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Archive for the ‘Picture Stories’ Category

I am thankful to the readers who check in on Napkinwriter, although my posts have not been frequent for some time now. There are two reasons for this. My main work in writing is dedicated time to my memoir, Journey Girl. The second reason is I have skipped over to play time in the arts: painting, drawing, coloring, sketching and hanging out with a amazing tribe of others who cherish their art practice. I am learning many things and one of those things is that my time is really crowded much more than I ever thought it would be.

Watercolor has caught my fancy and I have so many others that inspire me that I might achieve one day. The biggest thing I have achieved is that playing with watercolor really makes me happy. And I like happy.

 

I love the beauty of flowers.

Sketching, and Ink and color are intriguing to me. I get lost in the essence and just want to hint at their beauty.

Playing with abstracts and the mix of dark and light bring new adventures upon the page.

I notice that when I am painting, I notice more things around me rather than take them for granted.

Layers — a skill to learn. Learning to trust, and my favorite teacher’s goal is to teach us to become our own favorite artist.

 

Playing with different art mediums — crayon and pencil.

Fun with nature.

Learning to draw what I see.

 

So many choices, so little time.

Fun selfie adventures.

 

Even art in the sidewalk cracks.

Anywhere I am, anywhere I go, paper and pen, paints and pastels provide amusing creative time. But I plan to start coming back to Napkinwriter on a weekly basis, for it is a joy of my heart.

 

 

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Life to Art. Art to Life. She slips through the Advent Portal in the Wildwood, her Divine Child is not adverse to the theme of the season — Waiting— Waiting when all the world seems in a rush, waiting when extra duty and even desires stack up upon her day, waiting for the smile and peace to adorn her body as she slips and slides the labyrinthian paths that lead to family and friends. Waiting to settle into her own breath, breathe into her own bones, ever watchful, faithfully waiting to hear again the familiar and sacred messages that come with this season. This is her favorite sacred season, that special time BEFORE Christmas, just as her second favorite season comes right AFTER the Resurrection, when the women find the grave empty. I have reason to pause…to wait…to accept darkness in the world, but know…always know that the light, the light within me, does not cave to the darkness. I do not have to wait for the light. It is within me. I only have to be awake and know.

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Just reminding myself that life is good…with images that please me.

I am Journey Girl and I open to the blessings in my life.

 

 

And I do see it, more and more.

So blessed to be with my friend on this trip in the Alps in 2013.

So blessed by my path, even when I don’t know where it leads.

 

Praying in gratitude for my good friend, Lois. Seeing her in comfort as many ways as she can, and even rooting for Notre Dame, her favorite team.

 

We are indeed, encouraged.

I see God’s glory all around us, and

 

My taste buds are enhanced in the goodness of life.


My heart gives thanks.

and He knows my name.

 

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“They can be like a sun, words.
they can do for the heart
what light can
for a field.”
Saint John of the Cross

Words did that for me yesterday as the weather outside shifted between grey skies and breakouts of a gentle, blue sky with the sun shining down upon me.

Editing, revising, and reconstructing awkwardly worded sentences is the same kind of mixture of sun and cloudy murkiness. And that was what I was doing. But when the feeling of “just right” begins to appear, so does the light in the field that Saint John of the Cross speaks of in this quote.

Then later, in a welcome period of rest, came the kind, gentle and inspiring words of a friend, responding to me in email. She had read and appreciated the words I had sent her in a few chapters of the book I am working on. Enough energy and blessing in her own words to bring me to the next pages of creation.

This is a time where our news media seem fixated on the next annoying, obnoxious, and inflammatory TWEET issued by anyone who has an axe to grind, or just feels a streak of mean-ness coming on. Where is the sunshine here? How much better could the world be served by the worldwide net if it blanketed  the globe with words meant to heal; to build up; to enlighten; to build up hope in the existence of goodness.

These words do exist. I have found “my creative, educational, and spiritual tribes” who bring them forth in poetry, song, prose, and good will. With freedom of choice, I relish this sunshine and share some of the sunshine I found in the Alps five years ago with a friend.

 

 

 

 

 

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We arrived on the day of the Lilac Parade. Our three-car caravan traveling North on I-75 into Gaylord, where we stopped for lunch and a Father’s Day Celebration.

 

Then we were ferry-bound, bicycles and all for Mackinac and Dufina Cottage.

 

and, of course, the Horse Taxi ride up to the cottage.

 

 

Passing the Grand.

 

 

Up the hill…

 

Good times and ambiance in Dufina.

 

 

 

 


Puzzle solving.

 

 

 

 

 

Music, music, music.

 

Early morning view from our bedroom window.

 

 

Porch sitting and conversations.

