by Kimberly A. Cook (Twitter@ WarriorTales)
Last Friday I set off on an adventure to my favorite Bead Show in Portland. Given all that had happened in the nation, I felt odd to be trekking off for a fun afternoon. Rode the MAX light rail line down to the Convention Center; not only is it fast, but the people watching is fabulous. The slogan “Keep Portland Weird” really does apply here.
Since I was born in Portland, that explains a lot about me too. A quick trip and suddenly I’m in gem heaven. The show comes twice a year and the last time I had sixty minutes tops to shop.
Friday I had time to wander at will. On my fourth booth, jackpot! Found beads I could not live without and snapped them up. The scavengers who had been there at the opening two hours earlier had depleted the pink bead stock, but I still scooped up my pretties.
The show has increased to almost fifty percent rocks and minerals in addition to jewelry. Found some fabulous geode and amethyst specimens to drag home except for the prices, but I could take pictures. Purple really is my color.
So with my bag of bead booty, continued on my route to check out every single booth. Collected more must haves along the way to add to my collection. My name is Kim and I’m a bead hoarder. Figure it’s still cheaper than a bass boat!
After three hours of pure joy, it was time to jump back on MAX with the evening commuters and head back to my car. It’s so much fun whizzing by the stuck freeway traffic on MAX and not being the one stuck for a change.
When I got home I checked out my take. Seed bead necklaces from Guatemala, necklace pendants from Nepal, beads from China, silver from Italy, almost amethyst from the fairy caves. I’d seen gemstones from Afghanistan, beads from South Africa, nesting dolls from Russia and the Larimar stones I love from the Caribbean.
It all made me smile. The vendors who attended from up and down the West Coast with their wares all came together to help people like me make pretty things. That once again proves we can do things together for a greater good. Even if we start with one bead.
Sitting on my computer is a business card I was given at Kohls in December 2013. It was part of an ad campaign by the store, but the clerk couldn’t know when she handed it to me how much it would mean. My father had passed away during the night. We were headed home after seeing him for the last time and I stopped to pay my bill. I was exhausted, grief stricken, numb and not too happy to wait in line.
That little card made me remember all the people who had been so kind to us throughout the ordeal. At one of the worst moments in my life I got a business card that said #SHOWKINDNESS.
Seems like a really good place to start to move forward in this country. So simple we can all do it. Some pretty beads might help too. The power of the good Force is strong. Hope lives.
Who’s been kind to you lately? Pass on kindness. You never know what a difference it might make in someone’s day.
P.S. Thank you to all my readers. You make my day.
P.P.S.S. For my fellow beadaholics, the http://www.gemfaire.com might come to your town. Don’t miss it!