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Gentle Highlights

I’m not talking about hair color. I’m thinking of all the soft high points to the events of a life. In the last couple of weeks I had my solo show opening and reception; family and friends visiting; Thanksgiving; and then my Holiday Open Studio. Although the show opening was a very big life event for me, the things that stand out today, after all is done and dusted, are those small things that mean so much.

My son Peter and my sister Mary flew in from the East and West Coasts. Many friends and acquaintances showed up for the opening and Peter put the hard sell on a few of them. He poured wine at the reception, took photos, bought paintings himself. His girlfriend sent flowers. At dinner after, with family and friends, I looked down the long table at all these important people in my life, loving how much they were enjoying each other, and I made a little speech of thanks, especially for everything my two sons had done to make this happen. Oliver had seen me through the early days of trying to paint, photographed all the pieces, tried to salvage my homemade frames and ultimately framed and wired the paintings properly. I wanted to thank them publicly.

Peter putting the hard sell on his former PE teacher

Mary and Peter stayed on for Thanksgiving, which was so much fun for me. They doubled our usual number for Thanksgiving dinner. The four of us, my two sons and we two sisters, worked hard but convivially together to make a fabulous meal, along with hand cranked ice cream. We ate like great pigs. The four of us played games after dinner, and Mary won all of them! She and I played Christmas duets on the piano when the boys were out. We took many walks in all my favorite places. The dogs were loved upon.

It was the first Thanksgiving in many years that I had not made a list of all I’m thankful for. I really didn’t need to write anything down. All the things are very present with me.

After Mary and Peter had both gone, I jumped right into getting ready for my Open Studio. It twas great, but again, it’s the small moments that I will remember, the people, the friends, old and new, the ones who surprised me as well as the faithful. All the little things stand out. An artist sent me a note, thanking me for sending people to her sale, despite uncomfortable history between us. A neighbor who didn’t realize I’d started painting came to see, and looked carefully through my book from the show. A young abstract artist I barely know looked through the book, too. He was full of praise, invited me to come and talk art with him! And there was so much more. There always is, I think, so much more.

Yes, having a solo show of my paintings is a very big deal to me. But all of the quiet moments are, too.

“Life is not measured by time. It is measured by moments.” ― Armin Houman

“Everyone has the desire to freeze a wonderful moment they are in, just like a camera, and stay in that moment forever!” ― Mehmet Murat Ildan

“You must collect moments. Those will be the true wealth of your soul.” ― Liviu C. Tudose

If you’d like to see my paintings online, go here. If you’re looking for my cards or art, you’ll find all of that on my website. If you enjoy these letters, feel free to forward this one to anyone you think might like it. And if someone forwarded this one to you, you can sign up here to receive the letters right in your Inbox. Finally, you’ll find past letters and poems here.

Thanks for listening,

P.S. MerryThoughts is the name of my first book, out of print at the moment. The word is a British one, referring both to a wishbone and to the ritual of breaking the wishbone with the intention of either having a wish granted or being the one who marries first, thus the “merry thoughts.”

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