Friday, January 31, 2020

It's All About Erie, PA......Off the Wall Friday

If I could  I would take the whole month of January off from life.  While the whole world is making New Year's Resolutions, I'm struggling just to complete my daily routine.  After 50 years of it, I don't fight it because its really only 31 days and sooner or later it will be February  This year it was a little worse than normal but as the days get longer, the sun on the banks of Lake Erie is out a bit more  and I slowly come awake.

With that, I was looking for new project that would excite me.  I have a to-do list but nothing has grabbed me enough to get me back into the studio.  Until now.    With all the Christmas sales, I managed to snag a quick online class with Leni Wiener. I've admired her work for years and was interested in her creative process. on afternoon I watched the class....perused her webpage....and finally, read her book.  (Its a little amazing what you can do from your bedroom these days!)

Well to say I was inspired an understatement.  For the next few weeks, my mind has been ruminating on how to use what I learned.  Since last summer, I've wanted to start some pieces that would reflect, the history of Erie County, Pennsylvania.  I really love living here.  It has just the right mix of beauty,  community, and blue class flavor that I wanted to celebrate that.

hmmmmm but HOW??

So I started at one of my favorite places in the whole world, Blasco Library in Erie, PA.  Now all libraries, any libraries have always been and will always be my happy place.  (That and Wegman's in the morning but that's a whole other post!)  From when I was little girl, I'll walk into a library and all I see is a world of possibilities at my finger tips....for free!!  I always say that its the best use of my tax dollars and Blasco is no exception!

It was built about 23 years ago right on the lake front.  Naysayers at the time said who would want to go down on the lake front just to visit the main library?  Well apparently....a lot of people.  Attendance immediately shot up.    We do have a nice smaller branches scattered throughout the city and county but Blasco is the mothership.  Its kinda of like Erie - concrete, brick and glass and looks over the lake.  Its light and airy inside (although kinda echoey for a library!) and has two big stories.  I love the layout with non-fiction on the first floor and fiction and The Hertiage Room on the second.

The Hertiage Room houses the history resources.  They have genealogy, local/state history, newspapers back to 1822 (yes 1822!!) etc etc......PLUS all the tech to go with it.  There are plenty of computers, Database software subscriptions, Microfilm machines, scanners and printers.  Plus its QUIET!!  Here in an hour, I found all the inspirational photos I needed plus some seeds were sown (pun intended - LOL!) for some additional projects.

The best part??  Its all free ...well free due to my tax dollars and donations.  The library is open 7 days a week to everyone...from the homeless getting a nap out of the rain to the well to do retiree
looking up her families geneology.  LOVE IT!!

This is only the first half of the treasures found at our local Erie County Library.  I'll finish up this post next week!!  If you haven't explored your local library  recently I highly suggest it.  With the advent of the internet, I know its easy to think we have the world at our fingertips just by opening up your laptop but sometimes its nice to go out into your community  and actually look at the material in person.

This year I decided I'm going to add a new part of my blog....Things I Like and Don't Like.  This week, tragedy hit our small part of the county.  22 year old Alex Cavanah was shot and killed while working a Saturday afternoon as shift  manager at our local Wendy's.  By all accounts, he was a special young man and husband who was studying to be a minister.  Bad things happen all the time in
this world and in a blink of an eye a person's life is gone....but that doesn't mean I have to like it!

What I do like is...that in this time of Democrat against Republican...Blue against Red....a country divided, my community came together to celebrate Alex's life.  On Wednesday, Wendy's reopened to donate all proceed's of the day's sale to Alex's wife and family.  Wendy's also would match all the sales plus had donation buckets at all county Wendy's (that would be matched as well).  Between social and local media, the word got out.  From the moment the store opened at 10 am to when it closed at midnight there were lines and lines of cars waiting to get in.  The cars stretched for miles with over 2 hr waits in the drive through.  Lines in the restaurants round around and around inside sometimes reaching out the door.  It was crazy and heartwarming at the same time.  My husband and I splurge on calories to show our support and waited 1.5 hrs for our meal at 9 pm at night.  In the midst of it all people all celebrated Alex and community and a good hamburger all in one!  (Alex's GoFundme Page)

I really think that these two events  woke me from my January funk!!  Life is too short to sit around waiting for the sun to come out.

So What Have You Been Creating???
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Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

what great community support for a victim of violence. That is wonderful show of support. Also I love your library ours is so tiny and wishes to grow larger if only they had the community support

Chris said...

I once wrote and delivered a speech about the village I lived in for a competition when I was 15 in our local high school. I came third out of three. Interesting how 50 years later I was standing on a platform in India speaking to 10,000 people without getting a dry mouth and forgetting what I was saying. Our local library was in someone's farmhouse and I walked there occasionally to find a book to read.

Cool Lizzie said...

I love this post, Nina Marie. I love learning about different communities, and I love how much you enjoy living there. The "blue collar" remark really hit home, too, as that is just how I feel about my small community on the west coast of Washington State.
And YES about January. My birthday is the 8th and is always barely acknowledged since everyone is shot after the big xmas/NY push... talk about a downer! And finally I must comment on the view out the library window showing the tall ship, Brig Niagara. My husband worked with tall ships for much of his adult life, and we both enjoyed seeing Niagara and realizing that's the view from the library sometimes!!
Again - thanks so much for this post - it's wonderful across the board!

Andree G. Faubert said...

Hi Nina Marie, I'm glad that you're back and full of enthusiasm.

Margaret said...

Thank you. Just that. Thank you. As a Canadian, I've been watching with particular interest and a certain morbid fascination what's been happening over the last almost 4 years in your once-great land. We tend to catch pneumonia when the US catches a cold. The story -- however sad -- about that young man's death is yet another example of blessing brought out of pain...

It is good you are back. I've met Leni and have seen a piece of her work up close years ago at the Rocky Mtn. Quilt Museum in Denver (during a SAQA conference). She's tough, tenacious and very talented; I am glad her workshop has inspired you.

My library card is my best friend...and where I live, it's free (or by donation; I choose to donate because I can). And because I live in the boonies, I am especially appreciative of inter-library loans with Big City libraries. But enough rambling. Thank you again for all you do to link us online, so we can share our stories. :-)

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