In October of 1979, I did a 9x12” acrylic painting on canvas board, and that Christmas I gave it to my future in-laws as a gift. (This painting was created with less technical ability than love...but there was lots of love involved.) The piece was inspired by the view of Lake Champlain from the back yard of their New York house, with the outline of the Green Mountains of Vermont visible in the distance. I had spent so much time, during the previous six years that I was dating their son, enjoying this view from their lovely lakeside home, and I painted it from memory. The little girl standing by the fence was meant to represent my then-boyfriend's three younger sisters, whom I had grown to love dearly.
Fast-forward 42 years (gulp! 42 years!!). And I found that life was definitely imitating art.
You see, I married that boy who lived by the lake. And we had five sons, who grew up and got married and have so far produced 17 grandchildren for us to cherish. Five of these grandchildren, the offspring of our oldest son, were visiting us with their parents for a week starting at the end of August—staying with us at their Papa’s childhood home, which has become our summer residence. (Thankfully, this amazing house has stayed in the family, even though my beloved in-laws are no longer with us).
I snapped this picture of our boy’s girls (twins aged 10, along with their younger sisters, 8 and 6) the night they arrived, when they ran out to look at the lake they hadn't seen since the summer before last. And I was immediately reminded of my little painting.
There are more boats moored out in front of the house these days (one of them, in fact, belongs to their Papa and me). And the old split rail fence has been replaced by a much fancier steel railing on the giant concrete sea wall that the family had built a few years ago, in order to keep the bank at the edge of the yard from eroding. But that beautiful view hasn’t changed one iota.
I didn't blog much over the summer, even though there was so much I could have shared here. Life was kind of imitating art back in July, too, when our four other sons and our 12 other grandchildren came to spend a crazy, fun-filled week with us at our Oyster Haven VRBO house, which we’d blocked off for personal use.
What could be cuter than a lineup of small children smooshed together, with their little legs dangling over the edge (of a hammock, or a dock, or whatever they happen to be sitting upon)? That vintage Jesse Wilcox Smith painting up there has always been a favorite of mine. The photo of our gang might have included a cat, too (our youngest son and his wife brought their two along with them), if it wasn't for the allergies in the Pearl clan. Therefore, the kitties spent their vacation in the basement!
We have been back in VA for several days, where we will be living until summer 2022 draws near and we head north again. We will miss that glorious lake--a work of art to be sure; but we are happy to be reunited with all of our sweet grandchildren, whose darling faces are nothing short of masterpieces. (Said their very objective Grammy.)
It's so good to be back!