Monday, September 20, 2010

Conversations To, From and In San Antonio

I love a trip to San Antonio because the road is wide, the sky is usually blue and extravagantly filled with masses of clouds and I am on my way to visit a good friend who is the cousin-in-law of another good friend here in Houston. I head for San Antonio a couple of times a year for a visit with Aggie Eyster. These visits used to be with both Aggie and her husband Dick Eyster. But Dick fell ill a year and a half ago and died much too soon. His presence is still there though, and on Friday evening, we spoke about our wish that he be right there with us on the screen porch eating supper.
I've shared many an interesting evening on that porch while eating salads from Aggie's vegetable garden. And then there were the breakfasts on the porch with eggs all mixed with chorizo and chilies and bowls of fresh cut pineapple and mangos.
This road trip to San Antonio was a first for Earl and me. Together. In a car for a period of time. And it was fun. Of course. I've said that he and I were drawn together through conversation. Well, we conversed the entire way to San Antonio and all the way back to Houston two days later. Not a CD was played nor were there many moments of silence. We just always have a lot to talk about. He drove and I crocheted and we both talked and listened and talked some more.
We both had things we wanted to do in San Antonio, in addition to our visit with Aggie. Earl had business at the McNay Museum. I wanted to see Marilyn Lanfear's exhibition at the San Antonio Art League where she's honored as 2010 Artist of the Year. Then, of course, there is always the market and all the special places and people that Aggie knows.
Saturday was a very busy day. Marilyn Lanfear was in the gallery and she gave us a tour of her work. A real treat. I've always coveted one of her lead baby dress sculptures, especially those that stand on tall columns or pedestals. These totems about women and memories are evocative and memorable. By the way, Glass Tire has a nice mention of her work in its fall preview.
After seeing Marilyn's work, we made a very quick stop for truly good tacos at the Sanitary Tortilla Company (what a name), dashed home for fortifying cups of fresh coffee and then sped on to a visit with Pat and Hall Hammond. I first knew about Pat when she taught kite making when my daughters spent their summers at Camp Monterrey in Tennessee, way back when. Pat is not only a deft and clever kite maker, she is marvelously creative with word-plays and visual puns. We were greeted on her door step with our initials laid out in chains.
"Chain letters," she called this installation and then proceeded to tell us about mermaids and folk art and honey bees and many other magical things.
We were treated to honey on toothpicks in her kitchen. And then we watched Mexican jumping beans travel across the kitchen table and were invited to select a few of the 'jumpingess' of the beans to take home for our grandchildren. All in all, a scrumptious visit.
Aggie, Earl and I were slumping just a little by late afternoon. We'd had a very full day, but after a glass of wine, we rallied for dinner at a place where Aggie, Irina and I ate lunch last spring. However, we did not have a pleasant waiter for dinner and I wouldn't go there again. What a difference an unpleasant, condescending waiter makes at a dinner table.
After dinner, for whatever reasons, we made one more stop at a nearby shop and there was Diana Kennedy signing her new cookbook. And a huge book, it was. I am now hoping that I did not purge an early cookbook of hers that I owned, but may have given to 'the universe' when Queta was here readying me for renovating my garage into studio.
I cannot find it now among my cookbooks. I never, ever, cooked from that tome, but it would be nice to see it again, just because. I should be saying, 'Get over it, Mary Margaret.' It's a blessing that you gave a few books away.
Earl and I stayed in Aggie's tiny 'casita' just off her studio. I love that little space with the trundle bed and the curtains made of ancient table linens. No more rooster crowing in the early morning. Aggie's rooster is gone. He overprotected his hens, she says. Took on Aggie herself and two of her grandchildren. That did it. He was given the boot. I missed his morning crowing, but the hens are there, still laying fresh eggs and living in that strange little hen house covered with misprinted sheet metal that Aggie brought back Oaxaca.
All of us slept late both mornings. But after that first cup of coffee on Sunday morning, we shared a breakfast of corn tortillas, eggs with peppers and onions and leftover green salsa and barbacoa. Divine.
Hit the road and at Columbus, we also hit stormy weather, so jogged down to route 90 through Eagle Lake. Absolutely fabulous skies filled with thunder clouds. And ever more conversation. A good trip back to Houston.
The weekend is over and Monday was a very busy day, beginning with two meetings this morning with architect and construction folks. We are laying plans to build in whatever wall supports the artists will need when they install next spring. Thinking ahead. And it's just dawning on me that I've got to get started on my own work for the project. Not only am I overseeing the other artists on this team. I have artwork of my own to produce, including text for a staircase. Ever onward.
And, on another note, I plan to tighten and rework the memoir piece I finished in mid-August. Need to do that within the next two weeks. So it goes and it's all good.

1 comment:

Sharon said...

What a blessing that you have found someone who will converse while you travel. I loved family trips with my kids because there was always so much to talk about. With my husband, not so much....