Monday, March 3, 2008
Leaving Vermont and then Home Again, Home Again
The last few days in Vermont went by so quickly! Wednesday was my last day to paint and I put color down on four paintings. Ok, they were very small panels, but still. I sat in my studio BBQ chair (you know, those white plastic lawn chairs?) at my easel all day and by dinner I was all stiff and sore to prove it. That evening was the final Open Studio and it was so much fun! I thoroughly enjoyed wandering through all of the studios and seeing what everyone had accomplished. Afterwards, there was a hat party in the resident's lounge, and even though I did not make myself a hat went anyway. I am such a non-conformist. Heh. But it was fun and I was feeling particularly social after basically finishing up my work for the month so I stayed out rather late.
I spent Thursday morning packing up my studio, and after finishing up, I was sorely tempted to just get in my car and drive home that day. However, I decided to stick around. I thought it would be nice to just hang around for the day and not feel compelled to work in the studio. So I went to the bookstore in town and bought a bunch of books for my kids, and to the maple store to buy a few jugs of maple syrup. And then I went to my room and finished reading The Ha-Ha. I loved that book, by the way, and highly recommend it. It seemed perfect to finish it on my last day in Vermont.
Oddly, I cannot recall what was served for our last dinner, however it was surely good, as most of the meals were for the entire month. There weren't even any repeats! We all lingered after, chatting and not wanting the evening to end. Later on a bunch of us went to The Hub, the local bar/pizza place and then we all eventually ended up down in the resident's lounge again. There was a wicked drinking game of "I Never" and many secrets were shared publicly, though some of it was probably bullshit too. I have to admit that I have never had sex in an elevator, even though I did imply that I had. Um, by drinking my water after I said I had. Guess I got caught up in the fun.
Anyway, I went to bed way too late and then woke up way too early, anxious to get home all of a sudden. The temperature had really dropped overnight, but luckily my car (unlike some of the others) started right up even if some of the car doors were frozen shut. After loading up the rest of my belongings, I went in to have breakfast.
And the goodbyes! I had said a few the previous day, to those who either left on Thursday, or early on Friday morning, although a few people (like Trevor, one of my house mates) had slipped away without a goodbye, to me anyway. Alice, who was kind enough to listen to me blather on during my little breakdown a few weeks earlier, stopped by the dining hall after dinner, even though she had been terribly ill to say goodbye and I hugged her despite her cooties. I will miss Alice, along with her great accent (she is from New Zealand), her easy laugh, and her liberal use of the word shag. The goodbyes continued on Friday morning since nearly everyone was leaving by 9am. My next door studio neighbor, Rachel, said some really kind things to me during our goodbyes, and I was very sad to leave my good friend Barbara, who was staying on for another two weeks. I was also sad to be leaving Amanda, my new young friend, who I enjoyed so much, as well as Val, who was kind enough to listen to my endless laments about which direction to take with the figure paintings. I missed saying goodbye to a few people, but I think we will all keep in touch, ain't email great? Oh and I also scored hugs from a few of the cute guys-Nick, Greg, Seth, Mac and David Grozinsky. Love all that action!
I was giving another resident, Minette, a ride to Albany, and we left by 9am. I was a little bit disappointed to not have my "alone in the car singing to my ipod time" after NOT being able to sing in our silent studios and houses for a month. However, I quickly got over it and really enjoyed Minette's company. We talked for the entire four hours! We hadn't really spent much time getting to know each other at the Studio Center, so it was nice to finally be able to do that. She is very nice and has an exciting life and career going. We met up with her significant other, artist Hank Thomas (I didn't recognise his name, but when I got home I looked at his website and realized that I had seen his work before), in Albany and they went on to Williamstown to attend a symposium at the Williams College Museum of Art.
I stopped at the Apple store at a mall in Albany to buy my new computer, which was really irritating. Do they TRY to make all of the employees look exactly the same? Small, thin boys with short dark hair, blue t-shirts, all holding hand held devices. I kept talking to different ones, thinking I was speaking to the same person that I had initially explained my situation to.
And I have to add here how difficult it was to do all of this, walking through a mall, making a large purchase, after being shut away in Vermont for a month. I felt like my organs were showing.
I got home around 4:30, after catching up on my singing, and no one was there! But there was a big welcome home sign, made by the kids. I unloaded my car and finally everyone showed up later on. Doug had gone to pick everyone up after their after school activities.
Everyone got along well without me, which means they are very well adjusted, right? I can see that Doug focused on the kids and his work. And THAT means that I will be spending a few days cleaning the house and paying some bills. But that's ok. I sure did love not having to cook and clean while I was away, but I found it oddly comforting to be doing all of those things this weekend.
I haven't really seen anyone besides my family since being home, but I suppose I will soon. Kind of waiting for that exposed organ feeling to dissipate, you know?