Thursday, April 29, 2010

In A Beach State of Mind

As I sit here drinking my coffee this morning, listening to the bluebirds chirp right outside my window, I am wishing I was at the beach. Even though it is forty-four degrees outside and barely feels like spring, I could enjoy being at the beach. As I wind down my work days with just ten weeks to go, I am having a great deal of trouble remaining focused on work . My brain wants to run and play and draw and paste. I may have an art day this Saturday just to give myself a preview of my new life. It is hard to contain anticipation.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Exhibit 1: The Story Project

"Only Misty Joys"

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Dress Rehearsal

This week, while on spring break, I practiced for retirement. I guess you could say I engaged in a dress rehearsal. I use the term "dress" loosely because I spent most of the week in my old yard pants, a scruffy t-shirt, and my blacksmithing shoes. When I did leave the house, my attire was somewhat better although not remarkable. I was busy everyday and certainly don't feel ready to go back to work on Monday. I have planted my vegetable garden and the little seedlings have popped their little heads up in only five days; I have weeded for hours preparing the yard for spring; I helped Janet mow; I took the dog to the vet for her yearly shots; I had my own eyes examined for a new pair of glasses because I can't see a doggone thing; I shopped at the local thrift stores and found some exceptional vintage linens; I caught up on my blogging; I created a fantastic piece of art which I will blog about at a later time; I entertained some friends and one of my children; I talked on Facebook with my teenage granddaughter; I met with my insurance man in preparation for my Medicare supplemental medical policy; I'm sure I did a lot more because I am really tired but can't remember what else I squeezed into this week. I was not bored; I did not feel without purpose; I did not think about work; I think I'm ready for the main event.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Papa's Azaleas

When the time came, seven years ago, for me to move my parents out of their home, I agonized as to what plants I should dig up to bring with me. My father was a dedicated gardener and all of his plants were his prized possessions. His azaleas, however, were the plants he loved the most. And so, it was that I decided to bring at least two or three of his most babied plants to my home here in the country.

Because I had so many things to think about when closing up their home, I was not particular as to how I potted and transported these plants. They had been in the ground for over forty years so their root system was very well established. I guess you could compare their roots to those of my parents and neither the plants nor my parents moved easily.

I planted the azalea bushes in the woods near the little glen where our wild azaleas are planted. We pay very little attention to theses plants because they are away from the main house and we often forget they are there. This winter, though, it rained a lot; more than it has rained in many a winter here in Florida. So when we took our spring walk to see what was budding, we happened upon my father's white, forty-something year old Formosa azalea in full bloom. Were he still alive and in his home, he would be taking me outside, we would be walking around the yard, and he would be pointing out this plant to me as an indication of his skill as a gardener. I am thrilled that it is thriving.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Camp Jeannette

Yesterday, I spent the day visiting my friend Jeannette who lives on Lake Santa Fe in Melrose. I visit her about once a year because even though she only lives about an hour away, she rarely has a weekend at home due to the travel involved with her job. When I visit, I bring my art supplies and when I arrive, she takes out her paints and brushes and we have a day together at what I call, "Camp Jeannette". We talk non-stop and problem-solve all day whether the topics relate to our work, our families, our leisure time, or our creative ideas. This problem-solving is very often accompanied by several Mimosas garnished with strawberries and peach schnapps. Sometimes we forget to eat lunch but when we remember, lunch often looks like the spinach, strawberry, and feta salad pictured above that Jeannette "threw" together yesterday.
We sometimes sit at the bar in the kitchen (and if you turn around, this is what you see); or we sit on the porch shown in this photo, swing on the swing, and look out at the lake. Yesterday, we sat at the dining room table, did a lot of sketching, and tried out several new tubes of watercolors.. The hours slip away without my knowing they have gone. Before I realize it, I am back in the car on the highway headed home, taking with me many new ideas, a stronger forged bond of friendship, a newly painted picture and a bag of fresh strawberries. What a beautiful way to begin Spring Break.