This morning I awakened to a gloomy sky. I had breakfast and walked on Main Street. I went to the Visitor Center and watched the movie about Herbert Hoover. I then decided that I should try to work even though there were no shadows to be found. I opened my laptop and was greeted by Alexis Smith and we chatted a bit. Then, the sun peeked through and I worked again on the pastel of the cottage. Met with a few rangers and visitors. Everyone is so friendly.
Today I discovered that there is an unlocked wireless network within range, and I was able to upload my journal. I hope I can continue this all week. There was a kind employee at the Presidential Library that actually hand delivered their password to me but i could not get it to work. So this evening's discovery is terrific. I will post some pictures into a gallery and this will be very productive this residency. Some parks do not even have cell phone coverage so this is great. I have been uploading images to facebook , but this is even better.
So today I completed the oil of the cottage backdoor, and went to the prairie and painted. The weather was the best! It was about 65 degrees. Ricardo called and I was the happiest today. Good feelings and good painting.
A great breakfast of bacon and eggs helps to send one off to a great day of painting. I painted the cottage from the rear. I met so many nice visitors interested in my work. The cottage painting is almost complete. I then worked at the pastel of the facade. There are picket fences all over the grounds here and they are not the easiest to paint. I took a walk on Main Street. They are filming a zombie movie called "Collapse" and it is interesting to see bloody people walking around perfectly fine.
I awaken at daybreak and peak through the curtains to see the alley of the historic buildings that stand proudly on Main Street. I make coffee (I brought from home), and eat a cookie Ricardo packed for me for breakfast. I open the kitchen door to see the warmth of color and the chill of autumn runs through me. I look across at the buildings that surround my house and immediately realize their age. They are mostly from the 1870's. I grab my coat and gloves, it was about 39 degrees.....and walk to the visitor center about three blocks away. I meet two ranger and I am given volunteer uniform shirts, jacket, a fleece vest and cap. The best gift was the brass VIP name tag. I walk around the center, and realize want to do something to begin my work here. I travel on route 6 to buy groceries for the week and drive though cornfields and farms. Iowa is very flat, similar to Florida. Everyone is very polite ,but I find it amusing that the cashiers at the grocery store did not know directions to Herbert Hoover NHS, only two roads and about twenty miles away.
I snack on the groceries while putting things in place and can't wait to explore my home for the next week. I take a walk and see the cottage. I am amazed at it's size , only about 240 square feet. Some visitors arrive and the ranger gives a short tour which I enjoy. I then walk to the Presidential Library and Museum. The weather is cold and overcast. The light flat, so i thought it best to just explore to find some places to paint. I then walk the tall grass prairie which I find to be my favorite place so far. The grass is golden and there are many wonderful views of West Branch.
Late afternoon I take out my pastels and begin to paint the cottage . The light is bad. It gets dark at about 6:00, not at all like Miami.