Wednesday, August 22, 2018
Before I took art classes of any kind or identified myself as an artist, I was a scribbler..a doodler.. I would spend my idle and bored out of my mind times in school with a pen and paper. Usually far enough away from the teacher to look involved. I’d draw my own cartoons of my friends or the teacher with the lazy eye or the big hair Pam Walls was wearing that day. I would gently move the paper around to whom was sitting next to me and get a laugh. This was the best part. I can’t remember much of the sitting at the desk time to “study” or learn whatever they were lecturing about. I wanted a laugh and that is usually what I got. My reputation was a bit of a troublemaker. Someone who was much more interesting in completing a dare that a friend would give me. I scribble still. On the phone or in meetings. They say you listen better when you scribble. Doodling seems to aid memories and keep you going. Here is my doodle of the week.
Monday, July 23, 2018
When my grandmother was in her early 60s til her early 80’s,she would take a bus to Atlantic City. She would be picked up somewhere in Boothwyn,PA and take the 1 and a half hour trek. Atlantic City was getting worn down but she had this ongoing nostalgia as it had history and memories from her past. The boardwalk itself was built in the 1800s and named after the popular game “monopoly”. It was one of those places that became a boomtown in the 60s and by 1976 they legalized gambling. Casino’s started popping up everywhere. I have old photos of her and her siblings in their bathing suits having a grand old time in the 1940s. The shore looked so preen and pretty and the classical lines of the black and white photos showed there a was a lot happening. She said there was a boardwalk, fudge, a beach, 5 cent slots, and cheap food. What else do you want? she would say…. "And a sunset!”.."then I would get on the bus and get a good night sleep in my own bed". No stress and no fuss and the price was right! Who needs fancy?
Monday, July 16, 2018
My very first job at 14 I didn’t get paid for. I was at a childhood friends house in the middle of July. Her neighbor had come over to ask if one day she could pull a bunch of weeds out of her yard and she would pay us 15$ a piece. Seemed reasonable in the early 80s with no choice as we were too young and unskilled to be hired for anything. You wanna make a buck Gina replied?.. sure! I said.. So we went out to this two acre field and proceeded to pull weeds for what seemed like an eternity in the blazing July summer heat. The old woman watched from the windows pulling at the curtains... seeing if we were doing a good job. She never came out to offer any water in her comfortable air conditioned house. I was getting picked up soon by my parents so I had to leave. Gina said she would settle up with her. September came and after several attempts of asking, the old woman never paid us for our hard labor. I’d imagine she had duped plenty of neighbor’s kids to do work and then stiff em. By the following summer I had landed a job in the mall but even now in our 40s I still reflect and bring it up to her. Which then leads me forward to this present day. The notion and dream from decades ago was a white picket fence, a manicured lawn, and a driveway. Most families have less and less time for leisure now and cutting your own lawn seems more like a chore. Lately while driving, I have seen a steady supply of women on the tractor, not men. Perhaps its a getting things done factor. Young and an older females are taking the mowing in stride, pleasantly cutting the field. A pastime that seemed to reflect a “mans” job has now become easily been shown as any genders. I started out with that unpaid job of weeding years ago and somehow the act of gardening took. I went on to become a volunteer master gardener for our local penn state chester county office and learned a lot. We have our own small plot of land that I weed and feed and tend to daily. Its a private oasis in the center of a small steel town. It never fails though when someone steps into the yard..they steer right to my husband and say wow, this looks great! He corrects them judiciously and with a grin says.." nope..this is all Michelle’s doing." Forget tea time and white gloves and peaking through the curtains. The dirt in my nails and the green of the plants play like a living canvas that turns color with each season. I’m glad I don’t have a lawn but I’d imagine if I did I’d be on the tractor cutting the field driving it in circles in a zen like state.
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
These living fossils have been around for 400 million years and are related to arachnids. They are sensitive to light. The horseshoe crabs blood is blue due to copper. They are an endangered species because of medical research. I’m fascinated by these creatures that were considered “junk” when I was a kid. Their tails are sensitive.. the crab has a tendency to flop.. its best to gently turn over from the side to get them back on their feet. There is a large migration at Slaughter beach in Delaware every May. I missed this year but plan on going down in 2019 to check off the yolo list. Volunteers are tagging them to try and help. They outlived the dinosaurs.
Friday, June 8, 2018
Its hard not to step onto the floor daily and hear another heartbreaking story. Someone who is authentic of themselves may not be touched by their own light that shines on others. We all live our lives with success and failures and can only navigate the course by what we do on our own local and personal scale. That deep dive of courage to be our authentic selves. Know that when you smile at someone, it can simply reflect an energy that may carry them throughout their day.