 

 

Breakfast nook.

 

 

 

Games of Go Fish!

 

 

Outings on the Island. Bicycles!

 

Outings on the Island.

 

 

 

 

 

Ice Cream!

 

Mission Point Date with Tom

 


 

Last Night Movie Night watching The Notebook.

 


 

Once more, time to leave again.  Wonderful time.


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It’s official now. Summer has arrived in Marshall, Michigan on the gentle June evening breezes in Stewart’s Landing and the first Marshall Rotary Band Summer Concert performance.

Tom and I followed clarinetist Kathleen and percussionist Andrew into the park and set up in front row seats.

We were treated to so many spirited marches from famed composers along with a mixture of melodies from My Fair Lady. I was enjoying it so much, the lady next to me was singing the lyrics and I felt like maybe I could really have danced all night.

It is such a wonderful thing to see Kathleen and Andrew perform, as they have for many years. The community performance band has entertained for forty years, and that is a phenomenal accomplishment.  Devon and Andrew have been a part of it since their high school years and Kathleen, for nearly twenty years.

It is inspiring to see that once one chooses music and an instrument, they don’t ever really put it down. Youth through special senior status played away enthusiastically and professionally.

 

 

The audience ranged high into the elder years this night, but the 4th of July concert at the Fountain, complete with chicken bar-b-q and children’s bike and pet parade bring the whole family out, selecting their favorite spot on the lawn with outstretched blanket and the wagon they pulled their young children in to the event. It’s like a step back in time and most attire is completely red, white and blue, stars and stripes. The featured conclusion to each year’s 4th of July event is the melody of tributes to each branch of the armed forces. Always gets me!! And they stand up when their song is played to the clapping and respect of the rest of us.

But, back to June…and here we are last night at intermission in grand park surroundings and weather.

 

 

The after-concert tradition. Ice Cream treat of course!

In line with the band leader.


Lots of people had the same idea.

 

The reward for patience!!

 

We went back to Kathleen’s all happy, with songs playing in our heads.

 

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Tom and I received an invitation in the mail today. We will be marking the date for a visit to Christ the King School for Grandparents’ Day on Monday, April 30, 2018 to be with Amy, age 10, in the fourth grade. Well, it was not actually THE invitation. It will follow. It is a SAVE THE DATE heads up.

From firm roots, grow beautiful leaves…

Indeed!  It is winter here in Kentucky, with a cold spell and snow on the ground, but I know we are blessed with firm roots, even though we planted those roots several times in different orchards.

Our first beautiful leaves…

These two awesome leaves gave us our grandchildren leaves.

Devon…first born granddaughter

what a new world opened to us.

 

 

Her brother, Andrew, now a first year Central Michigan University Marching Chippewa in the percussion section…I always knew he would play the drums; this year he clanged the symbols mightily in one of the best college fight songs there is.

 

Their love and talent in music stems from their passionate mother… a CMU marching band alumni, Tekonsha school music director 5th grade through high school, and community theater music director for children and adult performers, and Misdirection Jazz Band founder who books gigs and outings in her area. She has NYC in her sights…

 

Andrew

Lucy and Andrew

 

Cousins

 

So many leaves filling out our tree…such solid roots of love…

And then comes dynamo, Amy Frances Mitchell, who is taking her mother’s energy to a new level…

Amy’s leaf blows cheerfully in the wind as a sports enthusiast, a gifted and joyful pianist, a Minecraft  exquisite designer, a math wizard, and fashionista, just to name a few.

Amy is always watching out for grandma and dziadzia, telling us she is S T R O N G. Here she is helping us replant our roots in our second apartment in Lexington in one year’s time.  I feel our roots deepening here for a strong hold over a long, long time, now feeling another orchard is on the horizon for awhile.

 

Pumpkin girl

Christmas surprise

 

Clownfish

She likes horses and is taking riding lessons. So I gave her a copy of BLACK BEAUTY for Christmas, one of my very favorite books which I was a young girl, oh so very long ago.

A kalaidscope now, all the years running together…our arms threading into the  leaves like branches, not getting to hold them as often. Devon, a college graduate and married to Tyler, a new grandson leaf on our tree, making their way into an “out-of-school” world, and holding promise of future young leaves we will get to share our love with. Andrew, totally engaged in the college scene, with a musical beat and a friendly social presence that promises so much fun. And close-by Amy, who brings light and young energy to her grandparents that feed their souls.

Scrabble

A beautiful Christmas gift made by Devon.

 

Grandparents day 2017

Last Year’s Grandparents’ Day

 

Beautiful leaves from a grateful tree.

 

 

 

 

 

Bride Devon

 

On the Journey

Thank you, God.  We are loving the journey.

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