Art WorkWe’re getting settled. The last boxes have been opened weeks ago and their contents distributed to new logical locations…not that I can find what I want when I want, but that’s a part of settling in. Going through the arduous effort of imprinting new routines. The refrigerator-sink-stove-dishwasher routine we’re getting down pretty well for obvious reasons. But its the avocational aspects of my life…the sewing stuff…the art supplies that aren’t yet at an effortless level of availability. It took me a while to find where all the art work I needed for a “show and tell” had settled in our new home.

A few weeks ago I wrote about the unaccustomed emptiness of my calendar. There were so many encouraging responses to that delightful dilemma; the primary one being explore! And now that we’ve finished painting the kitchen, dining room and family room a lovely shade of vanilla called brandied pear, I feel like I’ve primed the canvas of my calendar. I’m beginning to explore. Everything from new friendships to quilting groups to minor league baseball games to arts and crafts fairs to meeting other kindred folk who might be interested in using the arts for healing and transformation.

Part of my settling in is discerning when, how, who with…or even if I use my gifts and expertise as I’ve done in the past. We’ve moved closer to our two youngest grand-kids to be extra hands for their parents and to enjoy their sweet uniqueness. In a county that has just added its millionth resident, we live in a metropolitan area with abundant alternatives, many of them tantalizingly tempting. But as my former nail gal/therapist Barbara would remind me, just because I can doesn’t mean I should! As my dance card, otherwise known as my calendar, gets progressively fuller week by week, there will be choices I need to make.

But at the moment, I’m still exploring lots of options. This week alone my dance card says I’m visiting a local quilt group, meeting with the director of a counseling program about using the arts therapeutically, and attending an artist’s reception at the senior center as a prelude to possibly participating in a community art project involving clothing and the memories they evoke. Oh, and there’s the birthday dinner grandson Nate and I are cooking this weekend for his dad…and the poster and place mats grandson Ian needs to make for the party. Oh, oh, and there’s the on-going weekly exploration of different Mexican restaurants, a quest referred to as Looking for La Cabaña (our favorite place where we ate dinner every Tuesday for 25 years).

After exploring lots of options, I gonna have to settle on only some of these enticing possibilities. Settling doesn’t mean accepting something because there’s no other choice. It’s kind of like one of grand dogs who circles repeatedly before settling comfortably onto her latest chosen nest.  My settling will be a process of circling into the comfort of a balanced calendar of commitments, opportunities and adventure…since I’m not likely to completely settle down!

What’s the tension you experience between routine and adventure? How does one inform and encourage the other? If you were to create an art piece that depicted “settling” as an expression of having no other choice, what would it look like? If you were to create another image of “settling” that represented the comfort of a chosen routine or activity, what would that look like? What might these images have to say to one another?

Thanks for all the generous comments these last few weeks as I’ve written about our journey of transition. They have been wonderfully helpful and inspiring!

5 comments to Settling

  • cynthia Hashbarger

    Dear Lynne.. Wonderful writing and sharing.. You are sounding like your new case is becoming home.. and you are
    enjoying it all.. and the options.. Hurray that you now have some real opportunities with your grandsons.. and how lucky
    they are to now have you ‘in the hood’.. or at least close by…I think of you often. and in one context I thought of the
    glory you will experience with fall colors thru North Carolina.. We are looking at some options for fall.. and your new
    state comes up high on the opportunities of God’s creation in Oct. I am enjoying the art pieces I purchased at your recent
    event. and the lovely water color of the SB mission will have a new frame and be given to son Thomas on SAturday for his 49th BD.
    He and his family live only a few blocks from the mission and it is so dear to them.. Enjoy your day and your exploring
    Missing you in the pool. They have now gone to a five day program.. Hurray.. Love, Cynthia Home address please

  • Deanna Bowling

    Same house, new needs to be provided for.

    Former roommate has moved on; new roommate has moved in. Dede needs me less and less, and in different ways. New needs to be provided for.

    Dede has gone from using a 4 prong cane to a single point cane; and using the single point cane only as a convenience, not an absolute necessity. New needs to be provided for.

    Flooring in the worship building at church is being changed. Used to carpet on the floor (I still prefer carpet). Choice of flooring being based on maintenance and the taste of new people who are joining our church family. New needs to be provided for.

    My being here at the house is not a 24/7 necessity as it had been over a good part of the last year. I have more time on my hands. How to fill them effectively. New needs to be provided for.

    This has been the pattern in this house for the 21 1/2 years I have lived here; the change has been in me – 70 now instead of 50ish. New needs to be provided for.

  • Norrene

    I’m with Cynthia…still miss you in the pool. Plus it’s a lot easier to go to class when we’ve texted and promised to go!
    Any pool classes there?

  • sharron luft

    Hi Lynne Dearie! So good to hear from you, as always. Your last entry, the fullness of emptiness, was very appropriate for me as I just experienced my first empty first day of school in 64 years! Incredible isn’t it? It was an empty day FULL of choices: stay or go, in or out, work or play, etc. I am enjoying myself of course and am still having to be careful not to go from over-extended to over-extended. I love your art prompt for today too- settling. Settling on what is before you, with no other choice? Or settling as making yourself comfortable? What about both, rather than either or? I think I’ve become accustomed to settling into,making myself comfortable, with what is before me,even when it’s not what I want. I can’t tell you how many times God has delighted me with the unexpected results. Anyway, as always, you’ve inspired me and I’ll start pulling collage pieces together. I love you and I miss you.

  • Dana Thompson

    Again, I can relate to your situation. Though I have just moved down from the “mountain” into the Town of Los Gatos, it is like going back to my early time in Los Gatos 48 years ago. When we first moved here, I shopped in the town and the area while I raised my boys. I joined the Los Gatos League of Women voters and served on the local mountain school board. About 30 years ago I decided to go to the Santa Cruz side of the mountain, join the Santa Cruz County League and do my shopping there. I got involved in County politics and issues and later joined the Santa Cruz Hand Weavers Guild. Now I have rejoined the Los Gatos League, but my interests have expanded to other things like a monthly wearable arts guild as well. I am now debating a decision whether to go to a League new members lunch or the monthly wearable arts guild on the same day in September. I’ll probably go to the League lunch and renew old friendships with those who are still members, though Im not interested in getting more involved.


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