On this beautiful summer morning, I’m lying on the futon in my workroom, surrounded by boxes and watching an episode of the FBI Files while I sip my second cup of coffee. I’m full and comfortable from my breakfast of apple & cinnamon oatmeal topped with a dollop of vanilla Greek yogurt. My back hurts from a busy three days of packing, as well as from eight hours of carting a one year old around yesterday.
There’s been a lot happening since my last post. My sun-and-stars grandson, Sol, turned one on June 5th. He is now officially a toddler. Here he is with my son Jesse, at the park near their house.
He’s, like, this perfect little peaches-and-cream baby, so pretty. I swear to you, I couldn’t love a person more than I love this little guy. Soon, however, I may have to eat those words, as we found out last month that Van and Megan are pregnant with twins! I know, TWINS! Holy shinola! Wanna see something truly incredible? They’ve come miles from the blurry, indecipherable ultrasounds I had when I was full of babies. Check it:
I know that photo looks like a still from a sci-fi movie, but those really are my upcoming grandkiddos. Which means I’ll have three! It’s a surfeit of deliciousness. The logistics of it boggle my mind, though. I watch Sol twice a week and by the end of the day I am pretty much done and dusted. If I’m exhausted after a day with Mr. Energyballs, how will I manage babysitting two bebbes at once? Ah well, it’s a dilemma I don’t mind working out as it comes. People have been doing it for millennia. I can probably figure it out, too.
The reason I’m surrounded by boxes and sore from three days of packing is because–as you’ve already probably figured out because you are smart people–we’re moving! For six years we’ve lived in Sandy and while it’s a pretty town on the foothills of the ever-gorgeous Mount Hood, it’s a long, long way from both Scott’s job and Jess and Lauren’s house in Portland, where Sol lives. We’re tired of the commute. We found an apartment in Fairview, a town very close to Portland, that’s an improvement in every way. Strangely, it has almost the exact same layout as our current apartment, but is larger, with an in-house washer and dryer (our current complex has a shared laundry room for tenants) and an extra bathroom. Plus, assigned parking spots and locked mailboxes, two areas of frustration for me at our current place. We’ve had Netflixes stolen and as there are only six spots for the eight tenants in our section, we’re all constantly vying for parking. No fun. At the new place, both problems solved. Nice. Another plus is that the backside of our apartment overlooks a small wood and a meadow so I’ll be able to sip coffee on our patio in the mornings in my robe without too much concern about prying eyes, unless we’re counting squirrels and birds. Or maybe the occasional homeless person, I don’t know. There’s a pretty dire homeless issue in the Portland area, and if I were homeless, I might seek out a friendly wood to live in, too. This is not something I’m going to worry about.
It feels good leaving a pleasant situation to go to an even better one. I don’t take that for granted. Oh! And the town of Fairview itself is great. There’s a big new library–ESSENTIAL–and all our regular shopping places close by. Only minutes from our apartment. Scott and I drove around the town yesterday for awhile just looking at stuff. I think we’re going to love it. We’ll be moving in about three weeks. The whole thing happened rather suddenly… we saw a complex we liked, called the manager, found out an apartment was coming available in a month or two, put our names in for it, and let it go. We stopped looking and got on with our lives. I finished a painting and was almost done with its papier-mache frame when we got the call that the apartment was available. Then everything shifted into high gear.
That was it for the frame! I’ve put it away until I get settled into my new workroom. The nice thing is I can feel it burbling away in its box, humming contentedly, waiting to be brought to life… Good old creative juices, they haven’t stopped flowing just because I’m otherwise occupied.
I like how this worked out, too: before I packed my books away I grabbed my copy of Duma Key by Uncle Stevie so I’d have something to read, since I’m letting my Clackamas County library holds fade out (we’re moving to another county, thus another library system). I really liked this book the first time I read it a few years ago, and I like it just as much the second (despite the interminable ‘laughing’ scene between the two main protagonists… cannot. stand. that. piece of nonsense). Because Edgar Freemantle is an artist, and there are lots of descriptions of his process and thoughts, the book is surprisingly inspiring and I’m itching to get back to work! Unfortunately, that’s going to have to wait until I get my workroom set up again. Oh well. I suppose that’s why god created Wacom tablets. Here’s a piece I did on it before I turned my attention to Listening Woman and Sunbear. (I’ll post a picture of that painting when it’s done.)
Though I spent a lot of time on the drawing, you can see that I’m still a novice when it comes to cartooning, obvious considering how my subjects’ feet are cut off, which throws off the balance of the picture. But I still really like the elements and it was fun to do. This is Nanny and Grampy Philpott and their son Larry, by the way, the family in a book I want to draw and write for my grandkids. Eventually. I haven’t had much success sticking with writing projects over the past few years, so maybe adding some art to them will help. Also, doing a project for people I love is going to make a difference. I’ve discovered that I would do anything for Sol, no questions asked. Turns out I am a sucker for my little peeps.
So, really super good things afoot for us, and we’re excited for life right now. I miss my daughter, though. Torie moved to Arizona a few weeks ago! Part of me is jealous, though not sooo much when I hear that she’s enduring 115 degree days, ha ha. But she loves it. She and her dog Kobe are living with a friend in the town of Mesa and she’s currently looking for a job. Here’s a photo she sent me on her road trip over there. I love her. She’s my brave little Artemis.
Peace out, friends.