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October, 2007. This was a most enjoyable weekend. Not that we won both days. We didn't. We won on Saturday, but as Craig always says, that's the one that counts, because you can finish the weekend knowing it wasn't a long, wasted drive and money down the drain. Sunday, it's great if you win, but the pressure is off. Which is probably why we usually lose on Sunday.
Canton is about 45 miles from Tyler. The drive was easy, by way of highways 35 and 20, with no construction or wrecks to speak of. We got to the site at about four o'clock in the afternoon. The weather was beautiful, cool and bright.
The parking lot at this site is cramped, but the show facility is wonderful, at least in cool weather. It is clean and spacious, and there were so many big bay doors, all open, that the feeling was that you were outside. The breeze blew all the way through. I set up our camp quickly and we got back on the road.
I'd had a great idea. Tyler is the rose capital of Texas. In fact, Tyler vies with Portland and Shreveport and a few other cities to be the rose capital of the United States. So my thought was that we would see the Tyler Municipal Rose Garden on this trip.
I had taken the precaution of emailing the director of the garden to see if we could bring a small dog on a leash. He had graciously replied that this would be fine. I printed the email and had it in the glove compartment.
We were going to stay in Tyler Friday night and in Canton on Saturday. We were supposed to show late Saturday morning, so we planned to get to the rose garden when it opened at eight, stay about an hour, and get to Canton before ten.
The garden is a worthwhile stop. It is not the kind of garden we make pilgrimage to; those are the great walled gardens of the British Isles. Not even Biltmore is in that class. This is, rather, a display of specimen plants, named roses of all kinds, all groomed and cultivated to perfection.
It is a typically American display to the passerby, not a world unto itself at all. Nowhere could I point the camera without a plain view of the workman-like buildings of the rose center, or the busy main street of town, or the residential street that ran along the third side, or the yard on the fourth side where tall stacks of fertilizer, mulch and soil additives declared what a major project it would be to maintain a rose collection of this size. So I kept my eyes down and blinkered, as it were, to photograph the row on row of blazing color and dense, hedge-like foliage.
A nice little "idea garden" was landscaped with easy-to-grow plants that look good and don't require too much water. We saw that last, mainly because it was there that Weegie spied a pile of possum scat and did a face plant before I could react. I yelled and yanked her off, but not before she strewed a brown stripe across her ruff.
Craig is the groomer. He looked around for a hose, and when he couldn't find one, he dragged her over to a rainbird spinkler and held her under it. Time to leave for Canton.
Back at the show site, I passed time in the vendors' booths while Craig worked on Weegie. We showed well and picked up two points. That brought us up to 13.
It occurred to me that if we won on Sunday, we'd be finished. I wasn't sure I wanted that to happen. I wanted to finish in Austin, where we started out, and at home. Do you suppose that's why we lost Sunday? I certainly didn't lose on purpose. It's amazing the way my attitude seems to affect our outcome. How does that work?
The picture of Weegie at the top of the right column above is the picture from Canton. It is the best show picture I have of her.