Started the year in California ... heading into AZ, where the boys and I parked while Michael went to Houston for a Sol LeWitt job. We spent time in AZ after that, then headed across NM and down into TX for awhile. Then angled up through OK to MO and then Chicago for most of the summer. The fall took us back under the Great Lakes to PA and then on to CT for a month. Back down through PA, a swoop through the Virginias to get to IL for Thanksgiving, landing back in TN to finish out the year.
Rice University / Houston TX
Michael did another Sol LeWitt installation in January, while the boys and I hung out near Phoenix Arizona, as a month in the desert was preferable to a whole month in downtown Houston! He installed Wall Drawing #813 at Rice University's art gallery, and it looked flawless at the very end. There were some initial hangups with an imperfect wall to start with, and the challenges of painting high gloss varnish on huge chunks of wall, with no streaking. He ended up staying longer than expected, giving me time to get some overdue work done on Matilda, and to fall a bit more in love with the desert.
- University article about the project here
Dan and Kathleen E. / Georgetown TX
We met Dan and Kathleen in Lackawaxen, when they came up for a couple weeks to their summer cabin at the end of the block. We'd promised to visit, and finally made it! Dan had a list going by the time we got there, and the more we checked off, the more it grew ... it was fun to try to stay ahead of him, and there was lots of variety. Digging out rocks and planting trees, fixing broken water lines, digging out and prepping a scalloped herb bed, building a decorative stone divider, doing shelving and painting in a closet, swapping out a couple fan fixtures, touching up outdoor lighting, and more. This was woven in with dinners, wine and cheese, meeting longhorns, long discussions, and meetups with their friends. Dove in deep for two lovely weeks, parking in their driveway in town for the first week, and on their ranch land for the rest of the time.
- Flickr Album : here
Todd and Karen C. / Tulsa OK
Another long-awaited connection, as Michael and Karen sat next to each other in high school but hadn't seen each other since! We parked in their driveway, got to know each other's families, and set about fixing their entryway steps. We rebuilt them from scratch, petted chickens, had cookouts, dug into history and hopes and big questions, and Todd fit in some work on our truck and Fynn's go kart as well.
- Flickr Album : here
Addison IL, and my parent's driveway, was home for 3.5 months this time around, and while I focused mainly on helping out with my Mom's care there were some family projects that I helped with, as well as some that Michael did on his own.
Photos of all Addison projects on Flickr here
Mom and Dad Rule
There was a basement cleanout, and some caulking and patching inside. Not so many big projects left this time, and too much activity was disorienting for mom, so we kept a low profile. Fynn did manage to build several foamcore remote control planes in their basement, but that's his story to tell.
- Blog on Mom's care : Walking with Mom
Brian and Cindy S.
We finally got to a project they'd offered the previous summer, and painted the outside of their summer cottage on a lake up north of Chicago. We stayed in the cottage (a first ever!) while working on it for 4 days. We've always stayed in our trailer, but it was too long a commute and there was no room for us to park. The weather was highly uncooperative, but we got the cabin scrubbed off, scraped, shutters and gutterspouts removed and repaired, and everything painted in the nick of time! We also scraped and repainted a tiny cupola/vent on the garage, and did some water damage repairs on an old windowsill. Lovely cabin, lovely lake, lovely people … so glad we finally got it done!
Bernie and Nancy G.
After doing their windows last summer, we moved up to painting the whole house this time around … definitely a whole-family job. We bleach-sprayed and power washed the whole thing, and I managed to get a 2nd degree burn on my hand in the process … one of very few injuries out of all the work we've done. Douglas loved scampering up the very steep roof to get to the eaves, and he and Fynn both got a proper lesson in brushing and rolling without leaving marks. We had rain challenges here too, and had to touch up a couple spots after one downpour. Nice to find the family rhythm falling more into place.
John and Olive K.
We got to one of the things on their list this time, and fixed up and painted one and a half rooms, and a landing area upstairs, prepping it to be an office for John. We put in a ceiling fan also and trimmed out the doors, but ran out of time to do any more than that. Good meals and conversation, as always!
Michael also power washed a driveway for Jan K, fixed a door and put in a drywall ceiling for Eckhardt S, and we mulched flowerbeds for BTP.
University of Connecticut / Storrs CT
Another LeWitt installation for Michael, this time of the very colorful Wall Drawing #867 at their beautiful new Innovation Partnership Building. We all camped nearby, and he commuted daily. With the building still under construction there were some extra considerations, and his crew was primarily art and engineering students from the university. The architecture of the whole University is a harmonious blend of old and new, and fits well into the old stone-walled fields of the surrounding farmland. It was a treat to see the drawing go into such a publicly visible spot, as the dominant image of the whole space.
- Flickr Album : here
Wendy and Ashriel V. / Phoenixville PA
We stopped for a couple of days, and stayed for 40 instead. We caught up on life, helped with a pottery firing, took a couple trips into NYC (one as a family, one just Michael), brought furniture from storage, moved a couch, rearranged the house a bit, set up an office, and helped sort and repack pottery. Lots of great meals, meandering conversations, cousins bonding and wandering, and some vehicle polishing. Hearts were polished too. Great times.
Flickr Albums ...
Tom and Martha S. / Edwardsville IL
We went for Thanksgiving for the Rule side of the family, and stayed to help Tom and Martha pack up their home of 21 years, and pare it down into what would fit in a 5th wheel camper … they want the option to be mobile for awhile. We purged and packed and sorted and organized and sympathized and tried to offer moral support when the decision-making became overwhelming, as it tends to when a big move is underway. We also loved on kittens, played a few games, and enjoyed each others' company. So glad we had the chance to help, and to say goodbye to what's been a favorite place to hang out over the years.
- Flickr Album : here