I've had small little trips since my last Italy posting in 2011. Little local trips such as Galena, IL, New Buffalo, MI, central IL, Lakeside, MI, Albany, WI. A few further national trips to see Matt & Ashley's new home in North Carolina. Then a much needed trip to Oklahoma City to see Grandma & Colleen.
Now, finally, it's time for a long vacation. This time, with my wonderful boyfriend-partner Todd to Vermont for a two-week writing residency. Two weeks to only write. It seems like a wonderful gift. The last time I took a longer vacation for myself to travel and write was in 2006 when I traveled around South Africa for the summer (as posted at the beginnings of this blog).
This time, we're heading off to the Vermont Studio Center for two-week writing residencies. We both received partial funding and grants from the Illinois Arts Council. At the Center, we'll each receive our own writing studio to work on our projects. 48 other artists & writers will be there at the same time, so there will be plenty of conversation to spark ideas. No cooking or doing dishes for two weeks.
In the five weeks before we travel, there is an abundant amount of work to be done.
Dad and I travel to Missouri in March for a father-daughter genealogy trip to Kansas City, Columbia, Odessa, and the Lafayette County countryside. Empty the camera and empty the digital voice recorder. Time to store up another round of Ewing history--all of which I hope to morph into poems and stories while in Vermont.
Mom and I will travel to the south side of Chicago where she was born to explore the footsteps of her youth and of her parents and grandparents. It's an area I've never seen but heard much about. Since I've been scanning photos from my grandparents' photo albums, I can appreciate even more how rooted they were in their neighborhood. My grandma remembers moving from one house to the one next door to the next as their family grew larger.
I also wait for three of my genealogy poems to be published in Exit 7, a new journal out of Kentucky.
For now, it's working, writing, and waiting to board the flight for this next exciting journey.