Two weeks ago at this time I was taking in my first experience of the annual Willa Cather Spring Conference. For months my excitement grew for the event, which included a 700-mile solo road trip each way.
I gave my presentation over her novel My Antonia the first day of the conference, and for the rest of the conference, I listened to other presentations on Willa Cather and on this great novel. I visited the various shops in Red Cloud, and wandered excessively in the gift shop and exhibits in the Willa Cather Foundation building.
I took a walk on the Willa Cather Memorial Prairie. The morning was sunny, breezy, and everything I expected for a journey across the open landscape.
On the Saturday of the conference, along with many other attendees, I visited Grace Episcopal Church for a worship service, a church in which Willa Cather had been a member. It was a cool morning inside the small church whose wooden pews creaked and whose lovely stained-glass windows glowed in the sunshine. It was wonderful to sing hymns along with pump organ, to hear so many voices packed into the church, to take communion.
The three days left me excited for future iterations of the conference, and you can be confident that I’ll share more picture from my future visits.
(If you want to see pictures from my first visit to Red Cloud, you can check out this post.)