Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Latest Collection

I haven't posted any paintings in a while, so I thought I'd just put all the latest work up all at once. Do you see a theme here? Two of the paintings were of the view out our condo window in Navarre, one on a stormy day. Two are of shells we found on the beach, and one is from a photo taking in a state park. I took about 700 pictures during our month in Florida, and I could have taken even more. I'll take them when I go back in the fall. I have enough inspiration now for a lot of paintings. Now all I need is the time to paint! It will probably have to wait a while, though, due to other pressing duties. At least I know I'll have plenty of things ready when I can get back to it.:) Life is good...

Saturday, April 11, 2009

A Different Sort of Easter

Every year since I was old enough to remember, my dad made special egg dye and put it in tiny little bottles. The Saturday night before Easter, the family would gather around the table and color HOT hard-boiled eggs with the vibrant (except for the purple, which never turned out right) colors daubed on with Q-tips. As the family grew, so did the number of eggs colored each year. In recent years, the number was seven dozen so all the kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids could color to their hearts' content. We had some very unusual and pretty eggs (and fingers!), as you can see in these older pictures. Even after my mom died, this tradition continued, with everyone gathering in Dad's kitchen while he supervised the egg-boiling. He never did color the eggs after we grew up, but he always wanted to continue is job. Some of the eggs would go home with us at the end of the evening, and the rest would stay with him to put in some baskets for us and for him to eat, as hard-boiled eggs are a particular favorite of his.

The next day, Easter, we all gathered for supper at Dad's. He bought the ham and the snack stuff, and the rest of us provided the sides and dessert. Easter baskets that had been hidden were found, and a good time was had by all.

This year, things are different, and I have found myself floundering around, not quite knowing what to do. Dad has had a difficult six months, and he is presently in a rehab facility to rebuild strength enough to function at home. At first we thought he might make it home by Easter, but this week it became apparent that he would not. I had not made contingency plans, and now I am caught. I wanted to get some eggs and make the dye myself and do the eggs with our kids and grandkids at home, but Terry did not want to bother with what he terms "the mess." You may be able to tell the ritual was never as important to him as it was to me. So even though the grandkids were all here today, there was no egg coloring. We did hide Easter baskets for them, and then we went to the rehab center to visit Dad. They had a big egg hunt there, so the little ones participated in that. This evening, Alissa and the boys went home. I think Chip and Shira have plans with her family tomorrow, and I believe Doug and Kellie will come here after visiting Dad. It's all so very different, and it doesn't feel right, but that's the way it is, and we just have to adjust. We can be grateful that Dad is slowly recuperating and that he enjoyed the visit from his great-grandkids today, and we can pray that he continues to recover. And we have to remember that, always, life is good...
I hope everyone has a happy and blessed Easter!

Monday, April 06, 2009

I'm Back!

We have (regretfully) returned from our extended stay in Navarre Beach, Florida. We have never gone anywhere for more than two weeks before, and that was 30 years ago. Most of our trips in later years have been less than a week in length. It seemed we were coming home way too soon to suit me, but Terry was always ready to be home. He is more of a homebody than I am. I was born to travel. For this reason, I was curious to see how Terry would take this extended stay. Much to my amazement, he loved it! Neither of us was really ready to return to reality, even though we knew we had to, for a variety of reasons. He liked it so much that we have already booked the same lovely condo for a month in October. We think it may make a nice tradition-a month in the spring and one in the fall each year. Although I am not traveling all over the place as I might like, I am content to do this.
During our stay, we explored much of the surrounding area. I got to swim (even though the pool was cold) and go to the beach as I liked. I painted several pieces and read 10 novels. We were relaxed and happy and rarely had even a disagreement. It was lovely. Our two sons and families spent long weekends with us, too, which was fun. Most of the time, the weather was beautifully sunny, although windy. There were only 5 days of rain.
Unfortunately, life's realities intruded on our idyll, and it became time to leave. My dad, who I thought was recovering nicely from his many ailments when we left, had a serious setback and was hospitalized yet again. I did worry about him and called him daily to monitor his progress, but I knew my sister was bearing a heavy burden by herself. Projects that Terry had lined up with the two boys were going to need getting done, especially since a new grandchild is on the way this fall (yay!). We haven't seen Drew and Nick since Christmas, which is too long. So we came home to pick up the threads of everyday life. But that's okay. It's less than five months until we can go back! Life is indeed good...