I'm off to Cleveland! Which I find somewhat funny because if you do a Google Earth search for my violin store (Korinthian Violins 2900 S. Delaware Ave Milwaukee WI) and zoom in, you will see that the building kitty corner from us--in the flight path of people arriving at the nearby airport--has the words "Welcome to Cleveland" on the roof. (Just to mess with people who may panic that they are about to land in the wrong industrial Midwestern city by another Great Lake.)
The Violin Society of America holds a convention every fall, and every other year the convention includes an instrument and bow making competition. This year I'm entering a violin:
The convention itself should be fun. The last one I attended was four years ago in Portland, Oregon, and I got to bring the whole family along. This time I'm going alone. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about that.
On the one hand, my son is turning six next week. SIX. (My baby is so not a baby anymore and I need to get over that someday.) I don't like the idea of being away from him right before his birthday, but he says he doesn't want more than a family party this year so all I really need to do when I get home is make a cake and I'm not overly needed on the party score. But still. I don't like being away from my kids.
On the other hand, I get to be away from my kids! (Oh, the paradox, it burns.) I'll have a hotel room to myself. With maid service. And (I'm hoping) no lice. So my plan is, when I'm not attending lectures, to hunker down in my room and finish some writing because I will finally be interruption free for days instead of minutes. Hard to even wrap my mind around that concept, really.
I do wish I had a convention buddy, though. It's so much more fun with a friend to attend lectures with and talk to about everything that's going on. And at heart I'm shy. I like being with people, but my gut reaction when I think about seeing anyone is always Noooooo! even though actually being with people is fine. The only people I ever long to be with are my husband and my kids, but that's almost a physical need. They're part of me, so we can just lean on each other and be happy and it's not the same thing as having to socialize. But I will try to mingle. Maybe I'll even make a new friend. Who knows what happens without children around? (Not me anymore.)
The big draw of the convention for me (besides getting a critique from judges about my instrument so I can learn where to improve) is the vendor tables. I have a commission for a new instrument and the player wants a one piece back, so I plan to look through stacks of wood and find something beautiful. I love being able to handle all the spruce and maple myself instead of ordering it from afar and hoping I get something I like. I'm planning on a bit of a wood buying spree. Plus varnish supplies. And I need some bass bar stock. And there are tools there! So yeah, buddy or no buddy I will have fun at this convention.
Wish me luck!