Home Is Where the Art Is

By Ivan and Beth Misner

"The Chess Match"

“The Chess Match”

"Rain Pillar"

“Rain Pillar”

What a turbulent two years we (Ivan and Beth) have been through. You know those times when things are moving so fast you feel like you are riding on a runaway horse and all you can do is hold on and pray he doesn’t take a sharp right turn? That has been us for the past little while.  We bought a small condo in Texas as our primary residence and moved some of our belongings there. We put our house in Claremont on the market, but left most of our things there, so it would show well. We did not stay in the house when we returned to California for work, preferring to keep it ready at all times to be viewed by prospective buyers. We hit the road for work and were gone literally more than we were home, so we didn’t really get to settle in to our Texas condo and “nest.”

When we moved our belongings out of the Claremont house, most of our things went to the Texas condo and some things went into storage in Texas, waiting for the day when we are traveling less and feel ready to have a house again (sigh).  Although we have a place to live, we both felt like we didn’t have a “home.”

Tree

“Beauty’s Privilege”

And then the artwork we had chosen from Claremont arrived at our condo in Austin.  As we started unpacking the paintings (some created by our very own talented daughter, Ashley Misner) and statues − familiar beloved friends − choosing where they would be displayed, a thought came to us: Home is where the art is!

We have some of our pieces in place in our Austin condo now. Just walking in the front door brings a smile and a sense of belonging as we see The Chess Match, Beauty’s Privilege, Rain Pillar and Wednesday on the Coral Sea, pieces we have collected together over many years and from many different travels.

For us, anyway, home IS where the art is.

A Flock of Cranes!

The sight of cranes on the horizon are a sure sign of an improving economy. No, I’m not talking about the flying type of crane – I’m talking about the construction type of crane (tower cranes).

Crane2--Blog

I was standing on my balcony looking across the Austin, Texas city skyline and I counted ELEVEN giant stationary tower cranes (not counting the smaller, portable cranes).  Though there were eleven cranes in my view, I’m well aware that there are also many more nearby that are located beyond the scope of what I can see from the vantage point of my balcony.  Standing there and looking out at these massive pieces of construction equipment, it suddenly struck me that the number of cranes in a city are a good indicator of the strength of the local economy.

I did a quick Google search and found that The National Journal recently reported that there are 37 construction projects currently in progress in Washington DC. The New Zealand Herald reported that two years ago there were no cranes in Wellington and today there are six major residential projects in the area (cranes included, of course). The Financial Times recently reported that over the last few years there has been more than one crane for every square kilometer in London!

Construction Cranes are an indicator that an area’s economy is thriving.  They are certainly an indicator of this in Austin which also remains #1 in job growth in the U.S. being the only city in the country with double digit job growth for several years in a row.

How many cranes do you see in your local area?  How does the number of cranes compare to the local economy?  I’m really interested in getting your feedback on this so please take a moment to leave your comments in the discussion forum below. Thanks!

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