Last month's trip to Ohio wasn't at all what I expected, and I'm still feeling somewhat out of sorts.
The drive normally takes eight hours from our house to my parents' house. This time, however, there was an accident on I-68 at the Maryland-West Virginia border. It was around 6:30 or so in the morning when I got to the stopped traffic. We sat on the highway for two hours watching two medevac helicopters fly over and land somewhere ahead of us. And we sat. There was no traffic on the opposite side of the highway either. Both directions were completely shut down.
Early in the third hour, the state highway patrol started turning people around. Finally on the move again, I backtracked to the next exit and got off on US 40. It's a beautiful drive, with lots of fantastic old motels and signs. Some day I'd love to drive from Virginia to Ohio on US 40. But not on this day.
Long story short, I arrived about at my parents' house about 14 hours after I started the trip.
The rest of the week hummed along just fine. I dropped my photos at the Dayton Visual Arts Center for the annual members' show, we went to the Golden Corral for breakfast, I helped Dad in the yard. And then I got a call from Wendell.
Four years ago, while we were in Australia, my brother-in-law was diagnosed with a rare and quite aggressive cancer. Over the last four months, his situation had been steadily declining. All of his doctors agreed: make him comfortable. Wendell called to let me know that he was driving back to Ohio because his brother was scheduled for a blood transfusion and surgery. (So much for making him comfortable.) Wendell drove overnight, arrived on Friday morning at 3:30 am, and immediately went to bed for a couple of hours.
Later that morning, a phone call from Wendell's sister informed us of his brother's death. We immediately went to my brother-in-law's house and for the next four days, spent a lot of time with Wendell's family. The memorial service was on the following Monday and we drove back to Arlington on Wednesday.
I had planned on attending Analog's Pulse in Cleveland, but with the family situation, I didn't go. Here's a summary of the event. (You'd better believe I'm keeping August 2013 open!)
I've been feeling restless and out of sorts ever since I got back. The heat and humidity are unbearable this year and I haven't seemed to be able to muster the creative energy to pick up a camera or heat up the encaustic palette. Even my knitting is suffering. I think part of it might be that I finished the encaustic commission I was working on, and the Arlington Sing-Off and Night of Concert Music photo project is done.
Maybe I just need to take a break.
In September I'm going back in the darkroom as part of an adult ed workshop. I'll be doing some black and white printing -- which means I have to get out and shoot! I'm also cooking up a project with one of my photog buddies in Australia. Stay tuned.