Grounds For Sculpture!

It’s May! Hurray! Also, it’s my Dad’s birthday- Happy Birthday, Dad! I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m flying out to visit him in June. Highlight of my year! I haven’t seen my Dad since the Christmas before last. I hadn’t been up to traveling so far with the kids, and then he had a health complication that has prevented him from flying, so we are long overdue for a visit. I am counting the days!

Fun fact: I actually used to dislike springtime- I’m a fall girl, and the spring always seemed to be the opposite of everything I love about fall. However, as the years go on I find myself enjoying the spring. This year is especially exciting- there’s just so much to look forward to! Tomorrow is the first official day of the Wrightstown Farmers Market season, which is one of my favorite parts of spring/summer. Last summer was such a blast, with the markets and the CSA and all of the activities with the kids, and I found myself really missing all of that over the winter. I’ve been looking forward to the warmer weather and everything that comes with it! The kids and I have been taking full advantage of the gorgeous weather. The sandbox has been seeing a LOT of action…

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teehee- Carolyn’s hair 🙂

True story: we found that sandbox on the side of the road. Someone a street over was giving it away last year, and my Mum spotted it and called me. I swung by and picked it up, hosed it off, and we filled it with sand. It’s in perfect condition! I guess their children had outgrown it- lucky us! It’s a godsend when I’m trying to get laundry hung out, or when I feel like crashing in a chair and reading for a few minutes. Carolyn hasn’t quite mastered the art of keeping the sand in the sandbox yet, so we had to go out and grab a few extra bags yesterday. $4 for a 50 lb. bag! What a bargain.

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Lawnmowers at Home Depot- Jack’s other favorite thing!

I had the pleasure of meeting with my writer friends last night (for 5 1/2 hours- we’re absurd). I call them that, I guess because we all met through a writing workshop, but we’ve really become good friends outside of our writing. I always leave feeling lucky to have met such remarkable people.

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bahahaha Greg’s face ;D

The kids and I were all feeling a little tired and itchy today. Jack is battling a cold, I think from the changing weather, and Carolyn’s been sporting a runny nose. I was exhausted from my late night (SO worth it, though), and so we decided to just have fun and not worry too much about getting things done. First stop: the Amish market! Asparagus, grapes, bananas, papaya, and carrots.

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Followed by Owowcow, and a walk around Carousel Gardens.

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When we left Owowcow, it became clear that the day was just too gorgeous to waste, so we stopped off at home for a diaper change and a quick lunch, and then we took off for the Grounds for Sculpture! I’ve been wanting to take the kids there for a while now, but I couldn’t seem to find the right time. Today seemed perfect 🙂

We took A LOT of pictures. I won’t narrate too much, because I think the pictures speak for themselves, but I will say that it was absolutely breathtaking, and definitely an activity we’ll plan on doing at least twice a month. Friends, plan on LOTS of invitations to join us!

The open space was great for the kids because they could run around and explore, but there were lots of hidden paths and tucked-away areas that gave them a feeling of adventure. Of course, the entire experience is made even better by all of the incredible art. I really want Jack and Carolyn to grow up with an appreciation for different forms of expression. I know that art can be tricky- people tend to have really strong reactions to different art forms, and while I don’t necessarily like everything I see, I always take the time to consider it. I want the same for J & C. I think it helps to keep the mind open to alternative possibilities.

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Mr. green shorts- I’m totally obsessed with them (and him IN them…)

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He tried so hard to lift this! It was so cute.

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I didn’t really know what to make of this, but Jack was into it.

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GAH, explosions of beauty!

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There were a number of areas where they had planted little bamboo forests, and then cut paths through them, with mysterious secluded clearings in which random sculptures hid. It was so, so neat.

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One of my favorites 🙂

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Jack was a total leader, and most of the time he was running ahead of me, looking back and calling, “Come, Mama!” because I was being slow and looking at everything. I was so excited to see that he and Carolyn were enjoying being there!

