Still Life CollageWe’re nearly six months into a new life here in North Carolina. Some days it feels like we just got here, but some days now we feel like we’ve been here forever. The hard work of imprinting a new routine that I fretted about a few months ago seems mostly a distant complaint…with occasional echoes. In the quiet days after the festive, somewhat frantic celebration of Christmas, it’s a treat to reflect on the “newness” of our transition…our new life.

We’ve pretty well adjusted to, and fine-tuned, the new places all our possessions reside. Well, with the exception of some of my art supplies and Robert’s stuff in the garage. We’re both still occasionally hunting for that one thing we know we saw when we initially unpacked. Sigh…

One of my new big ahas is that we’ve bought a party house! A cozy living room invites intimate conversations, the open-floor plan of the kitchen, dining and family rooms provides a smooth flow for preparing, serving and enjoying food and fellowship. And a large formal dining room allows us to open our round oak table to seat up to fourteen, with plenty of room to move comfortably back and forth between the kitchen for seconds. That doesn’t even include the screen porch which currently serves as a second refrigerator rather than a breezy, warm gathering place, as it did during the summer.

As a result I have a renewed interest in cooking. There’s a vast new audience who have not gotten tired of my tried and true recipes. While we routinely explore new restaurants in the area, we are as likely to share a meal around our table with our new friends. And I’m teaching these new old recipes to our grandsons who assist me with some regularity as my sou chef. As you might guess, onions and lemons have played a role in their nouveau cuisine.

Still Life WatercolorI’ve availed myself of a number of new art adventures including a landscape watercolor class at the senior center. Frustrated with only painting landscapes, one of the other classmates asked if we could paint a still life instead. Working from two paintings by the instructor, rather than an actual still life, the painting at left is what I accomplished. Better than a kick in the chins, but not something I’d frame. But one of the most rewarding aspects of my new life, in this new place, is a willingness to try new things – of doing old things a new way.

As you can tell, the top image is essentially the same still life…with a new twist. Sopping up the leftovers from the grandsons’ paint palettes, I repeatedly pressed paint soaked paper towels on a sheet of watercolor paper which I then glazed with a sunset gold Lumiere paint. The background of the still life was torn away and the remaining image glued on the painted background. Added three square collage elements and rescued a frame from someone else’s discard pile. Voila! A new piece of art for our home.

However, one of my favorite old routines is decoding the daily cryptogram in our new local newspaper. Today’s was especially apt as it invited a transition from reflecting on the new things of the past to a focused intention for the new present.

Attributed to Brad Paisley, a country singer, it goes like this…

“Tomorrow is the first blank page in a three hundred and sixty-five page book. Write a good one.”

As we all begin a new year, my wish for each of you is that “you write a good one.”

Happy New Year!

2 comments to New

  • Judi

    Happy New Year to you too! Thank you for taking the time to blog!!!

  • Luisa

    What a “fruitful” year. And, Lynne, I am following in your footsteps, slowly going through the transition of our move to Camarillo. Unpacking the “old things” and purging the unnecessary baggage. Making new friends in this Senior Community. Feeling overwhelmed and disoriented at times. All to say, YES! to this new life and best wishes to all in the New Year.

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