I was out for a walk the next day with my other mother and described the event and said I need to go. She replied of course and then asked me whose house it was at. I said Ute's... in Ashland... to which she replied you're kidding right and I said no, I'm going and she said to Ashland, you were just there and I said I know and I'm going and she said no you're not, you're kidding and I said I am not kidding. I am going to Ashland and she said - LOL - you can't afford it and I said actually I can. It was a fun conversation. Almost as fun as...
... the one that goes you're driving... alone... all by yourself... to a foreign country... all by yourself... IN WINTER ? ? ? Let me say that it is entirely possible and a whole lot of fun to drive somewhere all by yourself - even in winter - even in a "foreign" country - even if you are a woman - alone - and have an amazingly good time. It's a delightful adventure. I highly recommend it.
The get-together was at my friend Ute's house. When I received the invite, I knew that I'd know most of the women who would be there and I wanted to surprise them so I told only Claire, Sheri, and Diane that I was coming. I got a great giggle when I talked to Ute just before I left and she told me about the get-together. When I said oh, that sounds wonderful. I wish I could come, I was laughing inside because I actually WAS going to be there. Too fun. When Ute opened the door and saw me standing there, she was stunned and so was...
... Susan from The Smuggler's Daughter. She'd only a few minutes earlier sent me a message saying she'd like to see the dress and did I have a picture and there I was - standing in front of her - wearing the dress. I'd been giggling over that too. Wanting to wear it was the reason for getting it done first before the Challenge Project.
Sheri is the friend that I'm doing the Challenge Project with. When I phoned and asked if we could work on it together in her studio, she was thrilled by the idea so after I left Claire's house in Seattle, I headed more south than east to Sheri's house which is why I said east-ish - because I couldn't lie. The personal reasons she needed to remain blogless for were my own. I knew that several of the women who would be at the get together read my blog and if I'd actually said I was going to be in Eugene, they'd may have wondered what was up. I didn't want anyone to know that I was that close by just in case. And it worked. They were surprised.
I've spent the last week sewing with my friend Sheri and we've had a DELIGHTFUL time. Not only is her husband an amazing cook who wants me to please stay out of his kitchen and slides yummy delicacies under my nose every evening, Sheri allowed me to share not only her space but some of my fitting tricks with her along with the step-by-step process I use for most of my creating. We also did some eco-friendly dying with silk and leaves. She made a fabulous student and I loved "teaching".
Ashland - where the get-together was - is about two and a half hours from Sheri's house so we decided to stay overnight in a B & B that turned out to be a living musem. Many of the pieces were well over a hundred years old and still functional. My bedroom was delightful - complete with a dressform. The beds...
... were so high that we needed a stool to climb in... and very comfortable. After dinner, back at the B & B, we changed into our jammies, climbed up onto our beds and journalled, read, drew, or knit. This is an "old lady" pyjama party. No giggles and bouncing on the beds. Insead - LOL - each to our own rooms to enjoy the silence.
Yesterday was my next coaching session which was coincidentally perfect. Diane - my coach - initiated the get-together at Ute's and everyone that attended has been in one or more of her workshops. Instead of RSVP-ing to Ute, I'd told Diane that Sheri and I were coming and there'd be two more and - because being in Ashland meant that I could meet with her in person - we set up a time for our session.
This coaching has come at the exact right time in my life and it's having a tremendous impact. I'm enjoying our phone sessions BUT... it was so wonderful to talk face-to-face. She gave me my next assignment - a collage- and my mind is buzzing with what to include and intrigued to hear what she discovers about me in the collage that I may not know myself. Collages are like that. I've given this assignment to many of my students and they are a fabulous way to learn about yourself.
This has been an amazing holiday - just the break I needed - and I'm so thankful to my friends for letting me stay in their homes and for the opportunity, though brief, to spend time with many of my Ashland friends. The company and the conversation have been a real balm for my soul. And now it's time to go home.
I'm starting back today but probably won't arrive until sometime tomorrow as I don't want to drive over the mountain in the dark especially as Howard says it's been warmer lower down and freezing higher up and there is a lot of ice. Ice is much better managed in the daylight.... which means I won't start over until mid morning tomorrow... which means I'll have time to stop at a few second hand stores on the way home... to look for magazines... to cut up for the collage... and perhaps a few other things too... like the perfect coffee table for covering with buttons. You never know.
There won't be a posting tomorrow. When I get home, I'll post more progress on the Challenge Project and two really neat tools I've brought back with me, one for sewing and one for knitting.
Talk soon - Myrna
Grateful - a perfect holiday
Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow.
- Anita Desai