First, Jemesii and Jamie have adopted a new puppy, and her name is Fig. So far we have had to satisfy ourselves with photos and the little videos Jem posts on Facebook, but Miss Fig is cute as a button and we are very much looking forward to making her acquaintance.
Secondly, a shout out to my stepfather, Jim. After a lifelong career as an engineer, educator and administrator, Jim has not taken retirement sitting down. He is the full time caretaker of our mother Evalynn, whose health has rapidly declined in the past few years. She has battled both breast and kidney cancer and now must contend with limited mobility in addition to advanced macular degeneration. An excellent painter at one time, my mom was also an avid patron of the arts, an interest she shares with Jim. Their home in St. George houses a large collection of paintings and sculpture. Now almost blind, sadly much of what mom previously enjoyed is no longer viable, but my parents have continued to attend local concerts and often listen to books on tape together.
In addition to caring for mom, Jim does all of the cleaning, cooking, shopping, and maintenance of their yard and pool. In his spare time he plays a mean game of golf, produces and records his own music, dabbles in photography and knocks out creative writing. In fact, he recently wrote and published a charming e book, titled Two Boys and a Dog, which can be purchased for download from either Kindle or iBooks. At the age of 79, Jim shows no signs of slowing down.
I am inspired by my stepfather’s enthusiasm and motivation, and feel like a bit of a slacker in comparison. However, I have a small announcement of my own: I am drawing and painting again.
Of all the mysteries in my life, one of the greatest is why it has become so very difficult for me to devote time to making art. Ever since I was a small child, I have wanted to be an artist, and I remained devoted to my craft until I became a mother. Since then, it has been fits and starts. Until my fiftieth birthday, I was still using the tired line that I was going to be an artist when I grew up. I will allow that I have always exercised creativity, but lately that practice has been primarily limited to writing and photography.
However, pencils and paint were my first love and I am ready to revisit them. In fact, after I tuck into a little lunch, I’m going to wedge open the skylight in my little ‘studio’ under the eaves, and give it another go. May it become a habit.