See oil painting “Walking to Piano Lessons” come to life in under 2 minutes

Sharing my latest painting, as it is a snowy cold memory of living in Minnesota, which is how South Georgia felt today, if comparing this to a rather mild Minnesota day. Georgia can never be as cold as Minnesota, where it often drops below O Fahrenheit. I remember one frightening day when the temperature dropped to -25 F, -31 Celsius actual temperature, and that doesn’t even include the “real feel” wind chill factor! But, when our bodies are accustomed to warmer temperatures a sudden drop can feel miserable, like a bone-chilling flu has settled in. So, while Georgia isn’t “Minnesota” cold, it felt brutal today.

We had wind gusts of 35 miles per hour and a frost advisory is in effect until late morning. So I was out there with my daughter trying to clip plastic over our potted plants and garden. Much of our plants have already germinated and our beautiful peach tree has gorgeous pink flowers. Frost will damage our plants and might mean no harvest or a lackluster harvest. I think we’ve managed to save our trees, shrubs and edible garden plants, but I’ll know more in the morning.

I’m chilled and only very slowly warming up. It helped to have some tea, ironically it was peach tea, which is quite fitting since saving the peach tree is part of the reason why I needed the tea. The plastic was flapping in the wind, fighting against us as we tried to wrap the tree. The tree is much taller than I am so I rigged a telescopic “back scratcher” (novelty item, cost about $1, usually a stocking stuffer type of gift, looks like a tiny monkey hand or many a bear claw, so I call it my monkey claw and I use it to grab stuff) by tying one end of the plastic to the claw end and then we could extend our reach and pass the claw over the tree to the other person. My husband came home from work as my daughter and I were wrestling with this. He got the step stool, thinking he was doing the obvious, but nearly face planted off the step stool- quickly confirming why I didn’t do that. He’s fine, corrected himself before he fell. He found my improvised telescopic grabber useful after all. 🙂

What an adventure- reminds me of why we don’t want to live in places that have long brutal winters anymore. All it takes is one windy chilly day and I’m miserable. I do have wonderful memories of beautiful snowy days though, and the sense of accomplishment when surviving bitterly arctic environments. Perseverance is something to be proud of.

New Painting

See this oil painting “Walking to Piano Lessons” come to life in under 2 minutes (time lapse)

This is a cherished memory of my two daughters walking hand in hand to piano lessons. The sisters are on our gravel driveway, walking down the long, steep hill, where they will then cross the one-lane gravel road and walk directly into the foot of the neighbors’ long driveway to go up their long steep hill. They will then do the reverse coming back home. So it literally was “uphill both ways”!

Even though the piano teacher lived directly across from our house, it was a long walk from our house to theirs, and during the snowy icy brutal Minnesota winters it was an adventure to walk on their own without falling. The girls are far apart in age, as you can see here, but now that they are much older than this, their age difference isn’t very noticeable.

We planned to live on this rural hobby farm “forever”, and it would have been our kids’ childhood home, but seven years after building the house, the company my husband worked for moved out of the country, shuttering much of the little town. I’ve told you all of this before, but I didn’t know if you’d recognize this land as the one I’ve talked about. I’d know it anywhere, whether a photograph or a painting.

When our neighbor, my children’s piano teacher (our son took piano lessons too, but he preferred guitar), said she was selling her piano for an upgrade, we bought it so our kids would have their childhood piano, it was a lovely piano. We moved it with us for the first move post selling our house, but we had to sell it before moving to Ireland (we are back in the United States now, in Georgia). The piano is long gone. They have plastic keyboards now that they seldom play.

I teared up a bit while watching this video. I’m glad I didn’t know then how it would all turn out and how the world is now. I’m still hopeful for the future, but that future is not today. Today, we’re still in a rebuilding and loss season, while the world is dystopian, delusional, and seething with malice. But, in my mind, I can go back in time to this memory of when my girls would brave the long cold snowy walk to piano lessons. And then I re-direct my thoughts to the many good things about my life now, how close we are to finally finishing our “starting over” journey, and how the best is yet to come. Nothing stays the same forever.