I love the first days of fall, when the nights are chilly and the mornings crisp, the mums and summer blossoms that linger as the trees begin their transformation. I love walking around the neighborhood and discovering all the different ways people express their sentiments about the changing season.
I love Third Street Stuff, which now carries my art pieces (yay), always has a warm and inviting atmosphere and a coffee shop that serves freshly roasted brew and a kind of cake - I don't know the name of it but it should be called instant addiction. And pumpkin chai. I also love Hendrick, who makes my pumpkin chai, latte or whatever I'm drinking that day. His smile, like his attitude and his spirit is, well, the best word I can think of to describe him is real. A deep and positive word and a hug from Hendrick have made more than one of my days.
I love enchiladas. Especially when my mother makes them and my dad drops them off. She has been sending me dinner once a week, knowing that my energy levels have been low, following the barometer, which mimics a roller coaster this time of year. She has chronic back pain but that never stops her. She embodies the meaning and philosophy of giving. They didn't last long, soon we'd eaten the whole enchilada.
Curious about the origin of that idiom, I did a little research and other than the obvious, "the whole thing," the most interesting explanation I came up with was that some guy was recorded saying it to John Erlichman on one of the Watergate tapes and when they went public the expression became popular.
I love watching my son get his hair cut. It doesn't happen often - fortunately he's ridiculously handsome no matter what his hair looks like - but we always enjoy making the most mundane errands into events. And everyone knows events require photos.
And humor, which Dylan excels at, particularly improv and impersonation.
I love that my daughter cared enough about her tiny frog, which lived for a few months in a small tank in her room, to properly memorialize his passing. Including hamsters and birds, we have had several services in our back yard, reminding us that the least of us is deserving.
I love Patti Digh's new book, Live is a Verb. I already knew that, and almost always live my life that way, but her insights and prompts are opening up incredible new ways of thinking. As a mom and an artist, I struggle daily with the guilt of 'stealing' time to make art which, even if it sells, won't cover the cost of my art supplies. On Lani Gerity's blog, she wrote about this very subject and included a link to Cathy Malchiodi's blog entry on Psychology Today. I urge you to read the article and watch the video clip, a trailer for "Who Does She Think She Is?" It's a documentary film by Pamela Tanner Boll, about five women who are professional artists and mothers, and as Malchiodi states, "...the critical importance of art in their lives, and how parenting and art making are often devalued in our culture."
My mother was busy raising four kids, making our clothes, baking bread, cleaning the house and supporting my father's corporate climb - starching his shirts, hosting receptions for foreign clients and occasionally joining him on European expeditions. No doubt she would have liked to have more time for herself, for art, reading, anything that didn't involve us. But, in keeping with her commitments, she spent most all her time caring for her family, including cooking a zillion dinners.
My mom knows that I spend a good chunk of my limited energy making art and I felt more than a little guilty when she made the first couple of meals for us. Then I realized that it's her way of supporting my creativity, making sure that I can indulge my passion for making art and still care for my family, making for the richest, fullest life possible. I love her for that.