It seems like it has been forever since my last blog post but in reality, it’s only been about 2 weeks. When all is quiet on the blog, you can be sure that there’s a lot going on for us and I simply can’t get on the computer or organize my thoughts enough for a semi-intelligent post. Anyway, I guess I have to back up a bit to let you in on the story- to Saturday, April 21. That morning a friend of ours (E) was coming over for some packaging help on a product she makes from her family’s apiary operation. I received a phone call from her about 1/2 hr. before she was to be at our house, she was over at another friend’s house, the director of our local arts group, as our director friend had just had a medical emergency. E was getting things ready for the artist. I was totally confused (“What artist? What are you talking about?”) and then she proceeded to ask if the boys were coming over for the photography class. Suddenly, in my head, I could see the orange piece of paper I had received in the mail about the class weeks earlier and the conversation I had had with the director- it all came back to me at that very moment! Oh My Gosh- the kids needed to be somewhere in 30 minutes!!! I had completely and utterly forgotten what I had signed them up to do- for the next 8 days! What a yucky feeling as we scrambled around the house, made two lunches, tossed everyone in the car and broke all speed limit rules to get to the first day of class on time.
The photography class for students ages 13-18, sponsored in part by our rural arts group and by our state’s museum of art, brought to our little town an internationally known photographer from Argentina, Guillermo Srodek-Hart. As we stood waiting for Guillermo to drive to town for the class, utter chaos ensued- no one knowing what was going on as the only person who did know was in the hospital 60 miles away. The biggest unknown was what to do with Guillermo as he was planning to stay with our director and her husband at their house all week. Well, that now seemed a bit unrealistic and inconvenient so my husband offered to let Guillermo stay with us- and the poor guy, not knowing what else to do or where else to go- accepted. He took it all in stride, the 4 kids, the giant naughty dog, the house with little privacy, one bathroom, the eleven cats . . . .
(Instead of coffee, Guillermo drank something called Mata, which is spelled wrong, by the way! It is like tea but stronger and more flavorful, served in a gourd wrapped in leather. A special metal straw which filters the tea leaves is used to drink the morning ritual)
The kids’ week was awesome, it involved a ton of photo taking, editing and attending class and field trips- they loved it. My week involved driving people to and from class, cleaning up the house, keeping the kids in clean clothes, attempting to get the lawn mowed with the push mower (big mower hasn’t come out yet), keeping the dog from eating the ducks, getting the kids on the piano- at least a bit, and meal planning, shopping and cooking and playing hostess. EXHAUSTION! It was insanity and by Sunday when all was quiet, Guillermo onto Chicago, I napped- with NO guilt. Then, unfortunately, on Monday, I broke Organization Rule 1: I had two appointments in town- grrrrr! So today, Tuesday, we are back to our happy, quiet reality and I’m finally back to the blog! All in all, it was a great adventure. We learned so much about another culture completely different than our own, met a wonderful person, and the kids had a fantastic time. If you are so inclined, the students work will be exhibited at the Pekin Days Art Show in June. You should check it out- I think you’ll be surprised!
(Late night cooking elk steak. Guillermo – who has a cattle/sheep ranch- was in charge of the meat, hubby was in charge of refreshments (aka scotch) and I was in charge of salad and making chimichurri sauce. We had a few late night meals sitting up talking and enjoying a bottle of vino!)