JULY 12 + 13 2018
July 12 (Thursday)

Today, I get to see my out-of-state friends.

I got to the site that we're getting ready for an event that starts tomorrow.  
Actually, it's largely ready, but we did put up the main pavilion today.  It
takes about eight people or more to do it.  Those there when I arrived included
Dave and Fiona; their nieces Crissy and Randi; Randy, Randy's young son
Jeffery; and Beth.  Some others who wanted to be there were at work.

A while after I got there, my out-of-state friends arrived.  I had seen
Lorien
and
Mindy many times and Raidon a few, but first met the rest at the end of
last year.  I wasn't sure how Lorien would act, considering I'm not sure where
e and Herbie are going.  But e gave me a hug and a kiss on the lips right away,
so at least that hasn't changed.  I don't know why Lorien and I never seem to
discuss how we're going to relate to each other until after e arrives, but by
now it's something of a tradition.  I was a little surprised that Herbie's 4
1/2-year-old daughter ran to me and hugged my legs, but not too much as I had
seen Emma at New Year's and knew the girl loved to hug.  Mindy did not try to
leap into my arms this time, which I appreciate, but did greet me as Lorien
did.  Herbie greeted me, but seemed preoccupied.  I did get a hug from Raidon,
Mindy's youngest brother whom I haven't seen in a while, and from Matthew,
Lorien's younger brother.  Christopher, Herbie's son who's nearly 3-years-old,
seemed preoccupied, but I did finally get a hug and kiss.  I also got a hug
from someone I did not expect to see: Josh, Mindy's cousin who lives in Texas.  
Ironically, Mindy's longtime sother is named Joshua.

The private site is pretty primitive; it's used once or twice a month for full
moons and holidays.  There's minimal electricity, and portable toilets have to
be brought in; four were there when I arrived, which is twice what we had last
year.  By general consensus, two was a low number for the amount of people we
had, as the morning lines last year indicated, although motorhomes had them for
additional "relief."  However, as almost everybody who attended was used to
being out in the woods, they were also used to finding relief out in the
woods.  The portable facilities weren't as needed as might be expected--except
for the "daily movement" which in my case is generally more than daily.

Once again, I didn't bring nor set up my tent.  I haven't set it up in so long
I'm not sure I'd remember how.  My sleeping bag is a very good one, but old,
and has some stains the dry cleaners failed to get out.

I didn't really get to talk to Lorien about "us," or what "us" is, until
later.  Lorien reminded me that Herbie had decided to wait a year and a day
after the death of es wife Lesa before dating again, and that the year and a
day would end at the end of July 16.  They had been boyfriend/girlfriend years
ago.  While that technically left Lorien free to be with me, e didn't feel
comfortable being intimate with me one day, then possibly being with Herbie the
next.  I understood and had actually suspected that, but still felt a little
disappointed.  All right, maybe more than a little.

We had something I haven't seen in a long time: rain.  It started raining
around 7 p.m., and rained hard; I later checked, and we got a hair over two
inches (I learned I got about the same amount at home).  Thank goodness the
pavillion was already up, and on high ground, although we knew ahead of time
the rain might come.

The most significant problem was building a fire; somehow the large fire pit
area didn't get protected by a tarp, probably due to wind, and the area was
wet.  Actually, it was soaked.  We still had dry wood, but the wet ground
wouldn't help.  A fire barrel just isn't the same.

Randy and Jeffery left to return with the rest of their family tomorrow.  We
had something of a bardic circle.  Mindy sang and played guitar, and some of us
sang along.  Some of us recited or read poetry.

I had planned to sleep in my sleeping bag in the pavilion.  The ground was a
little damp but covered, and the pavilion was on high ground.  But as it ended
up only a few of spent the night, so all but Josh and Raidon stayed in the
motorhome.  I slept on my sleeping bag on the floor which wasn't a problem
until Beth got up in the middle of the night and stepped on me.

July 13 (Friday)

Today, the event officially began.

I'm using "event" names here, or perhaps I should say "Grover" names.  Deer
Goose and I did most of the check in at the "Troll Booth," although others
helped including Lunaria and Malachite Grove (formerly Moonstone Grove, a name
which was used before we started calling ourselves "Grovers.")  So in my job as
attendance keeper, below is who attended.  (I'm not using the actual names of
these groups or legal names of attendees, although almost all of these are
names they sometimes or often use.  A couple, though, I think were made up on
the spot.)

All members of The Group attended; these were Laehar Darkboar, Parrot Rose,
Owlian, Deer Goose, Westhill, Thorngirl, Felina, Spidermonkey, Zane, Luna
Bronwen, Verbascum Hare, and junior member Lady Leche.  Parrot Rose, Thorngirl,
Verbascum Hare, Spidermonkey, and Deer Goose all have a part in the wedding
tomorrow.  Deer Goose technically has the least responsibility, but as the
woman who did most of the raising of the bride, has the most emotional
investment.  Deer Goose wanted to keep busy doing something, and was a big help
in check in.  The Spinoff Group (again, not the real group name, but many
members were previously members of The Group which was growing larger than some
members wanted) who attended were Spearguard, Riverelf, Chandala, Mystia,
Lunaria, Malachite Grove, Jade Wave Dancer, Clara Kindle, Bluemoon Dolphin
Child, and Xandra "Xandy" (some of whom are junior or associate members). The
Tertiary Group (some former members of the first two groups) had Cassandra
Annwnn, Celestine Hvergelmir, Elric Ra, Mortal Wolf, Naryu Mountainhawk, Tara
Gwyneth, Trorry Gaia Avalon, and Willow Butterfly.  I'm not actually certain if
Arlina, who previously belonged to The Group, is still a member of The Tertiary
Group or not, but Arlina was there, although Crystal Vale, who unfortunately
wasn't feeling well, wasn't.

