It was a near-full moon and my daughter put Christmas lights on their tent for a nice light show. I think there were six tents in a row there but I forgot to take a picture. There was a lot going on in a short amount of time! I woke up this morning with the realization that this was the first time all eight of our grandkids had been together in one place and I didn't get that picture either.
We had an appoint-
ment at Joe Winter's pottery studio Sunday morning at 10:00. Marsh led the way in his Polaris RZR (pronounced razer) and Alexia's face lit up. She wanted to ride in the "go-cart." Bev invited her to ride on the back with her. Marsh drove really slow and told me later it's because Lex got really scared, but she rode back on it nevertheless.
Ian and I both are fans of Joe's work so it's always a pleasure to bring our friends over. He's the only person I know who is making a living at his art. Our crowd doesn't seem to mind helping him with that.
This is one of two working areas of his studio - he has two show rooms and an outdoor woodfire kiln, plus a raku work area, which is galvanized cans on fireproof brick. This is the room where he throws the pots. I wish I could remember how many thousands of pounds of clay he throws in a year, and then there's the 13% shrinkage. Why can I remember one number and not the other one? I'm blaming a wrinkle in the gray matter. They're everywhere else!
Joe always throws a pot for those who are interested in seeing the building process. Here he explains he is wedging the clay.
He's making another pot like the one behind Alexia's shoulder. BTW, she's wearing a shirt I had embroidered all over with flowers for her mother with her name over the breast pocket - I had just found it. It's too warm but Lex won't take it off and thus acquired the nickname "Mini Chris."
Some folks straggled in a little later as they chose to walk. The weather was warm but absolutely beautiful. We're starting to get a little tropical moisture this week - it rained a bit on Saturday night. One tent learned why you put up the rain fly *before* you go to bed.
This is grand-
nephew Solly who was in the YouTube video I posted about a week ago, showing how he can watch a video on the iPhone, make a phone call and then go back to the video - he's two. Just ask him. I asked him to show me what he had in his hands. Both his parents are engineers - hmmmmmm.
Cooking on the propane burners is always messy. Everyone pitched in when it came to clean-up but I do love Angie's black hand. I think that's part of the community feeling - everyone shoulders a part of the work and contributes to the play.
I've been begged for a family tree posted somewhere, explaining all the relationships and connections. I'm not sure it's possible. Angie is married to Don Don, which distinguishes him from his father Don and his son Don, also known as Don Don Don, or Junior. Stepson Carlos nicknamed him D-Cube this year. Not blood relatives but very important people in our lives. The picture I posted yesterday of my SIL Rochelle and friend Yvonne, friends from high school? Yvonne is married to just-one-Don. See what I mean???
And this is the 2011 Gathering jigsaw puzzle. I'm so thrilled they finished it before leaving. Last years puzzle was so hard that I was trying to get it done so I could decorate for Christmas. Amy spent a couple hours then getting it straightened out before she left or I would never had gotten it off the table before this year!
This is Amy's vintage trailer that she has had restored, adores and makes wonderful use of. It was almost the tail that wags the dog as she had to acquire a truck to pull it with. She's heading out. She camped with us in Oregon in June.
DS Josh told her that she had inspired him. He found this trailer with a for-sale sign in a bank of snow. He was able to acquire it for $250 and has since put $3,000 and a lot elbow grease into making it a working unit. This was the inaugural run. It's a far cry from the massive fifth-wheel that helped tip them into bankruptcy. They've learned about the power of paying cash. They've decided this looks like a 1950s kitchen appliance so have named it the Road Toaster - a label is in progress.
It's also given them the oppor-
tunity to back up and discover how to be more creative. Josh used the spring-loaded power outlet cap on the trailer wall to install a brewer's tap instead. There's a pony keg in a special cabinet inside that he built just to house it and he's pouring me a beer. It was a big hit.
Their fifth-wheel was twice the length of the truck, which BTW Josh calls Big Stinky - I think we're a family of nicknamers - and I like the Road Toaster twice as much. It's always so hard to say goodbye.
I was grateful that Bev and Marsh stayed behind - Bev is SIL Rochelle's cousin - she and our friend Holly tackled cleaning the house like Merry Maids. Carol and Kerry came back to pick up some stuff, and Petie was staying another day. It was fabulous to sit around garage in the ring of chairs and chat - I come from a long line of storytellers and I married into another one. We were telling and retelling stories - there's really a lot of power in them - no batteries required.
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