Wednesday, August 1, 2012

CREATE, Recreate, & Road Trip!

 ROAD TRIP!  Gotta tell you when I expressed my dismay at schlepping my truck load o' mixed media art supplies and "stuff" to be a vendor at the 1st CREATE retreat in NJ all by myself, I was shocked that my 13 year old son said, "Mom, I'll come help you; it will be fun."   "Dude, it's a 4 hour drive, and being my personal Sherpa, and being nice to old ladies like me.  Ya sure?"   "Do we get to stay in a hotel?"  "Yes."  "Do they have a pool and a jacuzzi? Can we order room service? And watch movies until midnight?"  "Yes, son, but no room service, the food is always cold; but we can eat at the restaurant downstairs."  "OK, count me in!"

 So off , we went!  Me being VERY mindful of making it fun, when I was the one doing all the driving.
Especially when a tractor trailer overturned on the NJ turnpike.  Happily thanks to modern technology, (bless you oh Traffic App!) we took a bucolic alternate route and arrived in fine time.  Got checked in, met some new pals at the show. Chatted up the College Closet folks and author Seth Apter (who I had recently met at Judith Heartsong's This Way Up Art Salon.  Gave away door prizes to the happy mother daughter pair below who had flown in from Europe for the event: WOW!  Got to meet the staff from Cloth, Paper, Scissors Magazine, awesome ladies all.  Was especially tickled to meet Editor Jenn Mason, who encouraged me to submit to the magazine!  As I have always threatened to submit, it was thrilling to have an unsolicited compliment!
 Not so fun? The tepid Jacuzzi and Monty Python-like Championship Hotel Hallway Door Slamming Event that went on until 2 am.   Way fun?  My son convincing me that "The X-Men" counted as a fine movie SERIES to stay up all night and watch, while the doors slammed and toddlers wailed outside until 2 am.  Even more exciting? Knowing Bob was holding down the fort back at the shop so I could make some new connections.                 Unforgettable?  Our non-stop conversation there, during, and back.  It's heartening to know that  you are raising a kid that you not only love but actually like

We talked about the funky carpet pattern and how it was all different yet connected.  Like people.  That knowledge was tested when we returned home and were told the terrible news that a beloved friend had committed suicide.  After a week of numb disbelief we tearfully attended his funeral and now pray daily for all of the people that love Mark to gather strength to face another day. 
Including us.