The evening of November 12 kicks off the 45th Annual Easton Waterfowl Festival, a celebration of waterfowl and conservation in the Chesapeake Bay region. The downtown area of quaint and colonial Easton, Maryland, is transformed into numerous art venues and sporting activities through Sunday, November 15.
After accepting an invitation to exhibit at this event, my focus became the driftwood art forms that had achieved awards at the recent Artists for Conservation exhibition and would have an appeal in the marshland environment; herons, eagles, pelicans, all carved from driftwood. However, the usually smooth sailing of preparing works for an art event was upended in the October chaos that ensued.
Finally, a few days ago, I finished building a five foot tall plywood crate nailed to a pallet. In went a four foot humpback whale and its driftwood-wave base, an equally tall pelican snatching a fish, numerous herons and more, all carved from driftwood and myrtlewood. On went the lid and off it goes to be presented in the Armory Building for my second debut in the festival.
And that October chaos? Early in the month, surreal and bizarre real life events unfolded that almost negated any plans I had of exhibiting my art on the other side of the continent. It began with the dreadful Umpqua Community College shooting.
You see, in 1933 my mother was born in Roseburg, Oregon, and I was born there, as were all of my siblings and most of my children. Although my adult life was spent a hundred miles away on the Pacific Ocean coastline, I was raised in the vicinity of Roseburg, and attended that same college years ago.
On top of that emotional impact, I spent most of the following week by my mother’s side as she slowly slipped away from an illness. At her bedside a week after the shooting, I watched the television as the president landed a few miles away and bivouacked at her old high school. She would have liked that. She passed away the next day.
October is over, life begins anew, and things are falling into place again, after just more evidence that “life is what happens while we’re busy making other plans.” [John Lennon]