033When I was living in Florida taking care of my mother, every year right after Thanksgiving, I’d have the carpet shampooed.  After it had dried, the first week in December out came the Christmas decorations.  I decorated every room in the house and put a Christmas bedspread on my mother’s bed and on mine.  I even had Christmas decorations in the bathroom, colorful Christmas towel and a shower curtain.  Since my mother died, as the years passed, my enthusiasm for decoration has waned.  It could be because of the cats, but I don’t think so.  Christmas is still my favorite holiday.  i love Thanksgiving and Halloween, but not as much as I do Christmas.  I think I don’t decorate as much anymore because i don’t have my mother to share it with.  Yes, she’d fuss about all the effort I put into decorating, but she enjoyed everything.  I miss her.

Last night, I was thinking about her a lot.  I have an unfinished painting of her.  I was taking a break and watching part of a movie I’ve seen before.  You know how it goes, your brain is actually focus on something other than the TV and you half way see the movie.  Anyway, I asked myself, “Why are you wasting your time watching this movie?  You’ve seen it several times.”  I immediately turn the TV to a Christmas music station and went into my art studio.  I removed Mom’s portrait from the wall and frame and redid the background.  Now, all I have to do is highlight her auburn hair and the portrait is finished.

How many of you out there know who Maureen O’Hara was?  When my mother and she were a lot younger, they could have passed for twins they looked so much alike.  My mother and her sister, Aunt Pauline, were two of the most beautiful women living in rural Kentucky back in their day.  Before she died, I had Mom sit with me and tell all about her life and the times she lived in.  I recorded every word and have it on tape and CD’s.  She had a very hard life, but she overcame every struggle. She worked at the Sylvania Plant in Huntington, W VA during WWII.  She wrote songs and poems and was a liberated woman before it was ever popular.  She even wrote a song about working at the Sylvania plant.  I was going to post it here, but have to find my copy of her songs.

She had a saying which I am using for a novel I’ve fictionalized about her life.  The novel is entitled ORCHIDS ALONG THE WAY.  Mom used to say, “God didn’t promise me a rose garden, but he gave me orchids along the way, my six girls”.    We were six sister who fought among ourselves like most siblings do.  But, God help the person dumb enough to attack one of us.  We banded together as a force of one to put down anyone who would dare to say anything about our family.  So my thoughts have been on all those we have lost.  My heart misses them something terribly.

NEW HANGMAN SINGLENeedless to say, it has been difficult for me to focus on murder and mayhem right now.  I have taken an oil painting break and have three less painting to finish from my stack of partially  completed paintings.  I have been working on THE HANGMAN off and on.  I had writer’s block for about a week, but figured out where to go in the investigation.  So now, I’m back on track.

Everyone have a great week and stay safe.


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