This Week, I’m an Artist

9614_542728359228816_7288947357352113483_nSeemed a fabulous idea to join Shirley’s Loft at the Home & Remodeling Expo in downtown Cleveland this weekend. And I’m sure it was the right decision—that having some of my art in Booth 100 for three days will be super.

But…

Something had to give. In fact, a lot of things had to give.

Started with Darling Daughter last weekend. She vacationed in San Francisco during her spring break from college and flew into Cleveland last Friday. She is self-supporting, has taken care of herself since she left for college.

And yet, she likes when I “play mom” and cook for her, put flowers on her nightstand, wash her bedding when I know she’s coming.

Best I could do was invite her to hang out at the workshop with Shirley and I as we finished up art for this weekend. I’m sure that was not what she had in mind.

Then there’s the house. Son mostly does his own laundry, and sometimes mine. Floors aren’t mopped or vacuumed like they used to be. The house is not tidy these days—and I’m being kind in that assessment. A dog watcher (thankfully!) comes in during the day to let the dogs out, exercise them—because I’m off to work at 6:30 a.m. for my full-time job—followed by art in the workshop, track meets, and other things in the evenings.

I understand the term “starving artist” now. It isn’t because I (and I am an artist) can’t afford food. It’s because I can’t manage to get to the grocery store. Hence the children are starving. I haven’t cooked, or grocery shopped all week.

My son missed a day of school this week.  Not because he was sick. On Tuesday, my always helpful, cooperative son was absent from school most of the day. When I contacted his school, I called it an “appointment” which was a bit of a stretch…

The boy was up early, loaded the Family Hoopty with my art, then moved on to the workshop to load more equipment, art, and tools.

Hoopty (Noun); an old, worn-out car.  Often cheap, broken down, or embarrassing to drive.

In our family’s case, the Hoopty is a 1999 Chevy Tahoe that gets about 8 miles per gallon. Belongs to my father and his lovely wife and has been driven by most everybody on both sides of the family, has crisscrossed the country from New England states to Florida. It’s like driving a bus. But with comfy leather seats. And it floats down the road, a smooth ride. The rusted thru spots on the exterior are spreading and there are dings/dents. But the Hoopty is loyal and faithful; keeps running, hauling our sh@t all over the place. Lately, that includes poles my son uses for pole vault.

photo 1 (6)Anyways, my son drove the Hoopty into downtown Cleveland, between a couple of buildings, and down a ramp into the Firstmerit Cleveland Convention Center. He unloaded it—helped unload a couple of other vehicles. He also helped put down carpet, so the walls could be built.  Ironically, my son rolled back to school in time for his entrepreneurship class.

If you think about it, Tuesday was almost like a field trip—I’m sure he learned a lot, right?

Where was I during unloading and setup? At work. And I truly love my day job—but such a bummer to miss out on some of the setup. It’s fascinating to see what goes into setting up this type of event. The behind the scenes, as an enormous convention center goes from nothing to something spectacular.

At least I work nearly next door and I was able to walk over after work.

So…

Shirley’s Loft will have Booth 100 at a large show in downtown Cleveland this weekend–and it will be filled with both her art and my art. We work well together. And we’ll enjoy hanging in Booth 100 from Friday until Sunday.

But…

To make that happen, I had to forgo the parenting, cooking, grocery shopping, cleaning the house. The dogs were lonesome. A nice pair of my work shoes became a dog snack. I had no time to get new tires that I ordered over a week ago put on the car. My nails should have had a manicure early this week (hoping to deal with them tomorrow) and my hair needs cut. The inside of the car resembles a garbage can. I went to work at my full-time job and I did art. That’s it.

The important thing is that the art looks lovely—and it should be a great event. Those going to the Home & Remodeling Expo—make sure to stop and say “hello” to Shirley and I.

Maybe next week, I’ll be a solid mom. Or clean the house?