and went to practice with the Darkwood Choir and West Kingdom Choir for that evening's performances. Jared and Benjamin (B.J.)had arrived, so they took over child supervision duties and putting dishes in the feast hall and fetching Mommy her ice tea so that I could sing. After practice, it was up to the hall to check on court stuff (I 'on courtier' for Baron Erick and Baroness Liesl this event), then down to the parking lot with messages and greetings for Prince Dimitry and Princess Hannah, who had just arrived. And back to the hall with arms full of stuff and answers to the messages. Then court started. As most of the Baronial court were already doing assigned tasks, I deputized Isabel on the spot to be part of the Darkwood Court. Her chief job was to keep me semi-sane, and put potions of the food that was coming around for the feast on my plate. Liesl was very happy with this decision and has said that we shall keep Isabel. Isabel's response was that she figured that would happen as soon as I deputized her. I wonder if someone has been telling tales about Darkwood's ability to absorb people and not let go? Hmmmm...
Court was opened and left open through out the feast. The feast was scrumptious. Awrabella, the head cook, did a magnificent job, as did her staff. The servers were students of Baron Wilhelm's from his modern job, and did phenomenal service. Even those of us on special diets were able to eat our fill. During court, the Bard of the Oaks position passed from John Rossingol to Cassandra Rossingol. No, there was no nepotism involved. That's just how the competition went. John's farewell brought tears to the eye. And Cassandra did a lovely piece in her sweet voice. The Darkwood Choir performed 3 pieces. And then we performed in conjunction with the West Kingdom Choir the Pelican Processional that John had written for Erick and Liesl's Pelican Ceremonies. We hadn't been able to do the whole thing at Purgatorio due to time constraints, so this was the first time anyone other than ourselves had heard the whole song. I'm going to forego my customary modesty right now to say...we were really good. Having heard our rehearsal that afternoon, we were afraid it was going to go badly. But it didn't.
After the main part of the feast was over, and the dessert tables laid out, the children (of all ages) trick or treated the tables. Then there was the ball.
The ball was wonderful. The live musicians were very good, and a much appreciated touch. There were 3 sets of dances. And since they were picked from the ones that we'd been doing at Darkwood Dance practices, there were enough people, both local and visiting, who knew them, that it were many people on the dance floor. This also made it easier for those not familiar with the dances, as there were more experienced partners available. Vyncent, as Baronial Dance Master, was the MC for the dancing and the parade of masks. He looked lovely in the pink mask that Baroness Liesl insisted he wear. There were a lot of people wearing masks, some bought, some homemade. I had two masks, comedy and tragedy, and alternated between them. And the dancing was very enjoyable. I think everyone was sad when the evening ended. I know I was. I've been to many Baroness' Masked Balls, but I think this was the best one I have ever attended.
Yours in service,
Na'arah bat Avraham
Kates' Unofficial Mommy?