When life is buzzing along
at a furious speed,
and we are flapping our wings
just as fast as we can go,
sometimes a sudden turn of
events reminds us to stop and
take a breath and come up for air.
And we realize a breath of fresh
air is just what we needed.
Currently I am in the midst of a most
JOYFUL project-- illustrating a delightful
Because I love dozens of whimsical details,
vibrant colors, and magical storytelling,
my style of illustrative artwork
takes hours to create. And I love
every minute; and it takes lots of those
minutes to complete the book.
With deadlines crunching all around me,
I learn my mom's dearest aunt had chosen
this week to head home to heaven.
Someone needed to drive my sweet mom
to be with her family and experience this
final time together. They were not family
members that I knew well, so mostly
strangers to me.
My siblings assured me THEY were too busy
to be Mom's traveling companion.
As an artist, I have found that not everyone
takes what I do seriously. Alas!
But the blessing was to be mine. I spent two
wonderful days walking down memory lane
with my mom, learning things about her life
as a child that I may never have taken the
time to know. Listening to tales of her
summers riding her horse, herding cows,
collecting cobs for the kitchen stove,
baking 6 loaves of bread a day for farm
hands, and tagging along with her grandpa
to the bar while he kept her quiet with poker
chips spent on candy treats. We visited the
farmstead where she gathered eggs from
pecking hens and took trips to town to
trade those eggs for groceries. We saw
where she spent her honeymoon at church
camp. We visited the most lush
green country hills of South Dakota and
slept under a tin roof as the rain pelted
down, in tiny country towns where everyone
still travels on dirt roads and lives without a
I met second and third cousins I never knew
existed. Such lovely people. I hope they
come visit me and my ocean. We have so
much to share.
It was a remarkable visit.
So grateful I was the one that took the time.
A treasure trove of people and
places, new sites, and the delicious smell of
fresh plowed dirt and lime green grass,
and gentle black cattle and baby calves
dotting the hillsides.
And when I finally got back home, the book
was still there, and the deadlines will still be
And I am much the richer for going.
I almost missed the best.