Monday, March 04, 2019

Glass Blowing 101

On a recent day off of school, we got all three kids to attend a glass blowing course. I could not say why this seemed important to me but it did. Perhaps because glass blowing was a bit reminiscent of the welding courses the kids took in Germany. And perhaps because Tori’s departure for college seems more imminent with every passing day. In fact, after we were done with the course, Adam whispered to me: “Will we still have to do this type of stuff once Tori goes to college?”  I answered yes! But it will be that much harder when we are down one willing participant.
The glass blowing studio was very near our house. Just past George Washington’s Headquarters, another place we have not yet taken the kids. It is affiliated with the county and offers some fine art credit via the local community college. The instructors were great and waved us parents off and out. We peered through the windows as the kids opened red hot vats of molten glass and carried this stuff around the studio. It definitely had a fear factor that caught all teenagers’ attention and held it through the entire class.
We returned multiple hours later and learned the kids had made paper weights, vases, bowls, cups and decorative flowers. They talked about colors and blowing techniques but honestly I was just amazed with what they produced. We are trying to produce some art for an art sale benefiting our church and thought that maybe some glass would go there. But now we can’t bear to part with any of it. Too pretty and too much a reminder of a family enrichment activity that actual worked. Kids were happy and together and productive and we’ve got the glass to prove it.

Friday, March 01, 2019

Key Lime Pie!

Recently, Tori and I took off for a weekend in the sun. We flew down to Key West for no real reason except that we had miles and it was a direct flight. We left bright and early in the middle of the government shutdown and encountered crazy lines at the airport. Total wrap around. It was daunting but we got through- and even ran into old friends from Hong Kong while running to our gate.
Once there, we stripped off our coats and jumped in an Uber to our hotel. We got 5 minutes later. Yes, Key West is a small place. Our room was not ready but we did not want the room anyway. We changed into our swim suits and read the entire afternoon by the pool. My classes had yet to start and Tori had one college acceptance in her pocket so we were feeling good. We took the shuttle down town – another five minutes- and went to the sunset spot. The sunset really lingered there, as did we.
The rest of the weekend was evenly split between beach and downtown time. We lingered at the beach, got sufficiently but not badly sunburned. We did our touristy things; taking tours of the Truman’s Little White House there and Hemmingway’s house and the six toed cats. Apparently, these cats were seen as good luck for sailors but it is the cats that have the good luck now. They lounge all over the house and visitors are told they can pet them but not pick them up. We visited the southern most spot in North American and looked at the signs saying Cuba was 90 miles away. We posed at the marker, feeling adventurous though really we only walked a few blocks from the Hemmingway house to the southern point.
Key West was just what we wanted; the sun and the down time. The place itself was more party than I thought it would be. Not unlike the Jersey Shore. We squeezed along the sidewalk on nights and had to work to get a table for dinner. While walking back to our shuttle bus, a man in his 30’s whistled at Tori, who was walking ahead of me. This man then saw me, my shocked face, and immediately said “Sorry, Mom.”
On our flight home, our flight was delayed due to weather in New Jersey. By about 8 hours. This was no problem for us. We sat outside at the little airport, basking in the sun and reading the last of our books. (Tori read hers and mine that day, reading mine when I got up to check on our flight). And eating key lime pie, our new favorite dessert! The whole thing only got slightly annoying when we went past security and then were stuck in a basement. We were the last flight out that night, thankfully. And had snow days that following week that we used to catch up on our sleep. How’s that for a positive spin on yet another snow day?!?