24 Years and Counting!

24 years ago, on a rainy Saturday afternoon, I married my awesome hubby:



We’ve lived in 4 different states since then, are raising 2 awesome boys, supporting each other in good times and bad, and encouraging each other to find time for our passion!

We are both lucky to have jobs that actually use one of our passions! Although as the Dean of the School of Music at the University of Redlands Andrew has lots of administrative duties that can be a drain, he can still teach trombone, and every summer play with some of the world’s best low brass players that come to teach at the Pokorny Seminar he puts together. Gene Pokorny is the tubist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and spent his first 2 years of college at the UoR way back in the day; when Andrew connected with him 11 years ago, they cooked up this seminar, and each summer low brass players from around the world come for a week of really high level playing and teaching. This allows Andrew to continue to play and teach at a really high level, one of his passions!

One of his OTHER passions is woodworking! Through the years he’s built some furniture for us and family members. Here’s a pine chest he built the first year we were married, pine is all we could afford so I painted it with poppies, along with 1 of the pair of maple/cherry end tables he’s built for our bedroom:


When we lived in Chicago, friends of mine gave me this wooden Arts & Crafts style rocker that had been left in a broken down greenhouse for a couple years. Way back when we refinished and recovered it, a couple years ago it needed some new repairs and a new seat cover:


When we lived in Kentucky, we occasionally went to auctions that had stacks of hardwood. We literally saw the same stacks more than once as one old woodworker would buy the stack at the auction (for more than we could afford) and then his family auctioned it off again a couple years later. Cherry is our favorite wood, and at some point we were able to buy a stack or two, and most of it is still in our garage! He used some of it to re-build the bottom of this coffee table (that he had built a long time ago but with painted poplar legs made from smaller stock that was glued up to be thicker) two years ago:


If you’re not familiar with cherry wood furniture, it usually starts out light and over a couple of years ages to the deep red you can see in the legs here:


Well, our cherry is so old that this delicious red was there from the start!

Fast forward to a couple weeks ago and I mentioned to him how it would be nice if we could find a simple bench or something that we could quickly spiff up with a new cushion of indigo dyed linen that I could use as part of my “Mood Indigo” featured artist show at the RAA in mid-July. Well, he decided that it was time for him to make a Morris Chair, (take a look at this Google image search if you’re not familiar with the style) in his copious amount of spare time! Hah! But he loves me, sees the vision I have in my mind, and so has been working in the sweltering garage to design and execute his own version of  a Morris Chair from 3 different sets of plans he has. It will again be a mix of cherry and maple, here are almost all the pieces roughly cut to size


Yesterday he cut over 40 tenons:


and then started laying out the slats for one side of the chair:




Next up is cutting square mortises for all those tenons!

We’ll head out to dinner just the two of us this evening, and then it’s back to planning for Pokorny which starts on July 4, and chair building for him, while I’ve got a lot of indigo art to make!

Indeed, our life is full, and we wouldn’t have it any other way!