Homestead Hollow – a place in Springville, Alabama that hosts a fall and spring festival of arts and crafts that sexually deprived middle aged women spend months and months painting and weaving and soap making in the name of the Lord for. It is littered strategically with (still standing?) cabins and barns and stuff from the old days but with the delicate additions of electricity and paid actors. It’s incredible. I probably go every year now that I think about it. My mom and nana are really into it but I’m not sure if it’s due to the quality content or family tradition. Anyway, I took my husband this year because he hadn’t experienced it in over ten years and quite frankly, he wanted fudge but he wasn’t going to get it without the experience.
I have had nothing but weird experiences in Springville. To be vague and non inclusive because I refuse to elaborate at this moment, my favorite ones include the poorly chosen decorative boulders, the haunting of the hand drawn Ronald Reagan, aliens landing on the earth and the cat plate that ruined my life because I can’t find it anywhere and I need it. This is the land of Homestead Hollow.
We arrive and are promptly greeted by child laborers. There’s nothing more sweet or gut wrenching to see ten year olds guide you into a small-car-only parking spot with those stubby fingers and dead eyes. Oh… you kids. You deserve so much more than this. The short walk to the entrance ends with two lines donned, fittingly, cash or check and debit or credit. It’s a dark omen for what awaits you, the muddy waters between you and that special hand made something that you could definitely live without: cash or credit. As a millennial, I carry little to absolutely no cash. I work at a bank. Cash is gross and a huge risk and I would just rather have my plastic card and imaginary money, Springville, please just let me trade goods with you the way that the rest of the world allows me to (I say this as people in bonnets are boiling lye for soap 20 feet away from me).
I was very excited to see the glass blower and the gnome lady this year but neither of them were there to tell me that they only took cash. Instead, a multitude of booths featuring initialized tin pumpkins, wooden things screaming happy fall y’all! and the horrifyingly early Christmas decor. We found the fudge. Cash only. I found 9 dollars in my purse.
Getting hungry. The options are terrifying. Deep fried Oreos, deep fried moon pies, deep fried ribbon fries, deep fried funnel cakes, deep fried corn dogs, deep fried barbecue, deep fried beans, deep fried greens, deep fried soda and lastly, tacos. (Hahaha yeah that one threw me off too.) We did not eat.
We entered Pop’s General Store and scored some free samples of jams and salsa. It was delicious. Found the best Dutch Apple Jam of my life. Wanted it. Cash only. Spent the last of my found fortune on that. Losing steam. Watched a blacksmith make an iron feather and an adult bully insult him for 2 minutes. Watched a strange plethora of weird kids try to feel something in the cabins from 1800. We’re ready to go. The honey people bunk up on the hill every year and I took Jordan to see the bees. He wanted some honey (this man loves honey and I don’t get it, honey isn’t even that good) but we were out of cash but the hillbillies took checks so I found one of those in my purse too. Another child laborer took the check. Did he just make an $8 profit?
We will never know.