Sunday, September 2, 2012

Capping Off Summer

 Dubuque Museum of Art - with huge statues to the left

Summer seems to be winding down here in southern Wisconsin.  The evenings are getting cooler, the nights filled with the sounds of crickets, the flowers looking tired and ragged.  My husband celebrated his birthday this week, and his desire was to take a multiple day bicycle ride home from the Mississippi River.  The weather forecast for the week looked good, so we drove west to Dubuque, and stayed over at the Hotel Julien Dubuque - very nice indeed.  Then he took his bicycle off the rack, hooked on the panniers, and left for a ride that included a side trip to the Quad Cities, a total of nearly 3oo miles by the time he returned home yesterday.

I had wanted to see the Dubuque Museum of Art, but it was closed on Monday when we arrived, so before I left Tuesday I waited around for it to open.  I wanted to see both their current exhibit of folk art, and their collection of Grant Wood art.  The museum opens at 10 o'clock, so I had time to sit in the park across the street and sketch the giant American Gothic figures that stand near the entrance.

My quick sketch of the statues - complete with a giant suitcase

The original Grant Wood painting, taken on a recent trip to the Chicago Art Institute

Before coming back home I drove north on the Iowa side of the Mississippi to McGregor, where I had made arrangements to be outfitted as a Victorian lady for a couple upcoming events with our historical society.  River Junction Trade Co. is a wonderful place, two stores, one for men and another for women.  It is filled with everything a historical society docent or re-enactor could need - hats, shoes, fans, dresses, undergarments, jewelry, anything.  I ended up with a walking skirt, mutton-sleeve shirtwaist, belt and cape.  I'm still considering what to do for a hat, but I had reached the full amount I had budgeted.

Mel helped me select clothing appropriate for a Victorian lady. My outfit is considerably less flashy than hers!

I had some time once I got home to read, water the garden, and take my annual trip to the Walworth County Fair.  It was hot, so I was not too surprised to find the midway uncrowded.  Or perhaps it was just because it was a weekday, and most adults were working.  Being retired, I not only got in for a reduced admission, but got to visit on a day the building were almost empty, and no lines at the stand with pork sandwiches, or cream puffs.  

It was crowded for the pig races, though.  These little porkers seem more than happy to scramble for the chance at an Oreo cookie.

I enjoy the fair, seeing the garden produce, the 4-H projects, the antiques.  I like wandering through the barns, seeing kids washing and brushing their cattle, feeding their chickens or rabbits, showing their goats or sheep.  But it always feels a little sad too, remembering how the fair was always a place to win ribbons, meet friends, ride the rides, mooch quarters off my dad or grandfather, who always seemed to be there too.  I did see one friend from school at the fair, but all in all, I felt a little like Rip Van Winkle, unrecognized in a familiar but changed place.

1 comment:

Arty Velarde said...

I love your beautiful sketch!