Saturday, July 27, 2013

Random acts of kindness

I went to the Portland Highland Games last weekend. They were a lot of fun, and I'm thinking I can turn the day into a couple of blog posts. I normally haven't done that in the past, and I don't think I've even written about all the Games I've attended. But the Portland Games were the only ones I could attend this year, so I may as well savor them.

One of the cool things about the Games is that there's too much to see and do. This can be a bit frustrating, since it's impossible to be everywhere you want to be at once. But it's also awesome to be able to choose between athletic competitions, pipe bands, Highland dancing, non-pipe bands, sheep dog trial demonstrations....oh, and vendors. The vendors are fun to browse.

I think it was at the Highland Games that I discovered the art of Jen Delyth. There's usually a booth of hers at them, and she does amazing Celtic artwork. If I had a ton of money to blow on just one vendor at the Games, it would be on her stuff.

The Lugh window sticker at my old home, during a thunderstorm

You can also see it here
Last week I started my day at the Portland Games by wandering around the vendors briefly before getting some food. (I'd had coffee, but no food yet. Priorities, you know.) I wasn't ready to buy, but was definitely browsing, and taking note of places to revisit later. When I got to Jen Delyth's booth I decided that I would have to buy a replacement for the Lugh -- or Lleu, as they spell it -- window sticker I had up in my old apartment. It didn't survive my taking it down, which was unsurprising but a little saddening.

One of the guys working the booth started a conversation with me. I learned a few random things about Scottish type stuff from him, including that his clan's tartan has a hideous bright shade of orange in it when modern dyes are used. I guess it's not always a good idea to make colors as bright as possible, just because you can. After a few minutes of talking to him my hunger convinced me that I needed to go in search of food, but I said I'd be back later.

When I returned that afternoon I went straight for the Lugh window sticker, and it was the same guy I'd talked to that morning who took my money. Or rather...he tried to take my money.

There's a bit of a problem with my debit card, which is that the magnetic strip is temperamental. It's no problem if someone can (and is willing to) enter the number on the card manually, but with the iPad he was using that wasn't an option. And I didn't have any cash on me.

I was disappointed, but after he'd been swiping my card for more than a minute I finally told him not to worry about it. I said I would probably get money from someone later and come back then. That's when he surprised me by telling me to just take the $5 window sticker and that I could come back later if I got the money.

Um, wow. I didn't know people actually did nice things like that.

Fortunately I was eventually able to get cash from mom, and I returned to pay. The kindness I'd been shown encouraged me to also spend a bit more than I'd really wanted to on a nice shirt I'd been drooling over. It has Danu on it and is quite lovely. I figure if the people there will be so nice to customers, and that since the artwork there is so lovely, I may as well spend a bit extra on Jen Delyth's stuff, especially if I'm going to insist on indulging myself occasionally.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

Thanks for the link to her website -- she does indeed do beautiful artwork!

Sarita Rucker said...

She really does. :)