Thursday, December 06, 2012


I'm sitting here, this winter-dark morning, my fingers tucking, plucking and finishing the last little bits on the new batch of rugs off my Newcomb, waiting for it to be light enough to go pack the van for our trip to the big Christmas Showcase Craft Show in Little Rock.
Fantasia's newest rug.

As I measure, price and tag these rugs that I've woven from the wool and mohair grown by the delightful sheep and goats that share our farm, I'm thinking about the bills that we need to cover with the proceeds from this show. We need to pay our homeowner's insurance for the year, and set aside enough to cover the taxes, not only the property taxes, but enough to cover the rest of Shawn's self-employment taxes. He's had a good year selling brooms, and I don't think his quarterly payments have kept up. Even with the 5 bales of hay that dear Wayne and Leesa brought us all the way from Alabama, we need to set aside more cash to cover feed for the critters. My car needs tires and an alignment and we sure could use a new mattress. These rugs are beautiful, as are Shawn's brooms and the shawls that I've already finished and packed, we should be fine.

My mind begins to wander in the warmth of the fire, and I think about how very similar these thoughts and activities are to those hill folk who came before us. How many of the early women who wove rag rugs on my Newcomb in the 1930's sat while finishing rugs and thought about how the money they earned from selling the rugs they had woven would cover the money that was due in their farm and home. How many generations of folks from the Ozarks have worked to gather and shape the bounty of this land and then take  the things they've made down to the big city to trade for the dollars needed for taxes, if nothing else.

The time frame is different - we are going to load our van this morning, and then (Good Lord willing, cross your fingers and knock on wood) we'll drive the winding, but paved, roads and be in Little Rock this afternoon. We've managed to mechanize and shorten the travel time, but the process is still the same.

Well, back to measuring and tagging. Wish us luck, and maybe we'll see you at Showcase.


Shawn said...

We could build a flat boat and set out on the White River, trading at ports until we get to the Gulf, then use the sales money to buy a horse to ride home. That would be traditional...

Wendy said...

I bet the rugs are gorgeous. Your work is always so fabulous!