59/365 Round-trip road trip

I put nearly 500 miles on The Lady’s odometer today, and now feel like I put twice that mileage on me! (Dealing with miles of Houston-area traffic added to the *thrill factor*.) Despite the “little football players wearing cleats” which are now running around vigorously on my upper back and the new expletives my wrists & legs seem to have learned, I am a very happy gal!

Being an impatient sort (hehe – that shouldn’t surprise anyone who knows me!), I arranged to drive to Dickinson, TX to pick up my newest miniature treasure -a “Lady Jane” Conservatory – rather than (shudder!) trust the postal system to deliver it to me swiftly and undamaged. I left Casa Blackburn at 9 AM and located the Elmer’s (of “GweChe Collectibles”) driveway a little before our agreed upon 2 PM arrival time. Visited with Carroll & Gary Elmer (delightful people, attendees of many Castine workshops and well-known among discerning collectors of miniatures for many decades. Gary is an IGMA Fellow.) and thoroughly enjoyed a tour of the remaining (and still stellar) collection of artisan’s creations, many of which they are re-homing prior to moving/downsizing.

The Conservatory (MY Conservatory, now! Whee!!) completely surpassed its photos and my remembered impressions from various miniatures shows I have attended! I was absolutely thrilled to have achieved another portion of my post-retirement dream (adding creations from some of the *big name* miniaturists I have respected and had only on my wish list for many years.) The Conservatory was created by Jane Young (business name “Lady Jane”), and several of the furniture pieces in it were created by Gary himself.

I became aware (via several cell phone calls received while I was en route to Dickinson) that I would also be bringing back a large room box and another box/scene (maybe more!) for a member of my miniatures club. My Camaro carries a remarkable amount of cargo, but the available space was virtually filling as I drove! Just a bit more ‘spirited shopping’ by that member, and I could be trying to tow a U-haul trailer back to San Antone!

The “cargo space factor” began to fade quickly from my mind as I visited with Carroll & Gary and gazed at what was on display scant feet away from me; an “Oak Shadows” room box, built for Carroll by The Guys From Texas and furnished with beautiful Mission Style furnishings, a NAME House Party souvenir chair and other delights. It continued to sing its seductive song to me until I could stand it no longer – *phoned home* and received permission to use the household checking account. (Yes, I have been married for over 40 years and yes, I have full access to the checkbook, but this was NOT a small amount I was proposing to spend!)

I drove home with a snugly packed load; the trunk, deck, passenger seat and passenger-side floor area were packed tightly with several emptied, towel-swaddled room boxes and many shoe boxes of their carefully wrapped contents, plus a transformer & lead-in wire tucked behind the driver’s seat. (Remember that – there will be a test later!) Triumphant and exhausted, I pulled into our driveway at 7:30PM, with just enough energy left to over-see the temporary placement of the Conservatory and Oak Shadows (right in the middle of the dining room table! Good night, all!!

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