Thursday, May 07, 2015

Looking back, looking ahead...

I am in the passenger seat. Ray is driving and we are out at the dry end of the Columbia River Gorge. Soon we will head up that hill that takes us from the river and out into the desert that comprises the greater part of Oregon, but I am thinking of it as the beginning of the rest of America. Hour three of a 37-day journey. But more about that later.

Last week the international Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) met for their national conference in Portland. It was a great opportunity to connect in a bigger way with my professional organization. I met lots of formerly virtual friends, altogether new friends and reconnected with old friends. We heard some good (and not so good) talks and panels and study sessions, hung out, ate, drank, played and absorbed generally good stuff all the way around. It is a good organization. Conference photos are almost hilariously boring, but here are a few anyway.

Backs of heads and PowerPoint

 

Backs of heads and PowerPoint, but look—that's me on the screen! (Really good presentation by Sue Reno. I was a happy contributor...)

 

Finally got to meet Lisa Flowers Ross, whose blog and art I have enjoyed for years.

On the afternoon designated for exploring Portland, I had the pleasure of introducing these lovely women to some of Portland's best fabric stores. We locals appreciate their contributions to the Portland economy!

My small piece, "At the Market", donated for the silent auction, brought a great price, which pleases me immensely, both for the benefit to the organization, but mostly the relief that it did not sit, sadly unbidden upon. My worst silent auction nightmare—so embarrassing.

The people, people, people part of these affairs is exhausting, but also exhilarating and inspiring. Still, it was really nice to drive away on Sunday and go home to my family and our celebration of Ray's birthday. Then, after everyone left, I sat for awhile in the calm and quiet of home and it was the best moment.

And now, several days later, we are off to "look for America". Over the years we have travelled to cities and destinations across the country, but seldom by car, and especially east of the Rocky Mountains. I have a desire to see how it all connects on the ground—the inbetween parts—small town attractions, countryside, crops and weather. I have a secret desire to track down the biggest ball of string in America, but I expect the things we didn't even know to look for might be the most interesting.

 

And so it goes...

 

18 comments:

  1. I wish you a wonderful and enlightening trip. It's time you "see the USA" by land. I've been fortunate to have been across the entire country, including Alaska & Hawaii. It's all wonderful. Since you are curious and inquisitive you will see much to enjoy. I hope you will be writing to us along the way to share your insights. Rest and enjoy.

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  2. I hope you both have a safe and wonderful journey full of nice surprises and appreciation for this great land of ours! My husband and I have driven twice from New Orleans to Portland and enjoyed it tremendously! Travel safe!
    Oh, and so glad your piece sold!

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  3. traveler envy setting in!

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  4. Happy trails! I look forward to following along...

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  5. Hi, it is fun to connect the dots, traveling to see how things fit together. After my husband died, I decided to do what we were going to do together. I bought a travel trailer and set off with my two cats for almost three years, traveling around the nation twice. There are only three states that I have not visited - California, Oregon and Washington - and I intend to visit them soon. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I'm in NYC now. Another desire because when we lived here before, our professional lives were pretty much filled 24/7. Now I am doing all those things I didn't have an opportunity to do before.

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  6. so jealous! have a great trip. Can't wait to be an armchair traveler with you.

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  7. Anonymous11:01 PM

    Terry!
    Will you be traveling to Pittsburgh, Pa?
    -Louise (formally from PDX)

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  8. Oh, what an adventure! Have a wonderful time and hope you see wonders and curiousities at every turn!

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  9. I love car travel! You'll have a marvelous time. Be safe and, may I make a suggestion? We've had fun keeping a list of all the interesting town names we've passed on the road, like Joobaland....

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  10. On my last trip by car across the country, my most surprising states were Utah and Iowa, both gorgeous in entirely different ways. We unfortunately didn't take enough time, were in a hurry to get across. I'm envious of looking for that largest ball of string! Have a wonderful trip-

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  11. What a wonderful adventure. I envy you. I hope that you will share with us along the way. Vicarious is better than nought.

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  12. You can use this website http://www.roadsideamerica.com/ to find not only the biggest ball of string, but the largest pecan, the largest painting, etc. My husband and I used it and found also The museum with the largest collection of the smallest replicas of the largest things in America, such as the largest ball of string. Have fun.

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  13. On our cross country trip we skipped the big ball of string in favor of Prairie Dog Town. We should have gone to see the string.

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  14. A friend and I had great plans for our "old age". We were going to tour the country and visit and take a "selfie" with the biggest ball of string etc. Your words brought that sweet memory back to me. No longer my friend, I miss the trip we will never take. Have a wonderful time and find that ball of string!!!!!

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  15. I very much like your At The Market piece. There's something so pleasing about the lines of stitching. Enjoy your travels. Hope you post of your adventures. I always enjoy your observations.

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  16. I so much like your "At the Market" piece that I am almost amused at your nervousness. Also, I saw it on the purchaser's blog earlier. She bought "an even dozen" and of the two she showed, one was yours.

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  17. It was great to see you at the conference, and thanks again for helping me out with my presentation. I'm sure you will have wonderful adventures, best wishes for safe travels!

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