As we prepared to leave the bookmaking workshop at The Art Garden, Jane Wegscheider, our teacher and muse, said those of us planning to attend the Valentine workshop should start collecting the memorabilia or photographs that we would need.
Hmmmm. This suggested that we would not be making traditional Valentines with lace and ribbon, or even clever and artistic Valentines like those Sandra Denis was selling down at the Arts Coop in Shelburne Falls. I was particularly taken with one that showed a candle with a shiny gold flame and a gorgeous moth singing ‘I’m attracted to you.’
But Henry and I have been married too long for mere attraction. How would I express that? MAPS! Henry loves maps and we have traveled many long roads together. I even have a photo that my cousin took of our backs as we walked down a dirt road in Leyden with Kathy, my youngest in 1972. I always called that photo The Road to Pork Corners, the mythical rural place where we would finally settle down.
About ten years ago Henry went back to school at Umass and got a degree in Geography with a specialty in cartography, the making of maps. His skills helped Heath get their first official tax maps while he served as an assessor. Maps would be my theme.
I made copies of maps and photos of roads we had traveled from The Road to Pork Corners, across continents, and to The End of the Road. Our life in eight pages.
When I began I expected to make a simple card, albeit with several pages, but it became something more, something unexpected, with layers, complexities and embellishments I never imagined. Something like our life.