Posts Tagged ‘Travel’

Mooching our way across country, a continuing saga.

We planned a tentative itinerary, spent a whole day at the AAA office getting maps, routes, etc. found someone to take care of our cats, packed his little Mercury Tracer to overflow and in less than a week, we were on our way!

I truly didn’t know how far David’s energy would take us so I kept an open mind.  I thought that he might become too weak to travel very far, figuring we would be back home in a few days, a week at the most. I thought it would be a fun adventure no matter how long we were on the road.  I am always up for a trip!  Boy, did I underestimate my friend’s energy and determination! I was pretty amazed that we were actually on the road and heading west – all kinds of unknowns were ahead of us and I was pretty excited.

David and I had long philosophical talks while we were driving and his gentle acceptance of whatever fate lay before him gave me a new lease on life.  I need to remember that these days when I start worrying about the future.  His belief was to live for the moment and I am so proud to have been with him as he explored new places and long-desired visits to friends and family.

Since we both were somewhat frustrated in our personal lives, he kept trying to convince me that I was better than the guys I had been seeing since my divorce.  “Every shoe has a mate,” he said.  “Your trouble is that you have been settling for tennis shoes when you should be waiting for your Gucci to come along”.

(To be continued…)

A Kid’s View of America from the Back Seat of Daddy’s Car

When I was just out of the first grade at Miami Shores Elementary School, my father took a job as an electronics field engineer with a company based in Baltimore.  Upon the sale of our house, my mom and I headed north to meet him after he completed his orientation with the new job.  His first assignment was at a radar station – in Naselle, Washington!  Talk about hitting the road!

We had a small, early 1950’s era Nash that took us on our first exciting odyssey across the United States.  (No Interstate highways then, just open roads!) I think my love of travel – and the ability to amuse myself for hours – was born from that first excursion.

My dad made sure we visited as many historical and interesting sites along the road as we were able to and I still remember visiting Lincoln’s home in Illinois, Mark Twain’s home in Missouri, seeing snow for the first time in the Rocky Mountains, and many more adventures. I was encouraged to keep a scrapbook of the trip and I still have it to this day!

The window next to the back seat of that car became the portal to a new world and I would stare for hours at the new and exciting scenery I saw.  From palm trees in Florida to rolling plains, from wheat fields in the Midwest to snow-capped mountains and awesome waterfalls, we saw it all. Naturally, I spent a lot of time daydreaming about the different towns we would go through and made up stories to go with what I thought I was seeing.  My dad, whose mother was an artist, made sure I always had crayons, color pencils and lots of paper to put my thoughts and impressions on.

Thus my love of travel and making art was born.

Have Brush, Will Travel

Have brush, will travel – my new motto, slogan, logo what have you – came about a few years ago when a high school friend suggested we take a trip to Paris to celebrate our up-coming birthdays.  Now, as a freelance artist who loves and paints a form of French Impressionism, the thought of basking in the glory of the architecture and history of France’s capital was extremely exciting.  But, as a freelance artist striving to make a living with my paintings, the cost seemed too prohibitive.

This was when my friend came up with a wonderful plan – “If you will do 5 or 6 paintings of Paris for me, I will cover the hotel and airfare.  That way, when I look at my walls at home, I can pretend I am waking up in Paris every morning.”  We agreed that I would cover all my other expenses and we were off for the adventure.  I have since painted many more oils from that one trip and am happy to have sold most of them!

Then a few years later, another friend and her family were renting a house in Sedona, Arizona, and asked me to join them. Same deal, different subject matter.  In exchange for airfare from Florida, enjoyment of the gorgeous desert vistas and the company of lovely people, I produced several oil paintings – this time of red rocks!  In addition to giving my friend the pick of the artwork, several of the other folks on the trip also bought pieces to remind them of Arizona’s spiritual beauty.

Last year, a “snow bird” from Indiana who has a winter home here in Florida invited me to come up to her home near Indianapolis to see her house up there and see the bedroom where she wanted her next painting (a villa in Tuscany she had rented a few years back) to hang.  This would become the eighth commission from her.  On top of a lovely week of visiting lots of artsy stores and galleries, she introduced me to a gift shop owner who ordered – and paid for – 8 of my prints!  Oh, and did I mention that she sent me the free plane ticket?

Now, I just need to keep this travel-for-paintings idea continuing.  Let’s see?  Greece? England?  Spain?  Have brush, will travel!

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