Our scene we are painting
About a month ago I was on a Girl's Night Out with my friend Rebecca when we decided, spur of the moment, to start painting. We would meet every Saturday morning early (unless family or church matters took precedence), and oil paint. We got our canvases, our brushes, and paints, and hauled some folding chairs with us to a spot near the base of the mountain behind my house. Neither one of us feels very confident in our painting, but the good thing about oils is they are pretty forgiving. Neither one of us feels like we are creating our life's masterpiece up there, but it has been some of my most favorite moments in my life spent away from my home.
About two years ago I read an article that talked about the "Me Time Myth". After several parenting and marital trials, the author decided that her time away from home would not be spent in idleness, consumerism, or in selfish indulgences. She decided that the times she spent for Me Time would be spent in fulfilling or enlightening activities, things that would make her a better mother and wife. This meant her times to herself were with uplifting friends, church meetings, and other similar activities. Feeling that I needed to re-evaluate my time spent alone after a long day of homeschooling and house cleaning and chasing down the toddler with the permanent marker in his hand, I also started to turn to activities that uplifted me rather than things that left me feeling guilty. When Rebecca suggested we start painting on Saturday mornings, I thought several things. 1. Our conversations almost always turned to spiritual matters. 2. We get girl time together, outside, in beautiful settings. 3. We would be working on a talent. 4. Our time was limited to three hours and it was early on Saturday morning so we wouldn't disrupt family time, activities, or errands to be done later in the day. Win-win!!!
Getting a glimpse of what Simeon is going to look like as a young man
We are not expert painters by any means. Mine is limited to one semester in high school. Rebecca and I sit side by side painting at our easels and constantly compare our pictures to each other. I like how she did her rocks defined. She liked how I did my trees. She's slower and thoughtful, I'm fast and abrupt. We both clearly see it's going to take a lot of time for us to perfect our painting. I'm not complaining; that means we have a lot of Saturday mornings ahead of us to work together.
Our talks revolve around our family, our husbands, our kids, autism, ADHD, and a number of other things we share in common between our 13.5 kids. We speculate about our decisions we made before we came here. We talk about our religion. We talk about what luck we had in meeting in the same place 10 years apart. We talk about our plans for the future. And these conversations make it so we can come back home and hopefully be better wives and mothers to our families. We talk about the important things in our lives, and build each other up, and make it so we have that confidence to face another week.
Mountains in the distance I want to paint eventually
A bit off topic about our painting up at Grove Creek, but the first day we were up there a flock of birds landed beside us and pecked around for insects. This lasted for about 30 minutes, gradually getting closer and closer to us. In the flock, almost all the birds were a slate grey color, except for one in the center that was white with speckles. Early in the morning we see other people come through to walk their dogs and sometimes the dogs greet us, or their owners do. Today as we were leaving a woman with two horses and a cattle dog came to the water so the animals could get a drink. I don't have much experience with horses, but I giggled at her younger horse she had on a lead who was so curious about us she couldn't drink and just kept watching us pack up our things. A challenge Rebecca and I have is painting for three hours up there because the light changes and as the light changes, so does our picture. After seeing the animals that come around up there, it's hard for me not to want to paint them onto the canvas, but alas, I am not very talented at painting to begin with, let alone painting animals. Maybe one day that will come. Maybe one day my painting skills won't look so elementary, but for here and now, I'm happy to have the opportunity.