A tale of education and self-exploration.
In my never-ending pursuit of knowledge, I took a whirlwind journey to Urbana, IL this weekend. The Urbana Free Library together with John Heider, owner and operator of R.I.P., Ltd., provided a workshop on how to properly clean and repair/restore grave markers. Some of you may know I've been attempting to expand my knowledge in this arena for a while and have been unsuccessful in finding an educational avenue. This workshop was FREE, thanks to the Urbana Free Library, and they welcomed me to their event with true enthusiasm.
The library offered this workshop at no charge, but let me tell you it wasn't "free" for me to go. There was the cost of the hotel I stayed in on Friday night after driving in from Omaha, NE, roughly 490 miles, gas in the car, and then the drive back to Omaha after the event as I had obligations I needed to be in Omaha for on Sunday.
This event was exactly what I hoped it would be - an educated, experienced instructor who knows how to teach, and a group of like-minded folks who are eager to learn. An unexpected and serendipitous turn during the hands-on portion of the event was that all of the students were women. Now I am one who actively works to NOT place gender stereotypes on people, but I can't deny that in a group of people who are in a hands-on workshop, when the instruction comes that someone needs to "come lift this up", ladies have a tendency to step back and gents have a habit of coming forward. In our group there were no gents so the ladies were the ones who eventually moved in to lift those stones, dig those holes, and mix that adhesive. That was an unplanned benefit, at least for me.
So this particular blog post is more of a "thank you" to those responsible for the event. I will continue my pursuit for knowledge in this arena, but I am now equipped to begin resetting, leveling and making minor repairs to small stones.
Calling all local (Omaha and surrounding area) cemeteries!! If you'd like to give me the opportunity to hone my newly found skills, I'm on the hunt for some stones to straighten!