I never thought I would say that catching cold would be worth it, but in this rare occasion I would have to say that is the case.
A few weeks back I learned that there was going to be a "Christmas at Clayville" event, and was delighted to learn that they would like to have a storyteller.
What made this so important, and why I was happy to volunteer for it, was that historical Clayville has literally been "risen from the dead" after years of neglect. (For more on this remarkable storyt go to :http://www.pleasantplainsil.org/ClayvilleNews.html.)
And in truth the planners didn't think this even would happen till next year, but by some miracle they pulled it off beautifully.
The restored buildings were decorated by several high school groups, and looked lovely.
When I arrived I was shown to their one working fireplace in the main inn(Clayville having been a stagecoach stop at one point), and presented with a restored rocking chair. It was from there that I performed such stories as "The Bear Trainer and his Cat," and "The Christmas Spider." (All the while grateful that my civil war dress could fit over heavy clothes, and tha a friend had brought me a blanket, since there was no other heat.)
But it was also there that I heard the stories of the volunteers, and of the descendants of those involved with Clayville's long history, and of the plans for the future.
And also got to be a small part of the joy that filled that room as the volunteers realized a dream come true.
Cold or no cold I wouldn't have missed it for all the world. It was indeed a rare Christmas gift.
I am a Springfield, IL based storyteller with a fascination for how folklore travels, and for history.