In addition to some of the above, wedding party members who attended included
the bride Gatina and groom Urso Negro, although they didn't spend the night.  
They had a handfastening ceremony a while back that lasted a year and a day,
then decided to make it permanent.  For the benefit of relatives who don't
understand pagan concepts, especially the groom's family, they decided to call
this a wedding instead of a lifelong handfastening.  In addition to Thorngirl
and Verbascum Hare, bridesmaid Cerridwyn Dragonfhain attended.  None of the
groomsmen attended which surprised me, but usher Psyche Rune did.  The best man
and matron of honor didn't attend because there wasn't any best man or matron
of honor.  In a break with tradition, the bride and groom decided to treat all
their attendants equally.

Others who did attend included Artariel, Sennyoko, Mystario, Meadowhawk,
Enchantric, Banbi, Dylan Ton, Charissa, Deirdre, Emerald Fox, Gazella,
Gunmetal, Fire Hawk, Phoenix Morgaine, Herculius, Rowan Morgan, Mouse Slider,
Turtlewax, and Raijin.  That's not counting non-humans of which we had an
abundance.

It was a little more organized that the first such event held about a year ago,
but was still pretty informal.  A few attendees wore masks for part of the
event, but even fewer than last time, and they weren't common then.  As before,
a definite majority wore traditional Gardnerian garb.

We had a couple of actual vendors, although the rule as before was that
essential items (bottled water, sunscreen, etc.) could be sold at cost
(including transportation cost) but not for profit.  Even though there were
slightly fewer people attending than last year, there were more interested in
the Pagan/Wiccan workshop taught by High Priestess Artariel and High Priest
Laehar Darkboar (not of the same coven).  A dance workshop was taught by, not
surprisingly, Jade Wave Dancer.  Unfortunately, we didn't have as many
bellydancers as last year, but things still went well.  We also had a body
painting workshop led by Turtlewax, who was told to be in no hurry coming up
with an "official" Grover name.

With Artariel and Lady Leche respectively Queen and Princesss of the
Cloved
Lemon Kissing Game, cloved lemons and a cloved yellow apple (for the
Discordians) got passed around.  I frankly got relatively few kisses and those
were from the expected, although I did verify that Lorien's avoiding too much
intimacy did not restrict es tongue.  I did get a little peck from Emma which
was sweet.

I was allowed to do more photography than last time, although the vast majority
of it will not be made public for privacy reasons.  Not only do a number of
people need to keep their Pagan/
Wiccan/Discordian/SubGenius identities separate
from their legal identities, there have been some threats made against some of
the attendees.  As far as I know, only one person attended both the SubGenius
X-Day and this event, fewer than last year.  Fortunately, unlike this time last
year, I am not dealing with death threats or a nearby neighbor's house burning
down and another one exploding.  Last year I had friends who feared my going
back home, and I must admit I was a little nervous too.

The new moon, a partial summer solstice (not visible here), and Friday the 13th
more or less overlapped, which some attendees found quite significant.  The
bonfire in the evening was actually easier to get going that I had feared due
to the rain we had yesterday, but the wood and starter had been kept dry.  I am
still not comfortable with the practice of leaping over the fire, but can't
really stop people from doing it.  There was actually a borderline issue of
having a fire during this hot dry time, but it had just rained and our
participants included a high-ranking police officer and a volunteer
firefighter, so we were covered.

The evening ceremony was led by High Priest Spearguard and High Priestess
Riverelf.  Nothing was planned overall after that, but the members of The Group
did meet to consider elevating Lady Leche from junior to full member.  E had
actually qualified back in May, but too many members had been absent to make a
decision.  So today, the group did: Lady Leche will be elevated to full member
later this month.  The deciders then joined the others for dancing and music
and whatever people felt like doing.

I tried going to sleep earlier than usual because of tomorrow's wedding, but it
didn't work all that well.

Most people in the wedding party did not spend the night, although I know
Thorngirl did.  We ironically were sending electronic messages to each other
when we were only a few yards apart.  I suppose that means I've now officially
entered the 21st century.

Switching back to mundane aliases, I ended up sleeping in the motorhome on my
sleeping bag on the floor again.  Also in the home were Lorien, Mindy, Herbie,
Emma, Christopher, Josh, and Raidon, so it was fairly crowded.  The latter two
could use a lesson in discretion.
Copyright 2018 by The Loveshade Family
Harmony
HaRmOnYs
DiArY!
Read Lorien's
version of
July 12 + 13 2018
Traditional
Gardnerian garb?
Gardner's tradition is
skyclad or naked! lol
A handfastening is
more flexible than a
wedding. It can be a
year and a day or as
long as you both
shall love or a
lifetime or whatever
you want.
You can read my
version but Harmony
said I could make
comment on his
version.
;)  *Lorien*
Harmony thought I
wouldn't give em a
huggie and kissie? I
always do!
I use the motorhome.
I'm really sorry
Harmony! I know its
been hard on all of
us especially you.
I didn't know Beth
stepped oh
Harmony! lol
I keep attendance at
school but dont have
that many students to
keep track of! lol
Read Lorien's
version of
July 12 + 13 2018
Traditional
Gardnerian garb?
Gardner's tradition is
skyclad or naked! lol
Turtlewax taught
bodypainting with a
paintbrush. Some
people in Texas do it
with fingerpainting!
Last year everybody
was worried about
Harmony. Somebody
threatened to kill him
and then es
neighbor's homes
were burned down!
"I did verify that
Lorien's avoiding too
much intimacy did
not restrict es
tongue." Harmony
can make anything
sound scientific! lol
Riverelf and
Spearguard did a
great job. And
congratulations to
Lady Leche!