Friday, August 9, 2013

I Will Miss These Things

At the age of fourty-four, I am surprised to find myself to be the kind of person who has moved a lot. There was Texas and Montana. In Washington, I had stints in Snohomish, Lake Stevens, Everett and Seattle. Even in Olympia--where I lived for many years--I moved around: The Mill House, Cherry Street, The Duplex, The Studio Apartment, The House That Burned Down, The Apartment By Lincoln, The Bigelow House and The Boat. And in Philly: The Lombard Apartment, Sloan Street, The House For Wayward Girls, and The Snuggler.

For the past two years I have been living in Aurora, New York, where I was the Fellow at the Wells Book Arts Center. I am leaving Wells for a tenure track position at the University of Alabama, and I am excited for the move to Huntsville. However, there are things I am going to miss about my life in the village of Aurora.

With a population of about 725, Aurora is really, really, really small. There is something unique about living and working in a place of such an "intimate" size. I walk one block to Main Street. There are no traffic lights. I can count the local businesses on one hand.

There is no garbage pick-up in Aurora. Every Saturday, Curt (my boyfriend) and I would take our garbage and recycling to the dump, then we would go to breakfast at The Man in the Moon Bakery. This is my favorite breakfast in upstate New York, and I am going to miss it.
I am going to miss seeing my neighbor Britt, who lived across the street from me. I think about all the times that Britt's garage door was open and I could see her 4 foot hand-made sign: Obama got Osama. And I am going to miss pondering over her uncanny resemblance to Barack Obama. I will always remember the time I rode by Britt's house with the air low in my bicycle tires and she yelled after me: "Your tires are flat! That good for nothing boyfriend of yours is nothing but eye candy!" And the next time I saw her she pumped up my tires.

I am also going to miss my identical twin neighbors Lorie and Julie. We shared a driveway and their cars were also exactly alike. Exact same color, exact same style. Identical.

I am going to miss this tree and the fancy desserts from the Inn.
I am going to miss team Chichi, and my two friends John and Heather. Wednesday nights we played trivia at The Plant and I remember when I first started playing I was really nervous because I have never liked team sports. A gin & tonic calmed my nerves and eventually I found my place on the team: poetry & literature (multiple choice only); 1980's movies; and the very very occasional art question.
Trivia DJ Dan, me, and Curtles.
I am going to miss the fireworks on Lake Cayuga.
I am going to miss Nancy, my boss. I will miss walking into the Book Arts Center and wondering when the greenhouse will be restored so it can it can become the papermaking studio it was always meant to be.
I will miss my office.
I am going to miss looking at the make ready that Sarah left behind. So I am leaving my owl to keep her periodic table company.
I will miss my studio.
I will miss Buddha.
I will miss the Vandercook Universal I automatic, on which I printed oh-so-many things. And I will miss looking at Werner Pfeiffer's portfolio "Alphabeticum".
I will miss the students I taught.
I will miss exploring the basement.
Mats: 12 pt. Porson Greek
I will always remember each and every one of Michael Bixler's printing tips.

And I will never forget this sound:

And the smell of hot lead.

I will miss driving to the big city of Rochester to eat at Dinosaur Barbeque, where over dinner we would take in the view of the Genesse River.
I learned to play folf in upstate New York. Curt and I explored every course we could find. My favorite was the course in Danby and I am going to miss it, especially this picnic area. If Communist Architecture had a baby with The Future, it would look like this.
I will miss turning the pages of books from the Fiske Collection at Cornell.
Willard Fiske's book plate
Goodbye New York spring.
Goodbye Grisamore Farm's berry season.
Goodbye green...
...and white...
...and blue.