Saturday, July 25, 2009

The calm before the storm

I have come to the end of my trip to South Dakota and am feeling sentimental about it already. In some ways it feels like I've only just got here and in others I can hardly remember being anywhere else.

I suppose that's what happens when you arrive somewhere and set straight to work. I flew in the night of the 9th. My plane got into Omaha, NE at about midnight, central time and Susan and her boys were there to pick me up and drive the 2 hours back to Vermillion, SD. Needless to say we were all very tired. The next day we headed down to the Vermillion Area Arts Council (VAAC) to start organizing for the children's art camp that was set to start the following Monday. There was much cleaning and setting up to do- plus we had to screen print all of the t-shirts for the kids.

At home Susan has 2 boys of her own, Kenyan and Kaleb who have grown very tall since last I saw them! Her husband, Mark, has three girls, Drew, Dylan and Dawson. Drew is away at college so I've yet to meet her. There are also 2 dogs, Gus and Pup. Life here at the Hegdablu home is just as I expected, crazy but kind.

As I write this camp has already finished and I just mailed back a couple boxes of treasures back to Sodus where I'll be staying for a few days after I fly back tomorrow. I'll post more about my adventures in Vermillion then. For now I'm going to linger over my last moments and try to soak in the last minutes of vacation.

Until soon.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Frank McCourt: 19 August 1930 – 19 July 2009

One of my favorite writers passed today. News that saddened me a great deal. I am thankful though that such a man lived and was able to tell the tales he did. If you have not read Angela's Ashes, you really must- you owe it to yourself.

NEW YORK (AP) — Frank McCourt, author of "Angela's Ashes," the Pulitzer Prize-winning "epic of woe" about his impoverished Irish childhood, died Sunday. He was 78.

McCourt had been gravely ill with meningitis and recently was treated for melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer and the cause of his death, said his publisher, Scribner. He died at a Manhattan hospice, his brother Malachy McCourt said.

Until his mid-60s, Frank McCourt was known primarily around New York as a creative writing teacher and as a local character — the kind who might turn up in a New York novel — singing songs and telling stories with his younger brother Malachy and otherwise joining the crowds at the White Horse Tavern and other literary hangouts.

The world learned his name, and story, in 1996, after a friend helped him get an agent and his then-unfinished manuscript was quickly signed by Scribner. "Angela's Ashes" was an instant favorite with critics and readers and perhaps the ultimate case of the non-celebrity memoir, the extraordinary life of an ordinary man.

The book has been published in 25 languages and 30 countries.

McCourt, a native of New York, was good company in the classroom and at the bar, but few had such a burden to unload. His parents were so poor that they returned to their native Ireland when he was little and settled in the slums of Limerick. Simply surviving his childhood was a tale; McCourt's father was an alcoholic who drank up the little money his family had. Three of

Saturday, July 11, 2009

My Thirtieth Birthday

Thanks to everyone who came out to make it a special day. That's me and my Mom, her birthday is just a few days after mine so we always celebrate together. Big smiles courtesy of a couple martinis!

A HUGE thanks is owed to my dear friends Cait and Marla (below) who hosted my party.

Marla made this incredible vegan strawberry cake for me, sooooo good!

Hearts for Mary: Results

Long overdue post... The kids were so sweet and they really got into playing around with the different materials. They don't hesitate the way adults will- they don't have so much fear of being "wrong."

I provided everyone with small 6"x6" boxes- I wanted them to have a framework to build from.

This one was really hard to photograph- the little boy who made it put a lot of time into it. I love that he flipped the box on its back and made it even more sculptural.

Mine is on the left, one of the volunteers made the one on the right and the middle was a girl of about 10. It's a little box that opens up to find yet another heart inside, very sweet.