It’s day 2 (not including travel days) of my 5-year reunion trip to WV/VA with my dear friend Lynsi. Our 2-day drive out here saw the pop stations on heavy rotation, because trashy pop is what we do when we travel together. We heard plenty (too much?) Flo-Rida, hence the G.D.F.R. reference in our trip hashtag (because you can’t have a trip in 2015 without a special hashtag). This trip was a long-time coming, so Going Down For Real seemed fitting. Annual conversations took place between Lynsi, who has since made regular trips back, and me:
You coming this year? // No, I can’t swing it this year // Oh. Maybe next year // Definitely!
[one year goes by, same conversation occurs.]
But here I am! Here we are! A little background on how we ended up in this neck of the woods in the first place . . .
Lynsi, one year older than me, found a live-in-nanny-slash-art-studio-apprentice-on-a-farm gig through some green jobs website while wrapping up her senior year. Seemed sort of random to me, but not everyone has a job lined up when they graduate.
Fast forward a year and there I am with no job lined up. I had offers from both my parents and my then-boyfriend-now-husband’s parents to live with and work for them. Either would have been good (and ultimately Kyle and I did spend time living with both sets of parents) but a fateful phone call to Lynsi the day after graduation quickly turned into a conversation with and seasonal job offer from her boss, and I flew out the following week.
My position was Farm Kitchen Apprentice, or some flavor of that. I lived onsite at Smith Meadows Farm, in the basement of the family home. Every weekday I’d wake up, walk the 30 yards to the onsite pasta kitchen, and make lots of pasta and other delicious food, which was then sold the following week at 5 or 6 D.C.-area farmers markets. Every Saturday, I’d go into the city to sell fresh pasta and “happy meat” at Dupont Circle.
Besides establishing friendships with our roommates, boss Nancy and her 5-year-old son, Linus, we met a lot of fascinating characters on and near the farm, from old ladies who believed in fairies to hippie leathersmiths to ravers-turned-yoginis (just scratching the surface here . . . )
And then through Nancy, Lynsi, and then I, met Joy Bridy, a wood fire potter outside of Shepherdstown, WV. (Joy often forgets that she lives in this state and cringes at being reminded. She likes to say she lives in “Potomia” or the Potomac Watershed Region.)
Lynsi and I helped Joy build her kiln 5 years ago and stoked it in its first firing. Now we are back for the kiln’s 10th firing, staying with Joy and husband Daniell in their lovely old home on their beautiful, wooded land.
I’ve been snapping quite a few pictured on my actual camera, but at the moment don’t have a way to get them from camera to computer, so pardon the phone pics:
Joy engineered this beast: a 70+ cubic foot bourry box kiln she calls “The Overkiln.”
Lots of tea in ceramic mugs this weekend. Not to mention delicious food. Potters are notorious foodies and Joy is no exception. (Lynsi made that little plate!)
This is old hat for Lynsi.
New friend since last I was here! Aptly named Buddy.
Joy at her wheel while the fire roars outside.
Double duty: fire stoking and sweater knitting.
And it burned through the night. Today’s the day for the big-time stoking—from 400° 1200°.
Well, I’m out into the wind to feed the fire! More to come soon!