Annual Cookout

Every summer at Hollins, we go visit the woman who made our MFA in Children's Book Writing and Illustrating program a possibility - Nancy Dahlstrom - former head of the Art Department at Hollins. She's since retired to her sweet Virginia country house surrounded by gardens and her extremely elaborate print studio. Its a joy to visit her little piece of Eden. Here she is sharing an etching with us.
After we oohed and aahed and learned in Nancy's studio, we moved the party to the back porch where we shucked corn and grilled chicken and vegetables for dinner, then had watermelon for desert. Ashley Wolff got this photo of me in perfect summertime mode.
The back porch is the perfect place to hang out and enjoy Nancy's beautiful garden
and the local critters.
Here we are - Ashley, Nancy, Me, Vicky and Aliya.
The sun started to set while we ate.
Before it got dark, we piled into Nancy's Gator and rode to the top of the mountain.
Nancy had bush-hogged the mountain so that the grass was walkable. It also meant we could see deer, and scream at the skunk we quickly u-turned away from. (He was running from us too!) Vicky and Aliya climbed up into the tree fort, where the view was even more amazing.
We caught fireflies, spit watermelon seeds, and generally had a marvelous evening. I love our annual cookouts at Nancy's and how nice to share it with friends!

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