The Yankee Peddler…

When I was a kid my parents would talk about someday going to the Yankee Peddler.  I never really knew what they were talking about bu I figured it had something to do with crafts or flowers or some such thing because those were the kinds of things they were into.  They liked participating in flower shows and making crafts and taking lessons in those things.  They liked craft festivals and state fairs and Colonial Williamsburg.  Well, they never did pack me up in the car and take me to that Yankee Peddler thing and as a kid I was grateful for that.

Many years later, after I had moved to the Northeast Ohio area some friends invited me and S to go along with them to Yankee Peddler.  Even though they were going on a fall football Sunday, I agreed to go.  When I told my parents I was going they were jealous.  I thought they were crazy for being jealous… until I actually went to Yankee Peddler.

Yankee Peddler is held every September in Canal Fulton, Ohio.  Once you park your car and enter the festival grounds, it is like you are taken back to colonial America.  There are all kinds of craftsmen and women ranging from the fabric arts to metal working and everything in between.  There are food vendors too (I highly recommend the bean soup that comes with a round of cornbread).  There is a town crier who walks around the festival grounds announcing Yankee Peddler features (there are music performers too and cloggers).  Yankee Peddler is really quite fun.

After our first experience at Yankee Peddler, S and I went again the following year.  We ended up doing all of our Christmas shopping there.  And again my parents were jealous.  So I promised them that I would, someday, take them to Yankee Peddler. 

Thankfully I didn’t wait too long to keep that promise.  Last September my parents came up to visit us and on the Saturday of their visit we took them to Yankee Peddler.  At that point, my grandmother was 93 and my mother was 69 and neither of them were getting around well on foot.  Yankee Peddler is held in a park like setting, with hills to traverse and it is an all day walking thing.  Worried that they would not be able to handle it, I rented two wheelchairs from a medical supply store (pretty cheap, $48 for both for the weekend).  At first they were both hesitant to let us push them around but they were grateful for the option once we got inside the festival grounds.

That’s my grandmother getting some wheeled assistance.

All of the vendors at Yankee Peddler have to wear period costume.  Charming.

Pushing the wheelchairs around on the hills and tree roots was not easy, but S and I managed it without too much trouble.

Not all of the crafts at Yankee Peddler are my cup of tea but my mother and grandmother were in craft heaven.  I prefer the pottery.

I always enjoy watching the blacksmith do his thing.

Within the Yankee Peddler festival there are different “villages” which I am sure have some sort of rhyme and reason to them even though I don’t know what it is.

A whole bunch of people like watching the hot air balloon lift off. 

I like watching it too even though it gives me a funny feeling in the pit of my tummy.

I took this picture for S because one of those wood boxes is marked “Teachers Whiskey”.

The big thrill of the day was that this booth in the above picture belongs to a friend of my parents named, Steve Vasilou.  He makes pottery and animal ceramics.  He’s from Wheeling, WV and he participates at the garden center with my mother and grandmother.  They were so happy to get to see him at the festival.

My grandmother died in April and I’ve had a lot of regret over the past few months because of all of the times I said, “I’ll play Scrabble with you next time,” or “Not right now, we’ll do it some other time.”  There were a bunch of little things that I put off doing with her or for her when she was alive because I really did think I would have all the time in the world to do them.  I’m so happy that I got to take her to Yankee Peddler last year because I would have had a hard time enjoying it in the future if that was on my list of things I didn’t get around to doing with her.

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