Monday, September 26, 2011

Changes - Think of the David Bowie song while reading this

The last day of summer 2011 was a few days back and it only took one day for the weather to change to the "normal" northwest fall.  Blustery winds, grey skies, and rain.  Oh the normalcy of it all!  It's good to be back in our Vancouver house and see how our yard has changed over the past few years.  It's amazing how quickly things grow.

This red maple in our front yard started out around three feet tall nine years ago and here it is today.

It's also good to be around some old friends.  Last Saturday, our neighbors Dave and Floreen Clark, had a mystery welcome home dinner at their house.  This is a role playing who-done-it murder mystery that includes dinner, mayhem, and wine...of course.  Bill and Jackie Woods, and Shane and Duane Yokum rounded out the group.

Of course there are more changes occurring in our family.  Our oldest son, Nathan, graduated from nursing school last December and accepted a position at St. Joseph's Hospital in Tacoma, Washington (about two hours north of our Vancouver house).  Here Nathan is driving a UHAUL truck with his family's belongings to their new home in Tacoma.

I'm reminded that Changes are always around us and is an important constant in our lives.  Just like the weather, growing things, and the good people around us.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

One, Two, Three, and More Art Shows To Go

 It's been roughly a month since we've returned from Florida, and last Thursday night we headed south to California on one of our many art fair excursions.  We stopped just south of Medford, Oregon to spend the night before heading into the Lafayette area for our next show.  I woke up about five AM and rousted Mackie and the schnauzers from bed and off we headed down Interstate 5 in search of our next adventure.

We topped Siskiyou Summit and headed into California.  Yep, that's the thermometer inside our Dodge Pickup reading 39 degrees - I love the fall in the northwest.  Crisp mornings and warm afternoons.  It's tough to beat!  On we go to the California Inspection station.

"Do you have any fresh fruit or plants" asked the state attendant?

"No" I replied.

"What's in the trailer?" she asked.

"Artwork" I replied.

She looked back down to her book and said, "move along".

The California inspection station has always been a mystery to me for over 25 years.  They pay state employees to sit in booths at every entry point that I've ever been on to ask those same questions.  I've never seen them stop someone.

Mackie, my lovely wife next to the truck, our good friend Judy, along with Sophie and Sherman by our truck.  It's all about the parking at any art show, and us professionals are always trying to jockey our rigs around to the closest possible spot to our booth.  The shorter the distance the easier to set up and tear down.  A few days later we were able to move our truck up the street and turn it around during the evening. This probably saved us about 30 minutes during our tear down Sunday evening.

One of my new creations bogarted Mackie's coffee and wouldn't give it back.  The brand shall remain nameless, but the white cup with the green mermaid should give it away!

One more show down and a million more to go.