Sun Pony Ranch

Diary of novice (clueless) ranch owners

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Lords n Ladies n ... hogs

Last week was Glory War - our barony's biggest annual event. A camping event up in Wyoming, it is our version of the War we went to in Arizona last February. Of course 1/10th the size.

We didn't attend Glory last year - I participated in Coursers and Quivers in August, and we hadn't branched out to anything else much before that. (OK, this makes me laugh -- I hadn't even attended a populace meeting until August. My, what a difference a year makes!) But I quickly learned of what we missed out upon. As it is held over July 4th, however, it makes it a bit difficult for us to attend. But it is such a pivotal happening, we declared we would go this year, if at all possible.

The event was officially July 1-5, but we arranged to get released from the kennel midday Friday through Saturday. Drove up to the site in a quick 90 minutes, and had camp set up shortly after. Since it was to be a short trip, it was our intent to take the bare minimum of equipment possible. I think we succeeded there.

The site is gorgeous - rolling rocky hills - the terrain makes it necessary and natural to split into different clusters of camping areas. It nicely disguises just how many people are on site, and also fosters a sort of neighborhood feeling as the same folks tend to camp in the same spots year to year. The dining hall is set up centrally, and housed something like 12 large tables at once. The royal tent was set up at one end, and access to the kitchen tent on the other. Once again our resident household which loves to cook, handled running the kitchen which provided breakfast for all event attendees, and dinner for those who purchased it. The food was spectacular, featuring a whole roast hog on Friday night. As we attended a brewing competition that evening as well, the drink was just as notable.

It was during the bardic Friday night, that we got our first taste of the rain storms that had plagued the camp daily all week long. Already dark, it was coming down in droves when we remembered - huh. We left the tent windows wide open, didn't we? I took a mad dash down to the tent, which thankfully wasn't too far away. It was my first chance to test my wool cloak in wet conditions, and I have to say I was very pleased. It definitely got damp, but given the way the sky had opened up, it was remarkably dry. I folded it inside out that night to use as my pillow, and never felt the dampness soak through.

Saturday we broke camp early planning to get everything in the car so that we could easily make our escape that night after dinner. Turned out some other newcomers had arrived and were interested in our spot anyways, so we helped each other break down / set up.

One aspect of the trip was that we wanted to see how David fared sitting in the car, after his back surgery (which as of today is officially 6 weeks ago!) He stood the car trip just fine, but the sleeping on the ground was pretty rough. He was moving mighty slow the first half of that day.

And then.... The rain came again. OMG - it must have rained for an hour... and then quit and sprinkled a bit, and then full on rained again. Most of the afternoon. Our friends have a 10x10 booth tent they'd set their table up under, but had forgotten to bring their side-walls. Since we have the same tent, we brought our walls up, and boy were we all glad for that. Never the less, we had a lot of folks milling around under that little tent, waiting for the rain to let up!

In all honesty, I was getting a real kick out of the rain. I didn't have anything to do and we were quite comfortable sitting around shooting the breeze. Just the chance to sit still for a change is a welcome respite. And I was amazed at how few puddles were collecting - the soil just drained everything away. So as soon as the sun would come out it was beautiful and mostly dry immediately.

We'd been warned that Court that evening would be long and involve a lot of business as it was a full on royal court with not just the King and Queen of our kingdom, but also our Baron and Baroness as well as those from the 3 other nearby baronies. Court is where most awards and thank yous and other announcements are made. Folks are called up by the Herald where upon they approach the royalty who called them up, kneel, receive some words of wisdom (or something -- you typically can't hear this part), and then the Herald reads aloud the official proclamation and everyone cheers. In the past year, we've sat through dozens if not hundreds of such repetition.

This time our names got called. *gulp*

By the King and Queen.

I'm terribly self conscious and generally hate being the center of attention... talk about stage fright. I don't really recall much about being up there aside from feeling like we bumbled a lot - didn't kneel right, stood too soon, etc. I remember distinctly the King whispering to me -- "Have fun with it", which made me laugh and wonder if I looked just as terrified as I felt. I'm also horribly sentimental, so of course I was unable to stem the tears. The queen hugged me. I think the King did too?

The upshot was that we each were given an Award of Arms (A0A). This is the entry level award, for people's contributions to the society. Nominations are made anonymously, and the Crown decide whether to award as well as when and where to deliver them.

I was so relieved that we actually made it to Glory instead of backing out like we'd thought we might. HANG ON -- NOW I remember someone coming upon us when we were packing our campsite asking - aren't you going to stay for court? Ah, if only I were quick to catch on...

The most obvious effect of getting an AoA is that it means we are now to be addressed as Lord and Lady (capital 'L's) instead of the generic m'lord and m'lady. Unfortunately the scroll, which is hand made for every such award, was not yet available. I am eager to get it -- so that I can read it and know what was said while I was in my panicked fog. :-D

After dinner Dave told me he had brought the hitch and ball for our Subaru, and that Helene did indeed need someone to tow the hog roaster back home. So we hooked it up. It was with a somewhat apologetic look that she told me that they had not yet had a chance to take care of the ... leftovers inside. But not to worry she said, she'd come by Monday to take care of it. Don't be silly, we said. And that's how we came to bagging our first hog.


Seeing as how we recently had to renew our membership the first time, and our Champions event is rapidly approaching again in August, I'm conscious of transitioning from newby members who are continually attending an event for the first time, to anticipating what this year's event will be like and how will it compare to last year's. In other words, it's a whole new ball game for someone like me who just feels more comfortable being able to anticipate what to expect.

And yet - there are still so many things I want to try. Brewing is undoubtedly high on my list, as is joining choir and giving the bardic arts a whirl. People ask what do I do in the SCA that isn't Equestrian based - and I have to say there is still so much I want to do to bring my equestrian persona up to speed that I have not yet devoted my attentions elsewhere. But that is precisely what makes the SCA so exciting to me - the vast number of choices of fun things to do.



Blogger Birdie said...

This sounds so cool. You're a good teacher to those of us who are clue-free about all of this. Still, I want pictures. :)

7/9/09, 10:04 PM  
Blogger Monica said...

You know - we took the camera, of course, but for the first time we didn't even pull it out of the bag! Guess we're getting inured to the newness?

7/10/09, 8:48 AM  
Blogger Spike said...

Yay! Glad to hear you are thinking about brewing! It's fun and easy, really. I'll teach you!

I hope to come out next week to ride! I'll call you!

7/11/09, 11:47 PM  

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