Who is Sue and what is Suelandia?

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Hey people.  In the midst of my frantic art show preparations, I took a little trip out west.  Had to-- this was a family reunion planned for nearly two years, to Jackson Hole Wyoming.  This is the airport there-- tiny!  When you get there all you can see are mountains rimming a very large, flat-as-a-pancake prairie. 

It struck me how growing up in this type of terrain must frame how you see the world, your horizon always visible.  It felt like being inside a series of rooms, walled-off by mountains.  I would think your world view would be influenced somehow, by the idea that space/geography is sort of segmented.  Also by the danger factor.  This was the big time wilderness, where people get eaten by bears, and get lost and freeze to death.  It was very beautiful there.

The locals were friendly in a genuine way I've noticed people from the west tend to be.  It's not the same as "MN nice", which is basically a way of using manners to keep people at arm's length.  Here people struck up conversations with you and didn't exhibit that wariness that they'd get sucked into some big conversation.  It was like visiting with strangers was pretty routine, and whatever they were doing could wait a few minutes.  Also, most were very fit looking, and tan.

 One thing I really liked out there was the lack of humidity.  I could literally go to bed with wet hair, wake up and kind of shake my head around, and look basically okay.  That has never in my life been the case!

The reunion was for my dad's side.  It's always a bit weird, because we barely know any of them.  My dad's mom died when he was 8, and when he was about 15 he remarried and started another family.  He was basically in college when his two half-sisters came along, and we were raised very far from any of them, and never saw them growing up.  I like them all, but am not always good in groups, unsure of what to say.

I did get to see Kate and her kids though.  Here's Megan having a love attack on her mom.  Jaden and I continue to have an interesting relationship.  Everyone I think thinks I am very hard on him, but to me he needs it.  I want him to be capable and well liked, not a spoiled arrogant ass, and that takes some laying down of boundaries.  I am tough on him, but he gravitates to me none-the-less, knowing, I think, that I love him.

I tell him real stuff, like, "I know you want to go first, but unless you want everyone to think you're a brat they don't want to be around, you have to learn to be cool about it.  It will show you're learning this to ask, 'Would someone else like to go before me?' when it is your turn."  And, "I know it's hard to be good all the time, but that's what you have to learn to do before you can grow up.  If you can't control how you feel about things, you have to learn to control how you ACT about it at least."  And there's quite a bit of . "Get over it.  Things aren't always going to go your way."

Megan and I see eye to eye on a lot of things.  I tell her things like, "Sometimes men, even Dads, get so caught up in the fun they want to have doing something, they forget about their kids a little, so you have to always watch out for yourself and make sure you are being safe when you're with them." and, "Boys don't think of their games and stories as violent, they just like action-- they don't think about anything getting hurt, mostly."   I love those guys and wish I could see them more often.

When Dan & I were there we went on a "Back country mountain bike tour".  The guide, who was around 50 and looked sort of like beef jerky he was so weather-beaten, lean, and tanned, said most of the locals didn't know about the trail he was taking us to.  It turned-out that was because it was a horse trail worn-in by a local dude ranch.  This meant dusty as hell, with tons of big loose rocks, and no switchbacks-- horses just walk straight up the hills I guess.  Some of the ride was on fire and logging roads too.  It was still fun-- the scenery was gorgeous!!  (But the altitude-- whoa-- what a lung burner!)

Work continues.  I hesitate to show these because they aren't finished, but here are the horses I've been working on.   

I'd call this tableau "I think it just MOVED!" or, "A tiny Polly Pocket shirt-- the HORROR!"

I have 3 in the works.  I'm assuming the blotchy rust spots will fade as layers are added.

Besides that I've been doing trail work like crazy trying to help prepare for a major state-wide race at the trail this weekend.  I'm now on board enough that I feel like I'm letting down my buddies if I don't help all I physically can, in addition to wanting the trail to be successful.  (Successful trail ='s my favorite hang-out being protected from turning into something else, like houses.)

Well, that's the lunch whistle-- back to the welder!


irishk said...

Sue those horses are amazing! Every time I see them, I am struck once again with their awesomeness. Your trip looks like a good time. You managed to get in a few adventures along the way:-)

katie said...

Just to clarify, Grandpa remarried when dad was 15..... xokt

Maery Rose said...

Looks similar to the terrain I saw in Colorado and yes, lack of humidity was a definite bonus. The immenseness of the mountains never fails to blow me away. But yeah, with that comes the lack of oxygen.

"If you can't control how you feel about things, you have to learn to control how you ACT about it at least." And there's quite a bit of . "Get over it. Things aren't always going to go your way."

I think we all need to be told that every once in awhile.