July 2010 Newsletter

Artistic Voyage: News from Mickey

Life’s Mysteries and Succumbing to Change

Throughout my life I have always welcomed the mystery of change. You know, making new friends, visiting new places, taking a different route to a familiar destination or contemplating a move. Since my husband passed of cancer three years ago I have worked very hard to stay in the home that we bought together. The day I walked in I knew it was home. The naive little girl in me thought it would be for the rest of our lives and for Bob it was. I can’t remember anything I have fought more than leaving our beautiful home although it was much larger than one person and a canine companion would need. (Please, don’t tell Bella I referred to her as a “dog.”) Finally realizing the stress of the upkeep and the financial burden, a move was imminent.

This past winter I shoveled more  snow than I had shoveled in the previous three winters I had lived there. When I stuffed that snow shovel in the trash can before the movers came I can’t describe the  relief I felt. Off to town home living, again. Now I am looking forward to  the coming winter, sitting in front of my fireplace and sipping “silver tea” while someone else shovels the  glistening, pristine show from my sidewalk and drive. Our wonderful friends we will miss the most but they aren’t far from where Bella and I now live.

There are flowering plants in front of our town home but I don’t have to weed them. I still have lots of house plants that made the move and plants on my deck and patio. My deck and patio at this home is mostly shaded so I get to plant things that I didn’t have before. It’s a nice change.

As I sit on the deck of my new home writing this newsletter I realize how short-sighted it is to fight what we have so little control  over, change. How out-of-touch with myself I had become. I am intrinsically aware, now,  of how transient life is. That may seem obvious to most but for me I have been searching for a place that would feel like  “home” since my father left when I was ten years old. I have lived in beautiful houses, I have a loving and supportive family but something was always missing. I’ve heard the words, “home is where the heart is” and thought I understood what those words meant. Now I  feel what those words mean. “Home” is not where you live or who you are with but a place within. A place you can retreat to and feel content with who you are, where you are and with whatever life has blessed you. Caring for my husband taught me many things about me. A few of the things I learned . . .

• I have more strength than I ever imagined

• I can be a care giver and feel incredible love while giving

• nothing lasts forever and that’s just a part of life on this planet

“I have studied flowers for my paintings and I have looked at my life. The time was right to go into the garden of life to do some pruning. I am speaking kindly, praying softly and pruning back. Now I plow ahead.” This is a revised quote from Sarah Ban Breathnach, Simple Abundance. I read it over ten years ago and keep it in my kitchen to read after breakfast, a practice I had let go of about three years ago. It’s a nice way to start my day, again.

I finished my spring painting entitled “And How Did You Get in Here?”

This change has been a pleasant surprise and I am happier because of it. Life is a mystery . . . and what you make of it is up to you.

A poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Little flower – but if I could understand
What you are, root and all, and all in all
I should know what God (and woman) is.

Bella’s Insights

Happy summer Everyone! Wow, have things  changed. Mom and some special friends started putting our things in boxes last month and I was  not feeling very comfortable with that. Then a  bunch of guys showed up and took them to what turned out to be our new home but I heard mom  refer to it as, “the move from h*!!, (a place I never heard of). Boxes were every place and our car still doesn’t fit in the garage.

I miss my friends, especially Bailey. She wasn’t very happy about our leaving. Mom spent a lot of time unpacking and putting bookshelves together.  Her friend Jo came and helped each week. Jo even found a book she liked. I was curious to know what our new neighbors were like so I planted myself in one of mom’s flower pots to check them out. Don’t tell mom but I did a bit of digging while I was in there. I kind of liked that pot before mom put plants in it. Mom’s been repotting plants since the unpacking inside is done. She told me plants need to be repotted at least every two years and she was a bit behind on that. She said even if the roots don’t need more room to grow, the dirt needs to be changed because the nutrients are gone. Guess mom and I got a little pot-bound in our old place. It’s not easy to replant yourself, to take the shock of the new soil, to fall into the unknown and take root in it.

Now that we are “repotted”. Our furniture looks perfect with the new wall colors. Even mom’s art looks like she painted it for this house. Guess that’s why she uses lots of different colors in her paintings – so they look good in lots of places. I learned that  sometimes you just gotta give in and go with the flow!

Ta ta for now,


Regard, Unrequited Love, Sunshine, Respect,
The sun shines when I’m with you.

Formality, Stay As Sweet As You Are

are living art, created to hang on, stand up, forbear, continue and
encourage others.”

Maya Angelou


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