We had a really hectic day yesterday.  It was a day where we mainly provided transportation.  Eliott had an early shift, and then between the two of us we forgot his lunch in the car.  We spent considerable time stuck in traffic at MOA to drop it off.  It seems because it was cold every Minnesotan had decided to go there.  Because, yes, the temperature was a high of 7 yesterday.  Can you sense a bit of bitterness in my voice about the weather?

Anyway, Paul was on tap to go skiing.  Now, you may wonder why we took our son skiing when the high for the day was 7.  Well, this trip was planned a month ago.  We though it would warm up a little before March. Here is what the internet says about Minneapolis in March:

The month of March is characterized by very rapidly rising daily high temperatures, with daily highs increasing from 34°F to 49°F over the course of the month, exceeding 63°F or dropping below 20°F only one day in ten.

Well, we have the first 20 days taken care of for cold, hopefully.

In any case, we dressed the boy very warmly and dropped in off at Afton Alps.  This is a beautiful ski area to southeast of Minneapolis.  There are many runs and beautiful visas.  Since we weren’t sure if he would want to stay long because of the cold, we decided to explore the area.  We drove through some lovely landscape to Afton.  I have heard of Afton before and somehow I thought the town would be larger.  The town proper is only about eight blocks long and about two blocks wide.  It is geographically blocked by some quite steep hills on one side and the river on the other.  We drove through once, not realizing this was all, then turned around and went back, charmed by the little town.  We were looking for a business district to kill some time.

Steve saw a sign for Mudslinger Pottery.  We went in and discovered a pottery studio.  There were a group of women there having a great time making pots. They were kind enough to give me a pomegranate martini, which somehow made the grey, cold day somewhat brighter. The pots they were making were lovely, and considering how much they had drunk, I believe it was the teacher’s hand guiding them to success.  The master potter’s name was Kevin  O’Hara.  He had some beautiful pieces available for purchase.  I especially liked the busts he had made.

We also met Byron Moore.  He showed us his paintings.  These were very interesting abstract pieces.  His technique for making them was very unusual.  He is using particle board made from large chunks of wood, not finely ground particles, for the structural base of his paintings.  Then he traced some of the shapes of the internal chunks of wood in the board with a wood burner.  He painted the interior of the shapes multiple times and outlined these shapes with marker. This created a surface that evokes maps and stained glass windows as an initial impression, with many other smaller impressions within the work.  Both Steve and I were struck by the use of a readymade manufactured material transformed into a beautiful painting.

On our way back to pick up the boy, we saw three deer.  I include this because usually I am not the one to pick out wildlife.  In fact, I spent a good part of my childhood squinting at where my dad was pointing and really just seeing trees. Sometimes even through binoculars. This time I thought they were statues because they were so large (this is probably not helping my overblown pride of seeing them) and they were standing in someone’s yard along the road.  But when we doubled back they moved and sure enough they were real.

When we got back to pick up the boy, he really wasn’t cold except his face.  I guess we dressed him warm enough or he had enough testosterone and bravado to make up the difference.  He had a great day, and I guess Steve and I did, too, on our little adventure.

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