Tonight I'll be on the runway at MQX wearing Forget Me Knot! Look for pictures tomorrow. This is the first of two shows that I'll be attending and wearing my garments in fashion shows in the next week. Next Friday, I will be in Paducah, KY for the AQS show wearing Midnight Garden.
I really love to travel, and getting away for a few days by myself to attend an out of town show is actually fun for me. It gives me a break from routine and is exciting to see what others are doing creatively. My usual plan for attending the AQS show in Paducah, KY is to fly into St. Louis or Nashville, pick up a car, drive closer to Paducah and stay at a hotel in the area. That's what the plan was for this year, too.
"Was" is the important word in the last sentence. My plans have changed. I am now going to drive to Paducah and bring my children along for the trip. Now, why on earth would I do such a thing? Paducah is over 1200 miles away, about 18 hours of freeway driving. Several reasons, really.
First, we will be on Spring Break next week. This allows me to take the trip and not have to take any time out of my regular teaching schedule. Second, the children like to go to shows and see what their mother is doing. Third and most importantly, I'm doing this for my husband. That sounds odd, but let me explain.
My husband is a computer network engineer. In his line of work, certifications from software and hardware vendors such as Microsoft and Cisco are important. He is currently working on a certification from Cisco known as a CCIE, which stands for Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert. This is a very difficult certification that requires two separate exams, a written and lab. It is just about the equivalent of a doctorate degree My husband passed the written exam last July. The lab exam is an 8 hour exam in which the person is given a notebook and a rack of computer equipment and told to complete all the tasks in the notebook, with very little reference material. The exam is pass/fail, with 80% being the lowest passing mark. On the average it takes 3 tries to pass the lab exam. The exam costs $1200 to take, not including travel expenses to one of two locations in the US (there are other test centers worldwide). When a person passes the exam, he or she is given a number. Currently there are only 15,000 to 20,000 active CCIEs in the world.
You can see that this is a very big deal, and has been in our household for the past 16 months. My husband's lab exam is scheduled for Tuesday, Apr. 29, which is the week after the AQS show in Paducah. Next week, he has taken a week of vacation to make final preparations for the exam. If I fly out on next Thursday and come back late Saturday, he'll have to figure out what to do with children for 3 days and that is a major problem when he needs peace and quiet to study for the last few days before the exam. So, I've volunteered to take the children to Paducah with me. My hope is that this will give him extra preparation time with no distractions. I'll leave home Wednesday morning and be back Sunday night. He flies out the next day to be on location for the test on Tuesday. Let us hope and pray that he passes this exam the first time!
Parting Shot: Another 70's Treasure, 1974. I remember wearing similarly styled dresses in the 70's when I was a little girl. My mother would make dresses like this for me for special occasions and holidays like Easter.