Wednesday, July 20, 2011


LIVES after
or holes in paintings

This painting
began many years ago .....

The first strokes of paint were applied
a short time before we sailed away from
Winchester Bay in
KHARAH, a 30 ft Tahiti sailboat.
I had a display of my paintings
(some as seen to the right)
at a friend's Grand Opening
of her ice cream parlour.

I was dabbing away at the geraniums, trying to get them to look more realistic
when I heard two ladies behind me discussing my work.
I didn't turn around
but sharply perked up my ears to hear their comments.

"I don't like that painting," lady one said in a Southern accent. "It's got a cat in it ... and I hate cats!"
Whew. Okay, I thought, not everyone likes cats.
It could have been one of three paintings she didn't like because of the furry creature in the scene.
I love to paint cats into my scenes.

"Oh I love all the cat paintings!" lady number two responded.
I didn't turn around ....
just keep working on the geraniums, I told myself.

And then I realized lady number one (the cat hater) was leaning over my shoulder and watching me make globs of red and green paint look like geraniums.

"Now I like this one!" she happily exclaimed. "No cats and I love geraniums ... and the people in the  ................."
She was silent for a moment
then leaned right over my shoulder, her hair brushing against my head and asked,

"Is that a black girl in that picture?"

"Hmmm," I uttered. "I ummm ............."
Well, to be honest, I didn't realize the mother in my painting was appearing to be anything other than a white pioneer lady with her family.
BUT YES!  She was looking like a black lady.
And lady number one (cat hater)
was herself a black woman..... so she should know!

I turned my head and smiled and said,
"Well, yes she is a black lady."
My newfound-friendly art critic then said,

"Well now .... I love that painting!"
Sometimes complete strangers can see
things we are doing in a totally
fresh perspective.
Such as it was in my painting "Family Treasures".
Such as it is in our lives.

I sold many of my paintings at the
Ice Cream Parlour Grand Opening
and had prints made for those
who missed out on buying the originals.
I also distributed some of my originals
to my children.
Family heirlooms to be passed onto their children.

But "Family Treasures" lived it's life in
an assortment of family members' closets
while Eldon and I went sailing.

After  we aquired a larger boat,
a 45 foot Columbia motor sailer,
I picked up "Family Treasures"
and made a little studio in the
v berth cabin .... lots of room for painting
and guests who visited while we were in
Baja Mexico, the Sea of Cortez.
In all that time of the painting living in closets, from one family
to another,
down to Mexico in our motorhome,
sitting on an easel in a sometimes
rock-n-rolling, sea worthy  v berth
it held up very well.

Until one day the unthinkable happened!

"Family Treasures"
was damaged!

I was transporting my unfinished painting
to put on display at an art show .... unfinished as it was,
I was encouraged by other artists to display it
for people to get a glimpse of an unfinished work.
And my dog stepped on it in the back of my car.

Initially I was shocked,
then disbelief
which turned into anger at myself
and sadness at the damage to something
that had been a part of my life for years
and years.
I beat myself up because I had transported it in a way
that damage could happen.
But in the back of my mind
I forced myself to realize
this damage could be repaired .... at a $$$$$  cost.

However, repair......
is not that simple after the destruction
of a relationship or
death of a loved one.

Eldon's memorial candle first lit
at Jill's Baptism in 1959
and then at Eldon's
celebration of
accepting Jesus
two days before
they met
Feb.3, 2009.
To be continued ..............

July 21, 2011

....... and then there's
or in this case
ships   wrecked

What's wrong with this picture?
For some boat owners
the damage to their dreams
can never be repaired ....
bits and pieces of their
beloved "homes of the sea"
can be salvaged ....
were salvaged.
The plans and
dreams these boat owners had
were disrupted or destroyed in a few hours
due to the destructive fury
of a hurricane in the Sea of Cortez in 2001.
After the storm
the sun came out,
a soft gentle breeze strewn about
keepsakes and valuable memorabilia,
now dissolved into trash, or scattered out
into the sea
never again to be found.

Loss by death,
or shipwreck .............

In time
all can be healed .........
never the same
but healed.

Capable hands worked together
to sort out the wreckage and destruction
done to the yachts ..... grand or humble.
Some sailed again
others were only valuable
as scrap to be used on other boats.
The sailors got on with their lives ...

"Family Treasures" has been
sent to an
art conservator and is
ready to pick up ..... at a high cost,
hole repaired
and ready for me to apply paint
over the
It now has a history..
a story to tell.

While Eldon and I were cruising
"landlubber" friends often asked
why I didn't write a book about our
sailing adventures. A "story to tell."
My reply,
"We never sank,
were shipwrecked,
lost at sea,
or  ............
cruising is
80% boredom
10% hard work
10% sheer terror!

And what's the story to tell
after the loss of a loved one?

You are the same
yet different.

Life goes on
but is changed.

There is acceptance and peace,
a new you.

But it all takes time to repair,
heal and restore
that which was destroyed,
or removed from your
life ......
but never removed from your heart.

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