11 Dec

Unexpected Pleasures

When we stop and think, we know this season is really about being grateful. Never mind manufactured celebrations like Black Friday. This is a time to gather with people who matter to us, appreciate what we have, and give to those in need. OK, and it’s also about eating too much. LOL There is much to be thankful for in my life. Right now I’m focused on my ability to travel and on the folks who make sharing that so much fun.

I’m lucky to be healthy, with time and resources to see our fascinating world. I’m doubly blessed to have collectors who want to share those travel experiences through my paintings. Part of travel is, of course, dealing with the unfamiliar or unexpected. From train strikes, to complicated hotel plumbing, to unfathomable menu items, travel tests our resourcefulness. Surviving those challenges builds our confidence (and, apparently, our neural networks, protecting against brain diseases) and helps makes the journey even more memorable.

Case in point is a recent trip to Normandy and Brittany. Changing plans because of a French national holiday, we had several unexpected pleasures. Because nothing else was available, we took the full day tour of D-Day beaches. It got us to the American Cemetary in time for the incredibly moving flag lowering and taps. The harbor at St. Malo, an old pirate haunt on the Channel, was astonishing. Hundreds of sailboats sat alongside docks with nearly vertical gangways and pilings taller than their masts, because they regularly experience 30-40 foot tides!

We ended with an unplanned Parisian weekend where we overcame train disruptions to get to Versailles’ mind-boggling Hall of Mirrors and were treated to limoncello at a Marais cafe. Paintings will follow, but as a teaser, here’s an older painting of Paris. Wishing you many unexpected pleasures this holiday season!




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