Penrod Art Fair

I’d forgotten how much I enjoy the annual Penrod Society Art Fair at the Indianapolis Museum of Art.  Because my husband had volunteered to man a booth for the Indianapolis Jazz Club, which entitled him to one free ticket and a parking pass, I bought a ticket and joined him.  It was the first time in many, many years I had gone their without children.  What a difference.

Since we had to be there early, I was able to stroll through the artists’ tents and talk with the artists a bit.  That was a real change for me.  Usually I try to be anonymous at any public gathering that is not my class.  Saturday I just enjoyed.  I strolled with my coffee, later with my beer.  I bought a hand-made jacket.  I stayed with my husband in the booth and talked to the people who came up.  I grabbed him away for a break and we had lunch, picnicking in the shade with the other 30,000 people.  When I got tired of walking, I found a shady spot in one of the beautiful gardens on the grounds of the Art Museum, and read for two hours.  It was so pleasant.

We’d tried to take the kids, but our oldest son is a person with epilepsy and a high-functionning autistic person, and so, with all three kids there, and especially with our oldest son, everywhere we went my husband and I would be on high alert.  No chatting with anyone–got to keep the oldest kid in sight all the time.  No shopping or buying–what’s he doing now?  Eating always was okay, but no two hours relaxing in a garden, no beer and no need for coffee.  High alert all the time.  I really don’t think I ever relaxed until these past few years when he was finally placed in a group home.  He really likes it there, and I get to relax.


Back as a freshman in high school I conspired with Myra, my mom’s hairdresser, and mine too, by default, to let my hair grow.  Every time my mom took me to get a haircut, I just got a short trim.  I fooled her!  (Gee, when you’re 14 you think your mom doesn’t notice something when she chooses not to make it a battle.)  By the time I was a junior, I had long hair.  My grandma liked it.  My great-aunt made me giant bows for the back of my head.  Not quite those Russian-gymnast bows, but close. My mother put up with it, reminding me less than once a day that the curl would come back if my hair weren’t so heavy.

In college I made two important discoveries.  The first, and most important, was that you could wash your hair in the shower instead of in the sink and it was a lot easier!  Okay, I was a slow learner.  The second was that I read somewhere that men liked long hair.  Since I got a boyfriend that year, I think I figured it was the hair.

Well fast forward 40 or so years.  Married the boyfriend, had three kids, learned to love to teach middle school, and my long hair down to the middle of my back was still there.  I’d trimmed it several times to just above my shoulders,  but it was no longer chestnut brown with reddish highlights.  More like dirty gray with white highlights.  It used to be so thick I had to buy the special clips and rubber bands.  Now a regular clip held it and sometimes slipped out. Early this summer I went for my yearly trim and suddenly told the girl to ‘chop it all off.

I have short hair!  No, the care is no different.  Wash, let dry, detangle.  Well, the detangle part doesn’t take as long.  It dries more quickly, but I have to scrunch some product in to keep the curl, so as far as care goes,  it’s a wash. As for my two important discoveries?  I still wash it in the shower, but have to clean the drain less often.  And my husband?  He still likes me.  I guess it wasn’t the hair after all.

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