I had every intention of going to the Art and Antique Walk in Renton on Saturday. However, I need to be honest with my readers about my physical limitations. I have COPD – which is a new-fangled acronym for emphysema. (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). Some days are harder than others. I have to use portable oxygen when I walk, use a nebulizer with medications four times a day, and sleep with a CPAP mask. I tire easily, and often find myself short of breath during activities that I use to take for granted, Saturday was not a good day for me, so I missed the Art and Antique Walk. I would love to hear from you about your impressions and experiences there so I can share them in this space.
And, in the last few years, I also had good intentions of contacting Alice Shaner – sometime soon. I guess she was my mentor as a teenager. She was the minister’s wife, and an artist – who was a bit too bohemian for many of the uptight older ladies in the congregation. In her home, she fed me homemade cookies and lemonade, and listened to my problems, after which, we would paint together in the artist’s studio in the back yard of their track home in Sunnyvale, California. She was an amazing artist. And, I still thought I had some talent back in those days, and the smell of oil paint and turpentine fed my dreams. I have a portrait she painted of me when I was in my twenties. As the years went by, I continued to receive birthday and Christmas cards from her, all were her original art pieces, and we also would meet occasionally for lunch, My problems changed with my life and aging, but she always listened so well! In the last few years, and now living miles away, I kept meaning to call her. Last Christmas, I noticed that for the first time in over fifty years, I didn’t get a card from her. Then the other night I had a dream that I was visiting her in a rest home. She was in a coma, and I cried because I couldn’t let her know that I was finally there. The next day, I googled her. She had passed away in March of 2012. Here is another lesson about not waiting too long to reach out to the people who have given meaning to our lives. Rest in peace, Alice. You were a true artist.