Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Day Five - Brown County, Indiana, my heart's desire

We met the folks at ProLogic around 9:30 a.m. at their office in Uniontown, PA. It's funny to think that it took Mike 4 months to sculpt this piece, four days to drive it to Uniontown and all of 45 minutes to install it. But that's the way it is.

Everyone was thrilled with the way it looks in their lobby. The patina is a perfect contrast to the light colored wall and the size of the piece was just right. They toook photos and I'm waiting to receive copies so I can post some here.

We took off around eleven and headed toward Indiana, hoping to make it there in one day. The weather was beautiful all the way through Pennsylvania, highlighting the fall colors on the rolling hills. I'd never seen that part of the state - every other time we've been there, it's been rainy or foggy or gloomy - so that's been my recollection. It was nice to see it in the sunlight.

We rolled into Nashville, Indiana, around 9 p.m., cleverly outrunning a serious thunderstorm right at the Indiana border. Some of our fondest memories were made in this quaint little community and definitely some of our closest friends are here.

First stop of the night was at George and Jack Slaybuagh's, two of the best human beings God ever put on this earth. Jack is a retired lawman who has enough undercover stories to fill a very fascinating book though he claims a lot of folks would have to die before he could actually write it! It's his wife, Georgianna, who is the real jewel of the family and Jack knows it. Single handedly, Georgianna, recently organized a reunion of the 83rd Airborne unit from WWII. It was a huge event with people flying in from all over the world including diplomats from several countries. She also received letters of honor from several former presidents as well as GW himself. There was a parade, interviews, school visits and a multitude of events honoring these men. It was really something special and the men who were honored made memories that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

It's been over ten years since we moved from Nashville but even in the dark of night, it felt like we'd never really left. There's just something about that place that makes me feel good about being there.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Day four - Falling Water

Anyone with the slightest appreciation for classic architecture, fine art, mother nature, genius design or unusual living spaces really should see this house. We're both Frank Lloyd Wright fans, maybe not so much of his home designs - the ceilings are too low and the hallways too dark for my taste - but his quest to quietly, almost stealthily, blend his architecture into nature changed everything about design.

It's amazing how ahead of his time this man was. I've always heard how this house makes you feel as if you're one with the water and figured it for a clever description - but it's actually true. When they were building the place, if they ran into a boulder, they incorporated the rock into the house design. Consequently, one of the fireplaces is built into the rock that lived there for centuries before the house and another room is home to a natural spring fed pool, also native.

Many have tried to write about the house, and done a fine job, but nothing beats standing in it, daydreaming about living in this masterpiece - or maybe to have just been a dinner party guest. I kept forgetting that the house was actually owned by the Kaufman family because to most of the world, the house always belonged to Wright. It was his nemesis.

The countryside surrounding the area is breathtakingly beautiful. No one could walk through the vibrantly colored maple forests, inhale the sweet smell of moist pine needles and listen to the roar of the water falls and not thank our loving God for this magnificent creation.

It was an awesome day.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Day three - Elkview, West Virginia

I'm so glad we routed ourselves through West Virginia. Driving through the heavily treed mountains, I can only imagine how spectacular the colors are going to be in the next couple of weeks. There are hints of electric oranges and soft pinks on the sugar maple trees but they're just the precurser for the impending fall color show.

We're only about 3 and a half hours from Uniontown so we have time to stop today and go through some antique shops and act like tourists. Once we get checked in to our room there, we'll drive over to the actual office where the sculpture is to be installed, so we'll know where we're going in the morning. It's always interesting to show up to install a major piece of art in a place you've only seen in photographs! There are so many factors that have to be considered like wall construction, color and material, etc.

Then there's that awkward moment when we haul power tools into a strange place in front of the office staff and start drilling into the wall. The interesting part is when the two of us unload a 6' tall sculpture that looks like it's solid bronze - but is actually fiberglass based - and start lifting it into place. I can only imagine what the staff says about us after we leave, especially since this commission was initiated from their home office in Manasses - so most of them probably have no idea we're coming. I have to admit that most of the time - I love our life.

After the install, we're hoping to head down to Frank Lloyd Wright's Falling Waters house - something I've always wanted to see. Actually, Mike (who is a closet architect/landscape designer) has always wanted to see it too. Then we'll start heading toward Indianapolis to see Mike's sister, Bobbi, before heading down to Nashville, our old stomping grounds, where we have a bunch of friends to see.

Hopefully, this perfect weather will hold out for that leg of the trip.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Day two - Benton, Kentucky

What a beautiful drive! We crossed the Tennessee border into Kentucky about 4 yesterday afternoon and the beauty of the land got even more majestic. We drove as far as Benton - a sleepy little town just inside the state lines.

The weather has been perfect, the Holiday Inn Express here is very nice - clean and comfortable - and filled right now with fisherman. Today, we travel through an area called "land between the lakes," an island recreation area this looks like it sits literally in the middle of a gigantic lake. We're guessing they must be having a fishing tournament going on soon or something since the parking lot here looks more like a marina than a motel.

We finished our James Lee Burke book yesterday morning and started a new one by James Patterson, "Lifeguard" which is terrific. It sure makes traveling this far more enjoyable to have a good suspense thriller to listen to along the way.

It's nice not having to rush on this trip . . .