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As is so often the case, after a weekend of selling, I'm ready to take more photographs, and so I did. And, that, my friends, is why this post is late in coming. It's a darn shame that the Orlando Historic Preservation calendar is in black and white because this house begs to be shown in color.
Although it is early, next year's neighborhood was announced last week, and as such, a friend sent me the press release with the map. Because it was cloudy this morning, meaning I didn't have to deal with the variation between bright sunshine and shadows, I took a little stroll to see what I could see. Maybe not as much as other years, however, I may have taken a few interesting shots. During last year's ceremony I picked up a couple of calendars, but ended up giving them away. If any of my entries are selected this year, I must keep one!

But that's not what you were hoping to find in this post is it? Well, I still love Lakeland, and the wonderful folks who brave the heat to come out each year as they have been doing for the last 44 years.

Because Bruce's schedule is currently pretty flexible, unlike previous years, this year we decided to do the set up as early as possible on Friday, hoping to beat the heat. It was a good plan, and we did our part, however, the heat found us just the same. After the beautiful weather during the previous four days, we were unprepared for how hot it became during the three hours of set up. Whew! We felt particularly bad for a large fellow two booths away who kept having to take breaks because of the extreme heat and humidity. The car air conditioning never felt so good on our drive home!

Instead of staying in Lakeland, as we've done in the past, we decided to drive back and forth; it's not bad at all. Because we'd set up during the lunch hour, we both were starved by the time we arrived back in Orlando, so we stopped for an early dinner at the Gnarley Barley. Excellent.

Rather than a long discourse, let's do some highlights, shall we? Here's a photo of me that appeared in the online version of the Lakeland Ledger:
 The photographer took a gazillion photos, apparently the editors liked the one above the most.
  • Loads of repeat customers!
  • Heat!
  • Rain!
  • Humidity!
  • Drizzles!
  • Fog!
  • Disgruntled painter next to me!
  • Brandy Renee sold a bunch!
Driving down to Lakeland on Friday morning, I had Bruce take this terrific photograph of the billboard through the windshield. Needless to say, Brandy was thrilled. Plus, she won an award. I did not. Had I shown one more booth to the right (see above), you would have seen the Best in Show tent. ($5,000 prize!)

Saturday was super hot, and as such, when 4 PM rolled around I was in no mood to go to the party, instead, we drove straight home, had some leftovers for dinner, and an early bedtime. Bruce spent both days at the festival as record keeper, booth sitter when I took a short break, and super fantastic companion, not to mention, art hanger, tent erector, vehicle packer, and more. Believe me, without him, Out & About Photography would cease to exist!

Sales on Saturday were super as I'd hoped. What I'd not planned on was this: Bruce got the mail while I was putting our dinner together. So? He said, "here's your check from Sun Dance, open it." Oh my gosh was I shocked! I talked to Alejandra today and apparently Kirkland's bought a bunch, and apparently that means a bunch, of one of my print for their stores. Are you kidding? No, they were not.

Adding to the happiness, as we walked up to the door, Bruce said, "I guess Sue has been here." Indeed she had, leaving this on the side door walk:
Woohoo! I am now the proud owner of a lighted globe made in Denmark, circa 1992. Seriously, could the day have gone any better? Plus, the weather gear on the stand seems to be working as well. Naturally I called Sue immediately, and she told me she found it at a garage sale for $5.00! Awesome baby!

Sunday was more of the same; great people, unpredictable weather--at one point ten of us were holed up in my tent during a short rainstorm--and good sales. When it was all said and done, we counted 138 pieces sold. Honestly, how lucky am I?

I never kid myself; I sell a lot because, let's just say, my prints are attractively priced, which is okay. I would much prefer to stand all day long talking about my photography, than sit in a chair, waiting and hoping, for someone with big money to come along and like what I do. Last evening Bruce explained to me, especially after being there for both days, that I cater to those who have less money to spend, but still want to participate in a community event. In other words, I make them feel good about themselves by providing an affordable option. That sounded pretty wonderful to me.

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