A Valentine Breakfast

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I want to tell you about a tradition my mother started when we were little kids.

My mom worked full-time in another state and somehow with the very small amount of free time she was given always created a special home.

Most Valentines Days land during the week.  Single woman? Two little girls?  Yeah that’s romantic!

Out of necessity my mom created a very special Valentine tradition.

The night before she would pull EVERYTHING RED out of the cabinets.  Soup cans, cereal boxes, cups, dishes, scarves, pretty table clothe, you name it.  She found what she had and smeared all over our kitchen table. Then she would sprinkle candy hearts everywhere.

Somehow she took a regular old morning and made it MAGICAL.

This is what I carry in my heart.  You can create magic with very little and create memories that last a life time.  Thus the tradition continues!

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My heart was warmed to find these two extra table settings on Facebook this morning.  One was my little sister who has carried on the tradition with her kids and the other is my best friend from childhood who remarked how my mother had rubbed off on her to.

Ahhh….Amore. Sweet and Simple.

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Next, I am sharing with you the one treasure that was handed down to me from my departed grandparents. I have no idea why my mother, filled with the challenge of sorting through an entire home of 70 years of their life together handed me this. Maybe because she knew that as tiny a memento as it is, it would not go overlooked.  My grandfather was incredibly romantic.  He made cards for my grandmother every morning with her breakfast.  He drew heartfelt images on every one of his employees paycheck envelopes every Friday.  He was an amazing lover of people and life.

My thought on this little chipped porcelain trinket box with it’s cracked lid is that it must have been one of a thousand tokens of love my grandmother received.  Why was this one kept?  What about it allowed it to be glued back together and put back on the shelf?

I then go into detective mode. Was this piece of sea glass from a special trip?  Was it given on a special day?  Were they old then? Were they young? Where did the box come from?  What was it’s life story?

I keep it in my bathroom and every morning I think of my grandparents.  I think of my grandmother’s special little bunny collection in her shower window.  Their house, their time with all of us.

It’s strange how such little things can have lives of their own.  I hope my home is loaded with similar treasures and my kids have to sort through them when I go and carefully contemplate those who have come before them.

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I leave you with this image.  It sort of sums up this month for me.  Like this little bike stuck in the snow, I too have been stuck.  I’ve been sick with respiratory illnesses tied into two bouts of flu.  My energy has been zapped. All my dreams and aspirations put on hold as I wait to heal. I’m sort of frozen.  As I write the snow is coming down.  By tomorrow morning the little tricycle seat will have disappeared and there will not be much to show for this little bicycle.

Some day soon the light will shine, the earth will warm, and I too like this little bicycle will resurface.

Until then, I will rest up and embrace my dormancy.

Tis the season.

Happy Valentines Day Everybody.

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Thank you. Plain and Simple. Thank you.

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Reporting from the art front, I am pretty sure I can officially declare myself –exhausted!

I am still trying to catch my breath from my amazing art show Saturday. As you can see, I am only now getting all of the photographs loaded and finding that quiet moment to reflect.

Gratitude.

That is the word. That is the emotion I am feeling, GRATITUDE.

Now of course there was the tremendous amount of art…

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And there was beautiful flowers and food….

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But really, what made the show beautiful, WERE THE PEOPLE!

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My gorgeous girlfriend Elisa Lucia, staged props throughout the entire venue from her home-staging business.  Pretty vignettes that look like the very things I love to paint, were interspersed throughout my work.

My Aunt & Uncle and cousins came to support me even thought they already showed their support at my New York show!

I had other cousins with newborn children who set the date and came to see my show. Even though that had to be quite difficult for them and quite a distance to travel.

Then there’s my local friends and family here in RI, that POWER BLASTED Facebook for me.  They invited their friends to come and join and spread the word in the most creative ways. I am so very lucky to have these people in my life.

My biggest thank you goes to my mother.  Her energy and boundless creativity put me to shame!  My mom framed, hung both shows and promoted her heart out with not one single complaint.  Hours and hours of work went into these art shows and she was with me every step of the way. To nurture me and also to push me out of the nest.  There are no words to describe how lucky I am to have her.

I had over a hundred people come visit Saturday.  Each person followed me through the entire journey, they watched day after day, night after night, cheering me on and letting me know that they were there.

What one might consider a lonely experience was actually anything but…

I know it sounds crazy, maybe even a bit cliché, but truly, what will I take from this entire 365 experience?

The people, the gathering, the community, the positivity, the nurturing, the enthusiasm, the support.

For if a tree falls in the forest, and there is no one to hear it, does it make a sound?

I can create and create and create, but if I have no one to share it with…

There’d simply be no joy.

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