Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Fall in Alabama

I recently made the big hop across the pond to visit my family in Alabama... just thought I'd share some of the highlights of the trip.

When I planned the trip I was so excited. I'd have 5 weeks off work, October 25- November 30. I thought there would be plenty of time to study for my tours, read some of my old Art History books from college, visit family, relax, and enjoy being home. Of course trips home are never as relaxing as you expect them to be. There are people to see and things to do, so as usual by the end of the trip I was exhausted. But I can honestly say that I crammed as much quality family time into those days as I physically could, so I'm happy.
I was home for the major fall holidays, Halloween and Thanksgiving, which was lucky because Thanksgiving doesn't exist in Italy and while Halloween is gaining popularity there it's definitely a bigger deal in the US. I really love Fall in Alabama. Aside from the holidays, it's just a beautiful time of year with the changing leaves and gorgeous weather. I'm happy I got to spend my favorite time of year at home. My family also creatively solved the problem of me missing Christmas at home this year... we just made November 25th Christmas. So I got to have Christmas at home too. Here's a pic of me, Tommaso, and our stack of gifts:
PhotobucketI also (finally!) got to do some art! Terry Strickland ( http://www.terrystricklandart.com/ ) invited me to be her assistant at her Gadsden Museum of Art workshop Nov. 13 & 14, so I also got to take part in the workshop. I had a blast hanging out with Terry and learning new techniques. We worked in oils, which I haven't done in maybe 2 or 3 years... I know, shame on me. The workshop was really the kick in the pants I needed to get started painting again. Since then I've purchased some new art supplies, brought them to Italy, and set up a studio space... I'm heading in the right direction, now I just have to get in there and paint! Here's the lovely Terry teaching at the workshopPhotobucket

I also got some bad news while visiting home. My grandmother (father's mom) has been battling cancer for years, and it is no longer responding to treatment. My grandmother has been put on hospice care, and now everyone is just trying to make her as comfortable as possible. At first she seemed to be pretty strong and have a good attitude toward all of this, but in the short time I was home I saw her getting weaker. I breaks my heart, and it made leaving Alabama even harder. I'm going to try to go back to see her in February though, if I can afford it. I'd just like to ask anybody who reads this, whatever your faith may be, please send some prayers or meditation or good vibes her way. Her name is Betty.
Well, I guess that's it for this post. I've got a tour tomorrow, so I'm heading to bed. Goodnight!

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