How wonderful!

Blue Mountain Lake, Q. Cassetti, 2011We got up to Sagamore just a minute before the dinner bell rang yesterday. It was a wonderful drive—albeit a bit new for us as we missed a turn, so “Talkin’ Tina” our GPS took us through the italian section of Rome, NY to see the wonders (and italian delis) of that little industrial town prior to meeting up with the great northern way that took us to Old Forge. What a fun drive with my boyfriend seeing new sights, talking about this and that…and knowing that we had a few days to decompress a bit.

Rob needed sweaters and I needed a raincoat so we stopped at the Gillinghams type emporium in Old Forge for both. Gillinghams, for the record, is one of my most favorite stores in the United States of America. It is located in Woodstock, VT and they have everything from nutcrackers to cheese, shoes to salad bowls, organic hand balm to penny candy—a veritable yankee’s version of Aladdin’s cave. I always burn through a bunch of money there and never regret my purchase. The Old Forge version had just what we were looking for at a good (not great) price. We were sure that if we had bought sweaters and a raincoat, it would guarantee perfect warm weather during our short stay at the utopia in the Adirondacks, The Great Camp Sagamore. And outside of the small, violent downpours today, we have had that.

We were granted the best room in the Main lodge. Our room has a huge stone fireplace along with a bathroom we do not have to share. We even have a fan (brilliant Rob even brought one along for a just in case). It is lovely and we are so delighted for the extra treat.

My random chit chat about this and that went over well after Elizabeth Buchinger charmed and delighted the room into thinking about image, brand, and focus around how to be successful with lots of pushing the people into groups to figure it out as teams. I had some good questions (about copyright, about creative commons) and I think if I didn’t put them to sleep, mesmerize them—they at least were courteous and nice not to go to sleep. A lovely young woman who works at a historic house in the NYC area greeted me with tears saying that I confirmed that one should pursue your passion…and I guess she needed to hear that today. It was quite heartening though I must admit, I was a bit on autopilot, so goodness knows what I said that struck that amazing chord. I am happy that the crew got something to take home and think about.

I am loving the people here and cannot say enough about them. The Sagamore meeting always affirms to me what is good and great about New York State. Strong and smart people from the Hanford Mills Museum, to the witty museum professional from NYC, to the shrewd manager of a Historic House Museum— they all have chops, confidence and a bushytailed aspect of learning and growing from each other. This is an amazing event that happens quietly, annually in these historic woods, and it changes lives. How often does that happen. I am blessed to have been included.

Lunch was packed at breakfast time, so we went off to have lunch at Uncas, the other Great Camp just “down the driveway” from Sagamore. It was wonderful to be in that lovely space again amongst the heavy wrought iron, the stones and wood, the ancient taxidermy and the adorable little lake that lapped up on the beach close to the house. The entire architecture as it interfaces nature is perfection there…and as Beverly told us, it was because it was sited by the original architect of this camp—not a wealthy patron who was in the chain of those who acquired the property and the magic that comes with it. I love how livable Uncas is—with space to stretch out to read, to think, to be one with the elements. The amazing Uncas fireplace complete with the original ironwork (with turtles and the word Uncas in the designs) has an inglenood…and again according to Beverly, is one of the largest fireplaces in the string of famous Adirondack camps.

We had a nice discussion this afternoon about public programming and then off to the Adirondack Museum to hang out and smell the flowers (and see the exhibits). I was stunned by the pink hydrangeas and the masses of Japanese anemones growing upward and outward with deep purple buds covered by small bees trying to get the last bits of yumminess before the frosts begin. The mists were covering the tops of the mountain right above us on Blue Mountain Lake— and I took great delicious breaths of air and tried to print it all on my small brain. We had a fun chat with a new friend on beekeeping, on collections. on Vermont and on Cooperstown, and with another on Antarctica, on fund raising, on national press and on dreams. all of this with the changing skycap over Blue Mountain Lake below us—going from stormy, to cloudy to clear…all over the twinking water and evergreen backdrop.  My head needs to stop ticking…it is great stuff.

I bought balsam in a bag… so I can bring that Adirondack scent home with me.

And now my obligations are complete. I can take tomorrow off perhaps to dream and draw albeit today’s drawings were of trees for my client’s holiday cards. Maybe my pictures will happen tomorrow.