You never can tell what might happen at a sharing expo! We have many planned events, but sometimes the less planned are wonderful surprises as well.
This fall’s Expo was no exception. Last Sunday (September 21), we gathered in the parking lot behind the Common Ground store for sharing skills, goods, and more. On the lineup were water-saving techniques and ideas for home and garden, plus kids’ activities, grain grinding, community organizers, and music.
We started with signage – a new banner made by those who attended Craft Night, along with signs and William Mutch’s handmade permanent wooden name tag. My son and daughter handed them out, along with regular name tags. In the meantime, Caryll-Lynn and David Neighbors Helping Neighbors had set up a tent of info and boxes for collecting extra food, Nick Turner of Deep Nature Gardens displayed beautiful pots that were mini ecosystems of themselves, Wendy Hediger from Zero Waste Palo Alto demonstrated green cleaning alternatives and Anna Ravenscroft pulled out her gleaming white grain grinder to demonstrate grinding wheat, corn, kamut, and even lentils. My ancient coffee-turned wheat grinder sat by its side looking a little sheepish.
Herb Moore had long since set up his music station – visitors were soon playing found items like tuna cans and mason jars. Willi Paul hung up a giant poster of the water cycle and childrenchildren, including mine, started right away coloring it in. Marianne Mueller was having animated discussions with her colorful and super low water plants for the garden. William Mutch was at the Permaculture cafe talking about ways to make gardens drought – resistant. All this was planned, and it was all lovely.
I sat down and decorated a few arms and hands with cooling henna designs. The goods share was going strong too – lamps and toys and books and clothes and plants came in and wandered off.
Then we had: surprise sweet and crunchy and savory snacks brought by Expo benefactors (with water served in Zero Waste Party Pack cups). Copies of Potter the Otter. Extra comfy chairs left out to use. William lead storytime for the kids with a leisurely reading of The Lorax. My children (were those mine?) were quiet and focused. Children sat together coloring. People shared their own fascinating stories and histories and asked how they could help.
A little after 3:30: Leftovers were donated and carried away. Tables put away. Last conversations dragged on and goodbyes were cheerful. Promises and hopes and enthusiasm for next time!