The weekend after Valentine’s Day 2019, one of my favorite museums had a fun and strange event. The American Visionary Art Museum has a rotating collection that displays “outsider art.” Basically it’s from artists who are self-taught and can include anything from prisoner sock art to William Burroughs’ shotgun paintings. I’m always hopeful I’ll see John Waters at one of my visits but continue to strike out. I digress, I decided attending the AVM event should turn into a weekend in Baltimore!
On part/day 2 of my journey it rained for 24 hours. This wasn’t just a light mist or gentle shower. There were gale force winds that turned our umbrellas inside out, the streets flooded causing detours on our walks through Salem (yes we still went out), and our faces and jeans were soaked by the horizontal onslaught of rain drops. To top it off, Dr. Jen was sick with a stomach bug causing her to eventually upchuck (she might hate that I wrote that). She was a trooper about it and I still had fun (am I an asshole for enjoying myself while she suffered?)!
The weekend before Halloween I went on a bucket list adventure that turned into a lame but funny disaster. I’ve long thought Salem, Massachusetts would be a fantastic place to celebrate one of my favorite holidays. It might be but I’ll have to go back to find out. I did see some wannabe The Craft era Fairuza Balks, but everyone was too soaked and covered to really show off any costumes. This trip is gonna be written as a two parter to keep the posts of a manageable size. My senior year English teacher told us that our writings should be the length of a pretty girl’s skirt. Long enough to cover the subject, but short enough to keep your interest. That shit would never fly in school today. Feel free to not read and just look at the fun pictures.
I squeaked a trip in just under the wire. My one summer road trip was on Labor Day, basically what I consider the end of the season. I’ve been working non-stop and have had little time to do anything, so I’m extremely happy for my respite driving into and through Amish country. It’s been forever since I traveled, blogged, or basically did anything in life. I’m totally going to change that…maybe…we’ll see…who knows?
One of the big items on my mom’s bucket list was to go to Ireland. She always wanted to go with my dad and kept putting it off. Sadly my dad passed having never left the country. When my mom got sick in 2015 I promised when she was better I was going to finally take her. True to my word, I took my mom for her first trip out of North America at the end of April 2018.
Germany does have a killer lexicon. Today was a lot of driving and a lot of sheep. Seriously though, I’ve seen more lambs today than the rest of my life combined. I wasn’t aware this was where all sheep spawn from. Also the landscape is terribly dull. I thought it was just that I was tired yesterday that I kept zoning out but it’s the roads. It’s all beautiful and the roads are in great condition with very few, shallow potholes! The problem, it’s constant green fields and straight, flat pastures and roads. It’s too calming to drive. Continue reading “Fernweh: Being homesick for a place you’ve never been to”
My first days back from the trip have been rough. It’s like being at the roller rink all night and then taking your skates off. Everything feels weird and I want to still be in motion. But all things must end and I had to go back to adulting. After my first (and very long) day back to work, I came home to an epic surprise! The self-addressed envelop I left at Pickles Gap was on the table with a note and 2 shiny pennies inside! The note read read as follows:
Guess what I got to see today. Originally I only intended to go to Rock City because it’s right on the TN/GA border and by adding Georgia I officially hit 50% of the states on one trip. Once I read Mr. Hollis’ book “See Rock City” however, it became an important stop. His book detailing the attraction and life of its creator kept my attention from page one. I even forced a co-worker (sorry Darlene) into reading passages that I thought were especially great.
Day 17 was a long day. A really long day. Google says it is 777 miles between my Day 16 and Day 17 motels. Of course I had several detours making one tired Andy. I got to my room at 11:30pm and had to be on the road today at 6:30am. I also lost an hour due to a change in time zone so you can understand why this post is a day late. All of that driving was worth it and I had 2 great days.
Most folk art I’ve seen is exhibited at the artist’s home. For me, that makes it more intimate. I’m seeing what’s inside them in a place where they are most comfortable. They’ve arranged all the pieces instead of some museum employee. Almost every aspect of the experience is created by the artist. Often these artists aren’t classically trained so their work is uninhibited by rules or structure that other artists might feel constrained by. Today I was able to visit two folk artists’ work.