I think that sometimes the most exciting thing about an upcoming event is the anticipation you feel while making plans. As the time comes closer for me to leave on my trip, I find this to be the case. As the pieces fall into place, I find myself becoming more an more excited about the many things that I will do and people that I will be able to see.
I am not feeling as nervous as I thought that I would be by now. There was a time in the beginning of the planning phase where I was wondering how I was going to get through things without being terrified. Although I like to write here daily to many people, I was never one to get up in front of a crowd and do well speaking. I much prefer one on one or smaller groups. That is best when there is a great deal of interaction between us and I am not the one doing all the talking.
I also think that a large part of my calm state of mind is because of the type of group that I will be speaking to. As we see here, woodworkers are a generally friendly group and most, if not all of the people that come to the show, do so with an open mind and friendliness and willingness to learn. It isn’t going to be an angry mob that I am speaking to. I actually will know several people that will be in the audience, and that does make a difference.
Another part of the puzzle is that I feel comfortable in my knowledge of what I am to speak about – scroll sawing. I am not saying that I know everything, but I feel that I have enough of a background to answer questions intelligently and help people gain some information that up to that point they may not know. This past year of being active in the forums and on this site has helped me realize that I do have some things to offer others and share with others. I am sure that I will learn a lot too, and I am excited about that. It is going to be a wonderful time.
There are so many layers of this trip that are going to be positive. Seeing my friends for the first time in years is certainly one of them. Another aspect is seeing my kids for the week that I am going to be in Chicago. I spoke with both of them yesterday and the thought of actually seeing them together really made me happy. I haven’t seen my son in almost four years. Since the last time I had been there, he has bought a house and is well-established in his career as a Joliet police officer. We are already planning our time together, and will probably visit several of my favorite places, including Navy Pier, The Museum of Science and Industry, and Brookfield Zoo.
I had been a member of Brookfield Zoo as long as I can remember and it is the inspiration for many of my wildlife designs. One of my favorite places in the zoo is outside the snow leopard exhibit, where the snow leopards lounge against a four inch thick piece of glass. It seems as if you can touch them and pet them and they are magnificent and beautiful.
Navy Pier has always been one of my favorite places in the city. It has evolved to a place for shopping and entertainment. In it, they have a huge Tiffany Glass exhibit with hundreds of pieces that were salvaged from churches and buildings in the Chicago area. I have always loved Tiffany and seeing these beautiful works up close is incredible. Pictures just don’t do justice to the subtle beauty of the glass.
Navy Pier also has many other activities going on. In the summer it is bustling with people and bands playing on the boardwalk. I used to have a favorite bench where I would sit at the end of the pier for hours and look out at the lake and listen to the music playing in the background. Several times I would have popcorn and feed the greedy sea gulls and watch them banter with each other for the food. It was quite comical. I realize that it will still be cold there and the summer activity won’t be present, but there is enough new stuff inside that will surely keep us busy.
My son tells me that there is a new show at the IMAX theatre in the museum on storm chasing that he wants to see. That will be fun too, as well as the museum trip in general. I have memories of going there for the day with my friends from school. We would take the bus and admission was free and we would spend the entire day exploring the huge building. It will also be interesting to see how it has evolved over the years. The last time I was there, it was to see the Titanic display sometime in 2002 I think.
All these exciting things and woodworking too! I am sorry to ramble on, but I suppose talking and planning yesterday got me thinking about all the great things to come. I promise to take pictures as much as I can.
As for yesterday, I succeeded in making six new patterns into packet while my partner updated the web site. although there aren’t as many new things as I would have liked to have up there that I did, my partner did some outstanding designs and there is certainly enough to give a variety of new items for people to choose. I need to write my newsletter to get to our customers today and let them know of not only the update, but also of the special sale for them. Then I can finally finish the second of the painting patterns for the class.
I am really happy that things are going the way they are. I feel like a child waiting for Christmas. I am sure that the adventure will be unforgettable and even the preparation for leaving is fun and exciting. It is a really good place to be in life.
Have a wonderful Saturday! I hope you all have some time to create something beautiful!
-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts, Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"