The beater and I are back in Chicago. It was a very, very fine trip, if a bit physically exhausting. Five consecutive days of driving was a bit much. On the last leg of the way home, across western Ohio and Indiana, I kept recalling a comment that was made about this being a solo trip, and how untrue that is. I was also marveling at the enormous kindness I encountered the entire way. The fact that I was so impressed made me realize that a larger journey is still in progress, that I am still slowly moving out from under the long shadow of the past few years of concentrated negativity and ill will. Still. And so, I want to acknowledge these folks for giving me the gift of even more support than they knew:
First, thanks to Dave Reina for his utterly thorough (and zealous) restoration of the beater, his good company, and for treating a small-potatoes, DIY-type, strapped-for-cash artist client with just as much (maybe even more) friendliness and courtesy as the big-budgeted institutions he deals with regularly. He cheerfully gave me an entire Sunday, and it was an easy, relaxed, highly enjoyable and informative day; I felt like I was hanging out and working along with someone I had known for years and years.
Dave ‘signing’ the beater – signature below.
Thanks to Shannon at Carriage House for coming in on her busy Sunday to get my small pick-up order ready, and to give me some advice on some of the materials.
Thanks to Tana and Ann at Women’s Studio Workshop, who, when I said I’d like to stop by on my road trip, generously offered me WSW’s hospitality. I had a fine time and excellent conversation at dinner with them; the fact that I’d never been to the great local restaurant made me admit, “I think I was in shock when I was here last summer,” and to realize how much that was true, in hindsight. I had more fun talking to Kristen and Terez and current residents. It was wonderful to have the comfortable, peaceful surroundings of WSW as a resting place, bookending the drives into and out of NYC – in addition to the pleasure of getting to visit one of my favorite places on the planet and seeing some intriguing work in progress.
WSW Paper Studio orchids
Thanks to the Smiths in Cleveland, for their fine hospitality, for offering me their spare room, and also for encouraging (and convincing) me to slow down and break the trip into a much easier pace. I am so very glad that I did, and that I got to spend time with them.
Thanks to Cindy for her easy patience with my constantly-fluctuating, unpredictable non-schedule, for rearranging hers so we could have time together, and for saying, “If I’m not home, the key is [here] – just go on in, take a nap, whatever you need.” I didn’t take her up on it, but those words had an impact; and they began to truly trigger the reverie that had begun lurking in my consciousness at WSW.
Frozen Lake Erie on a warm spring-like day.
Thanks to Tom and the fine folks at the Morgan Conservatory for their enthusiasm, friendliness and compliments and shared excitement over future ideas – and for insisting on packing me a road lunch!
And on the home front, thanks to Paul for so very, very many things, but in this context: for helping me get off to a good start, for dealing with the fridge-removal folks, for installing a dedicated electrical line for the beater with his friend Pat, who I also thank; and more thanks to Paul and his friend Kurt for their help in moving the guillotine, and tonight, just a few moments ago, carefully wrestling the bronze tub assembly down into the basement. It wasn’t easy.
I am a very, very lucky woman.