Friday, August 7, 2009


When I sign onto the Internet, my provider also provides me with AP news blurbs, front and center in big blue letters, most of which I try to glance away from or squint past. Today’s five concerned: the airspeed failings of quite a few planes, the resignation of yet another public figure, Billy Mays’ autopsy findings, the grave illness of a member of a prominent political family, and the wife of yet another caught-in-the-headlights politician, carrying her worldly goods out of the governor’s residence after his much-publicized disgrace.

We need some GOOD NEWS, folks!! So I go straight to my list of happy places, and check in with friends I've never met, sharing their happinesses and their families and their accomplishments, their ups and downs and the sidewise loops life throws at us, as if I'd known them always.

And if not for them, and the fact that I spent the day with quite a few nice people I know, having lovely chats with a neighbor, a very Dear Daughter-in-Law, and a polite, smart young man who works for us now and then, with the added charm of spending the entire day in company of a quicksilver little almost-two in pink capris and a matching ribbon on her tiny whalespout, running and playing tag and chasing bubbles and drawing great colorful pages of aaaaaaart, I think I’d just go to bed and stay there til Christmas.

And here’s a story that BRIGHTS me:

One of our wedding presents long years ago was a beautiful handmade vase, gift from my dearest cousin---she comments now and then, as “Anonymous” and then signs her posts, “Love high as the mountains, Maggie.”

It’s a lovely piece, cool and smooth to the touch, heavy with clay and character; there’s a jaunty tilt to one side, a prosperous little swell of a belly, and a small streak of glaze, dripped from the lip and drizzled down an inch or two. I love it, and it’s been with us in all the homes of our marriage.

One night soon after we received it, I woke WAY in the wee hours and went to the kitchen for some water. I walked into a bright-lit room to find Caro sitting at the long orange bar and the blue vase filled with jonquils. Her childhood paintset lay open beside her, the long thin box of Crayola watercolors in the little square wells rimmed in faint frames of yesterday’s spill.
She was mixing colors on a plain old white Corelle plate, the hues running toward each other and mingling into fanciful shapes and shades.

She’d painted only bayou scenes heretofore, with scraggy cypress knees and hanging moss and a scatter of graceful mallards coming in for a sunset landing. But she'd always had the touch of an artist, making elaborately-decorated cakes and beautifully arranged party trays, carving fruit and vegetables into intricately-beautiful birds and flowers.

I watched for a few moments, then left her to her work. And in the morning, this was waiting for me, finished and dry and ready to frame:

And it's gone with us wherever we've lived ever since.
Isn't that a LOVELY thing??


Nail said...

It certainly is...I don't think she got that from our side of the family...I'm totally craft impaired!
Sep't of course for music...

Tonja said...

What a sweet story! I love it! Isn't if strange the things that become our treasures? They may be run of the mill to anyone else, but to us they become a posession that we love. Great story, and beautiful vase and picture!

Southern Lady said...

Oh, how precious, Rachel. Caro's painting is beautiful and that was such a touching thing for her to do for you.

Indy Cookie said...

What a precious keepsake! Caro's painting is just lovely!