On a rainy June day I rented a Zipcar, loaded it with a borrowed cooler full of Jello and navigated my way north to Arlington.
The cooler had no handles. Once I got to Smoke Farm I wasn't exactly sure where I was going since the only other time I'd visited my site we had come at it by a very circuitous route.
There were lots of other people there, artists checking out their own sites, but as far as getting my tests done I was on my own. I set off with the cooler on my shoulder and the rain coming down. Incredible as it may seem given where I live I don't own an actual rain jacket so there I was in my jean jacket getting pleasantly damp.
It wasn't cold. Luckily someone on Facebook had advised me just before I left to wear galoshes and while I don't own a pair of those either at the last second I grabbed my trusty Ice Bugs, my lightweight snowboots, and man was I glad as I swished through wet grass and squelched down the muddy trails.
As I trudged off down the dirt path from the main building I thought it would be cool to get some footage for my Sprout presentation. So I stopped to fish my iPhone out of my jacket pocket and well let's just say that walking down a dirt road with a cooler on your shoulder in the pouring rain on a mission to plant Jello in the grass is not helped by fits of hilarity.
I found my site with no trouble and got good and wet de-molding my Jellos onto the grass and filming as much of the proceedings as I could. Spatulas, tin foil, cardboard, wet grass, mud and a lot of sticky Jello-molds...
Mission accomplished, almost. By deciding to skip stopping at my studio and off-loading my gear I got the Zipcar back to Seattle with seconds to spare. The parking spot was several blocks from my place and I figured I could handle the trek.
And so began the final leg of my adventure. With the cooler on my shoulder, wearing a backpack and carrying brown paper bags full of stuff in each hand, mere blocks from my home I found myself wondering how I was going to make it.
The empty cooler felt curiously heavy. I thought about the long hill up to my door. I thought about Ernest Shackleton.
Just then I rounded a bend and there parked on the side of the road by the lake was a beautiful white 1950's Bentley. The driver was standing in full uniform talking on his cell phone. I put everything down to admire the car. We got to chatting...
As he opened the door for me outside my place I couldn't help hoping everyone in the neighborhood was watching. It would have been more glamorous of course without the soggy jean jacket and the snow boots but there's something about being ceremoniously handed your brown paper bags and your handleless cooler full of Jello detritus by a uniformed chauffeur that pretty much makes up for anything.
A heartfelt shoutout to my chauffeur at British Motor Coach. Next time I need a Rolls, a Bentley or a London taxicab you have my business.