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Really strange sculpture- totally wild. I won’t lie, I totally shuffled Jack and Carolyn past this one. I thought it had too much potential to creep them out O.o

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Jack was really into posing with the sculptures, as you’ll see as we go along. He’s in almost every photo, and most of the time he’s interacting with the work. Carolyn spent most of her time in my arms (it was one of THOSE days).

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See? Hilarious.

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Those people are actually a sculpture 🙂

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Another one of my favorites, because Jack is adorable, and also because it’s one of my favorite paintings!

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The piece I was most looking forward to was the recreation of Manet’s Dejeuner Sur L’herbe. It’s so well-done, with the water and the boat and the woman in the background, but I wasn’t exactly sure where to find it- only that it was near water (of which there was a lot). It happened just as it should have- we stumbled upon it from behind, and I didn’t even know we were coming up on it until I saw the boat!

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Gah! So neat 😀

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There were so many different passages and paths to follow, a few times we ended up doubling back on ourselves because it was difficult to keep track of where we had already been, and where the paths were leading. I’m pretty sure that this is the perfect place to bring children.

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The boat is actually part of the piece, and was drifting over the water with the wind. Gorgeous!

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    Oh– poetry! 🙂

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We totally crashed on this swing for a while. It was a hit 🙂

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Jack wanted to get in on the hugs.

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There was a separate area called the Water Garden, which was, of course, a sculpture garden, but with, well, water- waterfalls, mist sprayers, and ponds. As you move through the space, you have to utilize stepping stones and pathways over the bodies of water. It was really neat!

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One of my favorite sculptures.

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Another favorite…

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…and another!

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More peacocks! They just wander around calling to each other and eating stuff off of the ground. They must have been really used to people, because you could almost touch them and they didn’t shy away!

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le sigh.

It was a remarkable experience, made even more wonderful because Jack and Carolyn enjoyed it so much. I am already planning a return trip, and hoping I can convince some of our friends and family to come along. I can think of at least ten of our friends who will be thrilled at the proposition.

I must admit, half of my intention in going to the Grounds for Sculpture was to take my mind off of my recent rejection from the New Yorker. I knew it was coming- come on, it’s the New Yorker for god’s sake- but it still got me way down. By the time we got home and started navigating dinner (BBQ tempeh, broccoli rabbe, farro, and whole roasted carrots), I found myself descending deeper and deeper into some kind of hellish despair over the whole thing. I think it may have more to do with leaving Bucks (read: leaving Chris) and that whole situation, but I was really despairing. I tried to find a friend to meet me for a drink and some kind words, but my friends are popular folk and all had prior engagements.

I was feeling really sorry for myself, and then something funny happened: I got a text from a friend- in the spirit of the soon-to-be-released movie about one of my favorite romantic billionaires, we’ll call him Jay. He told me he had left work early, and was going to meet me at the park for a five mile run- no arguments. We took it really easy, because he’s not really a runner (yet!), and completed a full run with no major hang-ups. He then joined me at Starbucks, where he’s currently reading me excerpts from Cat’s Cradle and quizzing me on Sol LeWitt works while I write. So, as it turns out, all is not lost, and I have a great many things to feel glad about 🙂

This weekend promises FUN from start to finish- tomorrow is the first day of the Farmers Market this season, followed by an afternoon at the Philly Art Museum. Mr. Gatsby and I have an engagement on Saturday night, which will likely end up being another long run or bike ride, because that’s our idea of a good time. Sunday I will be running in the morning and then hitting up Welcome Day in Newtown (yay!), followed by an orientation at the CSA where they’ll take us on a tour of the farm and introduce us to the staff. I’ve been looking forward to joining this CSA since last year, so I’m really excited about the orientation. This CSA is super hands-on and strongly encourages a high level of involvement from its members, which is what I’m all about. I’m going to do a full post on our CSA once the season begins later this month.

So that was our day! I’m hitting “publish” on this post in a completely different attitude than when I started typing, thanks to some kind and exact words of support…and the unmatched power of an endorphin rush 😉

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